Class registration system to move from OLR to SIO

Credit: Juan Fernandez/Staff Credit: Juan Fernandez/Staff

Online Registration (OLR), the site where students register for their courses every semester, will be replaced by new registration features on Student Information Online (SIO) this March.

In addition to planning schedules, students will be able to use SIO to view their assigned registration times; to register, add, drop, and switch courses; and to manage waitlist activity.

OLR was initiated in 1997, according to University Registrar John Papinchak. He said that one of the driving forces behind the changes to SIO was that, when Enrollment Services last updated SIO, a number of students suggested modernizing OLR by incorporating it into SIO.

Papinchak explained a few features that students can expect from the new SIO registration system.

First, the basic functions of OLR such as section switch, course switch, and waitlist checking will be transferred to SIO.

In addition, students will no longer need to type individual course numbers when registering. Instead, students will now be able to load planned schedules to the registration page and click the “add” button to register for each course.

“What we are trying to do is to give students more information that supports the registration process,” Papinchak said.

However, more sophisticated changes might happen in future semesters. A long-term goal, Papinachak said, is one-button registration, in which students would only need to click one button to register for all of their courses once they have their schedules planned.

Christine Gilchrist, an academic adviser in the Mellon College of Science, expressed the same wish. Gilchrist wrote in an email, “An item on my wish list is a feature that will allow students to use their planned schedule to register for all courses at once and if there is a waitlist for a course, the student will immediately be recommended an alternate open section or required course that fits their schedule. This would necessitate a link between SIO and the student’s academic audit.”

Students’ opinions about OLR and expectations of the new system are varied.

“The OLR system is horribly inconvenient and terribly difficult to manage,” Zac Vennard, a senior international relations major, said in an email. “So I’m glad we’re pitching it.”

Junior finance major Alice Jun, however, takes a different attitude.

“I like OLR a lot. It is very functional and it is easy for me to use,” she said. “But it will be nice that we will move to SIO so that we can take care of everything on one website. Maybe if we have some automatic thing where it will automatically register the courses we plan. If they could do that for us, that would be pretty awesome.”