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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Stop, drop, & enroll

It’s registration time and students are anxiously awaiting their opportunity to select classes for the next term. They wait for their enrollment appointment time (currently called “queue time”) to arrive and keep tabs on the classes they want. They hope those classes remain open (have seats available), but sometimes all the seats are taken and the class is closed when it is their time to register. Then what?

Currently, students usually find an alternate class, add themselves on the desired class waitlist if one exists, and wait for a spot to open up. If a seat becomes available, they would be invited to enroll in the class from the department offering the class. The invitation includes a permission number that allows them to register. With that in hand, they then have the opportunity to adjust their enrollment to avoid time conflicts before registering for the desired class.

The new waitlist process, as a result of the PeopleSoft upgrade, eliminates the invitation step and automatically enrolls students when seats open. However, this auto enroll process will not complete if the student was added to the waitlist and is enrolled in another class that has a time overlap. Instead, they will receive a notification alerting them that there was a conflict. The student can then resolve the conflict by dropping the other class before the auto enroll process runs again.

But there is a better way.

Along with the auto enroll waitlist process, the University will begin using delivered functionality that allows students to have the system automatically drop them from a conflicting course if a seat becomes available for them. Rather than placing themselves to the waitlist from the “Add” function, they will use the “Swap” functionality in the enroll tab. This will place them on the waitlist (that can be prioritized by faculty or departments), but in a way that tells the system to drop them from the conflicting class if a seat becomes available for them in the desired class.

If students use this “Swap” functionality, they have a streamlined waitlist experience and  be able to maintain a full-time schedule as they wait for their desired classes. Best of all, students will be able to determine when to use this swap functionality because they will have a new weekly view of their schedule. This will show them when there are time conflicts with their enrolled and waitlist classes!

If you have questions about this new functionality email esup@umn.edu.

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