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Registration goes smoothly, despite changes

Justin Tardiff | Tuesday, April 12, 2005

The first round of students, rising seniors, successfully registered for Fall 2005 classes Monday using the new insideND website and new course registration numbers.

The switch from IrishLink to insideND occurred as a result of the University’s need to modify the hardware platforms.

“About two-and-a-half years ago, our current hardware provider was Hewlett-Packard, and they said that it [our program] wouldn’t be supported again after 2005,” Assistant Registrar Doug McKenna said. “Being on an unsupported platform is not good for a University.”

The Renovare project had been the leading impetus behind the modifications, McKenna said. Renovare, Latin for “renewal.” constitutes Notre Dame’s efforts to replace its strategic administrative information systems. The project divides the information system into five key areas: Finance, Student/Faculty System, Human Resources/Payroll, Development and Ancillaries. The project’s mission is to improve data access and integration for members of the Notre Dame student body, faculty and staff, according to the Renovare website.

InsideND became available for use Feb. 7. The site allows students to acquire personal information, register for classes and check final grades. InsideND also contains locations to contact professors and access Webmail.

There are several changes in the registration process this year, aside from the elimination of IrishLink. The Course Reference Number (CRN) has replaced the Call Number of a particular course, McKenna said. Additionally, a new course numbering scheme has been implemented – all of the courses now consist of five numeric digits.

The first digit of the course number defines the level of the course. One through five suggests undergraduate courses, while six through nine indicate graduate level. The second digit designates the type of course, such as tutorial, seminar and study abroad. Zero will be commonly seen indicating a traditional classroom course.

According to McKenna, academic departments were running out of new course numbers, as they cannot be changed for five years.

The new numeric system provides academic course management, giving departments more freedom in naming courses, McKenna said.

“The five digit numbering scheme really broadened the available course numbers and it gave the departments the ability to number in a meaningful way,” McKenna said.

Students who would like to ascertain the new course number of a previous class can find the modification in the Course Inventory application, McKenna said. The new five-digit course numbers have been programmed in the new system as replacements to the past three digit course numbers.

Another change to course registration this year is that students no longer have only 15 minutes to choose classes. Previously, students were unable to regain access to the registration site until 5 p.m. of the registration day. Now, though new students registering will still be added at 15-minute intervals, their ability to access the site does not time-out.

“The old system just couldn’t handle 200, 400, 700 concurrent users,” said McKenna. “This system is much more robust.”

“Registration Time Ticketing” refers to the time when students can start registering for classes. From this time up until the seventh class day of the new semester, students can make schedule changes.

Half of the incoming senior class registered for classes Monday and no major problems were reported.

“We want to make sure that the load on the system is well-distributed. We’ve been monitoring it all day and so far there have been no issues,” said McKenna.

The University has also had a limited number of complaints concerning the new registration system and time tickets.

“There was some initial grumbling about the layout of insideND,” said McKenna. “Ultimately, we changed the set-up and just put it alphabetically to avoid confusion.”

Kate Antonacci contributed to this story.