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Registrar improves class search capability

Amanda Gray | Monday, April 6, 2009

Notre Dame’s Office of the Registrar is implementing a new search engine for classes for the fall of 2009, assistant registrar Chris Temple said.

“‘Enhanced Class Search’ is accessible to students by logging into the regular online Class Search using their netID and password,” Temple said. “The enhanced functionality includes a three-section design corresponding to three new/supplementary sources of information: Enrollment History, Instructor Course Descriptives and Student Feedback.”

The Student Feedback plays a crucial role, said Ryan Brellenthin, the former Student Senate Academic Affairs Committee and current student government Chief of Staff.

“The student responses are shown for the next semester,” Brellenthin said. “More and more data is compiled over time, giving more information.”

The information compiled comes from the Course Instructor Feedback (CIF) forms, the electronic class review system that the University switched to in the fall of 2008, according to the CIF Web site. The information is then compiled into ratings for the course and teacher similar to the popular Web site NDToday.com but with a few key differences, Brellenthin said.

“The only people that respond [to NDToday.com] are polarized,” he said. “The Enhanced Class Search is comprehensive and accurate.”

The responses aren’t listed in an averaged single answer, but rather a graph showing the distribution of responses, according to the CIF Web site.

Another major difference is the philosophy behind the system, Brellenthin said.

“The Enhanced Class Search isn’t providing the quickest way out or the easiest teacher, but the best education,” said Brellenthin.

The system will also follow an incentive system, Brellenthin said. Only students who completed their CIFs the semester before will have access to the Student Feedback portion.

“This provides more student input, and holds the professors accountable,” Brellenthin said.

To create the Enhanced Class Search, faculty, staff and students worked together, Temple said.

“Teams of faculty and students collaborated on this effort under the leadership of the Provost’s Office, which coordinated the work of the Office of Institutional Research, the Office of Information Technology and the Office of the Registrar in this project,” Temple said.

“It was a cross-cutting effort,” Brellenthin said. “It shows how much the University cares about student opinion.”

The Enhanced Class Search can be found in “Class Search” under the Student Academic tab on InsideND, according to the CIF Web site.