NOVO registration replaces DART
Catherine Owers | Wednesday, August 26, 2015
In an email to students Aug. 19, University registrar Chuck Hurley announced the former class registration system known as DART would be replaced by NOVO registration, which stands for “new organization via online registration.”
Hurley said a number of new features designed to make the registration process easier for students, and the class search feature has been replaced by a feature in NOVO registration called “browse classes.”
“‘Browse classes’ has a whole different way to cut the data that didn’t exist before in class search,” he said. “One of the things for example, is that there is a keyword search. So if you search a word like ‘technology,’ any class in any discipline with the word ‘technology’ in the class title or description will pop up.”
The NOVO registration system also includes enhanced error messaging, Hurley said.
“In the DART system the error messaging could be quite cryptic. People didn’t always understand why they were receiving an error. You only received one error message at a time, which was a big pain,” he said. “In NOVO registration, it allows it to display all the error messages at once, and they give get a much more robust explanation. Additionally, within that, it shows more options at the top, so if you’re taking a class with five sections, you can see all the sections.”
A conditional add/drop feature in NOVO registration also improves upon the DART system by allowing students to switch classes more easily, Hurley said.
“When you’re in registration, there’s a box in the lower right-hand corner that says ‘conditional add/drop,’” he said. “When you wanted to swap classes in DART, you couldn’t. You had to drop a class, and then try to add a new class in. If you didn’t get the new class and tried to go back to the old class, your spot could be taken. … [Now] you can put in the old class, put in the new class, check the box for conditional add/drop, and it will allow you to or give you an error message.”
Hurley said they discussed and tested a new planner feature with student government that has not been implemented and will not be available for registration in November, but could be available in the spring of 2016.
“The planner feature is a very nice feature, it allows you to go and build a schedule beforehand, and when your registration time comes, you submit that schedule,” he said. “ … We’re working with the software manufacturer on that and we’ll do more testing with students on that this fall.”
Hurley said the DART system came into use and was named after a student contest in the 1980s, and that they felt a new registration software called for a new name and issued a call for submissions.
“We had 384 entries for suggestions of new names, and a student named Erin Hughes won the contest,” he said. “We had several members of the registrar’s office as well as several members of student leadership, student government, and ‘NOVO’ kept floating up to the top of the list for the preponderance of the people. ‘Novo’ also means ‘new’ in Latin, so it seemed pretty straightforward from there.”
Hurley said the initiative to find a new registration system for the University came from last year’s student government.
“The top two changes they really asked for were one, some kind of new class search, and the other change was to upgrade registration itself,” he said. “The first discussions took place late last fall, and it was really throughout the spring semester into the early summer that this testing took place.”
Hurley said the Office of the Registrar is very grateful to the student government and the students who participated in the testing of new software.
“It’s so much better for everybody when we have students who are willing to participate,” he said. “ … Last year, we really asked for student senate to provide us with sophomores and juniors, so that we had some continuity and when we came back this we would have a group of juniors and seniors looking at it, and then the following year a group of seniors who have been around for a three year cycle and can see all the changes that have taken place.
“That had not occurred in the past, when we had seniors who were involved, but then we lost that continuity. … We have a real advantage coming back this year in terms of continuity.”
Hurley said he believes the NOVO registration system is very intuitive and user friendly, but a training session will be offered on Thursday in 131 DeBartolo Hall from 3:30-4:30pm for students who are interested in learning more. He encourages any students with questions or difficulty using the system to contact the Office of the Registrar.