January 28, 2002 Vol. VI, No. 9

ITRıs new Class Schedule Planning System is making it easier for Northridge students to create personalized class schedules via the web. From left to right are Bob Stark, ITR director of application development; Phil Chan, project manager; and Michael Lazar, the web developer who created the program.

Web Registration Feature Offers Customized Class Schedules

Students Can Select Desired Courses and Time Constraints, and Online Program Will Do the Rest

Registering for classes at Cal State Northridge has just gotten a whole lot easier, starting with the spring 2002 semester.

University officials have launched a new web registration system, billed as the only one of its kind in the country, that can tailor studentsı class schedules to their work and personal needs with the touch of a button.

"What we have put together is a program that allows students to give us a list of the courses they want to take, and whatever time restrictions they want, and the program will come up with as many alternative class schedules as it can find that meet studentsı needs," said Bob Stark, director of application development in the Information Technology Resources division.

"The students can review all the alternatives, find the one they like, hit a button, and they are registered for those classes with a guaranteed seat," Stark said. The new system, available to students through the universityıs web portal at my.csun.edu, is getting its first test this semester with registration for spring classes.

Northridge students have the option of registering for classes on the web or by using a touch-tone telephone. Those choosing to register on the web now have the additional option of using the new Class Schedule Planning System to meet their specific scheduling needs.

"With almost no publicity, we had more than 1,200 individual students use the scheduling program during the month of December alone," Stark said.

Student Tracy Talaid, a senior majoring in communications studies, said she was "wowed" as the new system was being demonstrated. "Itıs an excellent program that caters to studentsı needs, especially if they need to schedule classes around their work schedules," Talaid said.

Stark said the idea grew out of suggestions made by students in a CSUN computer engineering class last year. "They had a good idea, but what they proposed was too complicated and didnıt go far enough," he said.

University web developers then created a program that tapped into the universityıs schedule of classes and, at the same time, is able to monitor when a class is full and no longer available for enrollment.

"It was inevitable that somebody would eventually come up with something like this," said the programıs designer, ITR staffer Michael Lazar. "Computer geeks at colleges across the country have been dreaming of creating something that would make getting your classes easier. I know I did. The problem was, in school, I didnıt have access to all the university information, and I didnıt have time to do it."

Stark and Lazar said they ran the system by a couple of student focus groups before it was launched to get student feedback, and will continue to monitor how the system is used so they can continue to refine it as student use grows. They are also in the process of copyrighting the system.

@csun | January 28, 2002 issue
Public Relations | University Advancement
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