Biology Dept. pilot list program

Enrolling in popular classes at Washburn may become easier for students thanks to a new pilot program being tested by the biology department.

The Banner Wait List Module will begin testing by the department in the summer and fall 2012 semesters, and the program will make it easier for students and administrators to track demand and enrollment for classes.

Previously, students could not register online for classes that were at capacity and individual departments needed to manually keep track of waiting lists. This process became a hassle for many students and administrators which led to the development of the BWLM.

“It was definitely a need for our department,” said Wendy Stafford, biology department secretary. “For example, at one point before the spring 2012 semester, we had 60 students that were waiting to get into classes, and I had to keep track of this manually, so there were days where I didn’t do anything but work on the wait lists.”

While students may not notice the changes immediately, there are a few differences to look out for. Previously, students could only see the capacity of a class and the number of students enrolled in the online course catalog. With the new changes in place, students will now be able to see whether a course offers a waitlist and how many students are before them in line, should they choose to sign up.

“They did a really good job designing this program and providing instructions,” said Jeannie Cornelius, academic adviser. “I walked a student through signing up to be on the waitlist, and it worked perfectly. Also, it’s pretty cool that when a student prints out their schedule, it will show the class that they are on a wait list for and reserves that time.”

The wait lists are first-come, first-serve, and students will be notified by email to enroll in the class or remove their names from the wait list. However, time is limited as they will only be given 72 hours during advanced registration and 24 hours during open registration to enroll in the class or be removed from the wait list.

As with any rollout of a new program, the Biology department has encountered a few issues and is still fine tuning the system.

“We’re still working a few kinks out in the system, but overall, it has worked really well so far, and we’re happy to have it,” said Stafford.