Even with the tweaks made to UAccess over the last several years, the university’s course registration system continues to struggle when it’s time to sign up for classes.
The system crashed on Oct. 22 during the registration slot for juniors, and stayed down for about 10 to 15 minutes.
“Registration is always terrible, because so many people are trying to get on right at 6 [a.m.],” said Jeff Moeser, an undeclared junior. “It lags out, it’s always just going down, it says it can’t connect and it takes forever to load. You have to get lucky, otherwise all your classes will fill up.”
The current version of registration in UAccess has been up since March of 2010, according to Nikolas Glazier Hodge, an assistant director of capabilities delivery for student/academic initiatives with University Information Technology Services, adding that while there have been a number of small upgrades, changes and tweaks to the registration process since then.
These changes have included upgrades to the system itself, as well as alterations to UAccess’ interface in order to make the website more user-friendly, according to Glazier Hodge.
More specifically, changes have been made to the course catalog and schedule of classes, and further upgrades of those aspects are in development. Updates to the class waitlists are also being worked on.
The changes were made in reponse to student feedback from forums, Glazier Hodge said, and that UITS monitors Twitter and Facebook to learn when students experience problems with registration. This has allowed UITS to become aware of the problems with registration that occurred on Oct. 22, she said.
“At this time, we are investigating the performance issue and planning to augment our server resources in order to improve the student registration experience.”
She also said that the senior business analyst team at UITS will meet with Associated Students of the University of Arizona President Katy Murray to form a student panel with the goal of improving the registration process.
Glazier Hodge said she encourages students to contact UITS whenever they encounter a problem.
“As the performance issues were discovered mostly through Twitter and Facebook, I want to strongly urge students experiencing degradation in performance to please take a moment to contact our 24/7 office so that that they might notify UITS immediately,” she said, “And we can respond in an expeditious manner.”