A new system called Registration Override Request (ROR) is being implemented within some departments at Miami University as a waitlist for class scheduling. This system will compensate for the previous force-add procedures.
Previously, force-add protocols varied among all Miami departments, which confused students and required professors to manually accept or deny students' class requests. The university registrar, Mandy Euen, thought that this process led to miscommunication between professors and students and allowed for too much bias on the part of professors.
University provost Phyllis Callahan and senior vice president of enrollment management and student success Michael Kabbaz, pushed for the implementation of a single process for registration that would allow students to request placement in closed or otherwise inaccessible classes.
With consultation from the University Registrar, Euen and two teams of Information Technology Services developers began Phase I of the ROR project in January 2017 and concluded in October 2017.
Phase I entailed the initial use of the tool, but after a student was accepted into a class, the departmental reviewers had to manually enroll students in the course on Bannerweb.
Following the feedback, Euen worked with the two teams in the Information Technology Services to implement Phase II, which launched in September 2018 and concluded in March 2019. Phase II included the implementation of a button that automatically enrolls a student into a course from the application.
A few departments volunteered to pilot the program, including computer science and engineering, theatre, history and music.
Each department utilizing ROR must have departmental reviewers to assess class enrollment requests. These reviewers are usually the chairs of the department that houses classes in which the student desires to enroll.
The management of class requests shifts from individual faculty members to an authorized department reviewer to provide more transparency and fairness in enrollment with the use of ROR, Euen said.
Submitting a ROR request authorizes the departmental reviewer to access the student's Degree Audit Report System (DARS) information and class schedule to assist in determining the student's needs for the requested course.
Euen believes that the ROR system keeps a human touch while also allowing for a better decision-making tool for class enrollment based on facts, academic records and undergraduate status. Each department using ROR has its own timeline for when it decides to manage class requests.
"Students must understand that ROR is a tool to manage and process course enrollment more holistically than in the past," Julia Guichard, a professor and chair of the theatre department, said.
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For students to better understand the ROR process, the developers inserted a help button that is accessible while requesting classes with the ROR system. Students are able to view the departments and courses that are involved in the ROR system, as well as hints for the ROR request process. In order to access these helpful tips, students must press the question mark beside the ROR information on the top of the webpage.
Junior Sarah Baumgarther used ROR to enroll into ENG 407 for fall 2019 because she wasn't able to enroll into the class during her registration period.
Baumgarther needed the class to fulfill her English requirement for her strategic communication and professional writing double major, but she was also interested in the subject.
"The application is pretty straight forward; finding it was the hard part. I had to go find an email that detailed how to use ROR because there weren't any clear instructions anywhere else," Baumgather said "But once I applied it became a waiting game. And luckily I got into the class I needed before I needed to stress about being able to graduate on time."
All university departments will either use the ROR application or Banner Waitlist for all student force-add requests beginning November 2019 for Spring 2020 class registration.
Banner Waitlist operates on a first come, first serve basis when a class becomes available, which only gives students 24 hours to register for the class in Bannerweb before the seat offer expires.
Banner Waitlist requires students to be fully eligible for the course in order to join the waitlist, meaning they must have completed all prerequisites and fulfilled major requirements.
Mark Morris, the assistant chair and chief departmental advisor in political science, decided to abstain from the use of ROR after a year of implementing it to ensure easier enrollment in the political science department's abundance of courses for their limited departmental reviewers.
Morris said that departments that have large numbers, like political science, find that ROR is relatively challenging to use with the abundance of course requests, and opt for Banner Waitlist.