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By Maurice Cacho

Stupefied students are now making their course selections online at my.ryerson.ca.

But even after attending info seminars, Christine Smit, a first-year Arts and Contemporary Studies student, found the new process confusing.

“I like that you can do it online because you can do it in any country, but it’s kind of annoying that they make up a new numerical code for each course,” she said. “It needs to be made user-friendly.”

Ryerson’s long-awaited switch to an electronic course selection process comes relatively late compared to most other Canadian universities.

The system Ryerson uses, PeopleSoft, is also used by the University of Waterloo and the University of Western Ontario. Jeff Henry graduated from Waterloo’s computer engineering program and has worked with PeopleSoft’s rival company, Siebel.

He said the problem with the system is that students need to go back and forth between each course selection, and they can only register during certain times.

“The senseless layers of navigation are confusing. (Siebel) placed all of their’s on the same page,” said Henry. Alex Dumitrache, a third-year Applied Chemistry and Biology student, agrees.

He found the search engine only worked for course codes, not the course descriptions. “It’s not that great, you always have to go back and forth (between pages),” he said.

Registrar Keith Alnwick expected there to be problems in the beginning, but it was time to replace the previous 20-year-old system of pencilling in bubbles on scantron sheets.

The new Ryerson Administrative Management Self Service will offer grading, timetables and course selection, and eventually provide an automated academic adviser service.

It will also tell students what courses they still need to graduate. Alnwick wouldn’t disclose how much the new system cost, because “the price tag continues to evolve.”

Students can expect to see their schedules online sometime in August, at which time they can make changes to their timetable.

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