By Laura Woodward
Waking up early to beat the rush, constantly refreshing the page with eyes glued to a computer screen describes the struggles that Ryerson students face when trying to select a course on Ryerson’s Administrative Management Self Service (RAMSS).
Students are required to take mandatory courses for their programs, but often need to rearrange their schedule to make all their classes fit in the timetable. A waitlist feature for filled courses is in its initial stages of development for RAMSS to aleviate some of these problems.
The changes are thanks to Jane Wissotsky, a third-year finance student, who suggested the idea on Soapbox about five months ago. “RAMSS should create waiting lists for closed courses.
Once spots open up, students are automatically enrolled,” said Wissotsky on Soapbox. “Other universities (ex: University of Toronto) allow for this and it makes it less stressful to get into a desired course without spending days and hours at the computer hoping to get lucky.” Over 450 students agreed with Wissotsky by “liking” the idea.
Students describe courseswitching hectic, mysterious and decided by “the luck of the draw.”
“I try to avoid course-switching the best I can because it’s so stressful,” said first-year accounting student, Tanner DaRocha.
“It’s all about how good your timing is. Someone who has been trying all day to get into a class might lose their spot to another student who just randomly tried one day and found an open spot.” This issue has also received some feedback from Ryerson officials, who have approved the course waitlist idea and planned to put it into action.
“We are currently consulting with other universities that use the same student administrative system that Ryerson uses,” said Charmaine Hack, university registrar.
“[This] is a critical first step in understanding the technical and practical challenges we can anticipate and prepare for in rolling out this function for Ryerson students,” she said.
The school’s next step is to develop a work plan for the technical setup including any development and testing that may be required and to develop guidelines for how waitlisting will operate from a policy perspective.
“We will need to determine if students will be required to accept or decline a course that becomes available versus being automatically enrolled,” Hack said.
“If students will need to accept the course, how long should they have to decide?” After figuring out the answers to these questions, the school hopes to test the new feature with select courses as early as fall 2014.