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Kuntz: Add/drop system a plus

BY KATIE KUNTZ | NOVEMBER 14, 2012 6:30 AM

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The Registrar’s Office of the released recently a new report explaining to students the many changes we may expect to see on ISIS, the online tool for University of Iowa students to monitor grades, class schedules, financial aid and degree tracks.

Among the most significant change to ISIS is the new method for adding and dropping classes, which will now allow students to add or drop classes without any signatures, just the click of a button.

This new program is a long time coming for the UI, and it will prove beneficial for students and faculty.

For the first five days of the semester, students will be able to change their course schedules without the hassle of waiting in line in the Registrar’s Office and without the permission of their course instructor, all on ISIS.

“I definitely think this new method will be easier,” said Beth Ingram, the UI associate provost for undergraduate education. “I haven’t gotten many comments about it being a concern with faculty, but we did try to get plenty of faculty input.”

Some faculty members feared that without an instructor’s signature, students may add a class without taking the prerequisites, which would be problematic for higher-level class instructors.

“It’s more tricky with adding than with dropping,” Ingram said. “But different departments have worked it out, like the math department requires an access code before a student could add a class to make sure that it’s the right level.”

Both other state Board of Regents’ universities have online resources to add or drop classes during the first few days of classes, and they have had these policies in place for years. UNI has used an online system for around 20 years, as *The Daily Iowan* previously reported.

Next semester’s trial period for using ISIS to add or drop a class will be ideal to help faculty work out any other unforeseeable flaws in the system and will help students quickly manage their schedules so they do not miss any valuable class time that can occur during the first week of class.

“Sometimes, teachers already assign groups, and in more challenging classes, missing the first week could set a student back,” Ingram said.

Students have to add and drop classes for many reasons, and the first week of classes is usually as stressful as any. This update to ISIS will help students manage their schedules much more efficiently and will alleviate some of the first week pressures on both students and faculty.


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