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BearWeb system untangles registering for classes

Nov. 3, 1999

Say the term 'guinea pig' and the usual response is, 'Not me. No way.'

However, for the first time ever, being selected as a guinea pig has shown its rewards. Taking part in the trial run of BearWeb, the university's new online registration system, was a pleasure.

Students in 13 departments and schools, ranging from journalism to computer science, were chosen to try BearWeb for Spring 2000 registration. The system proved efficient and reliable and was a great time-saver to students wanting to spend as little time in the process as possible.

After entering the BearWeb system with your BearID and password, various options are available including course registration and the selection optional fees. Although the process for online registration is the same in theory to that of telephone registration, there is one key on a keyboard that a telephone does not have -- backspace. For those used to having to deal with an erroneous keystroke over the phone during registration, the backspace key is quite an invention.

Students using the computer registration are asked to enter each course ID number, which is found beside each course section in the schedule

of classes bulletin. There are enough fields on the registration screen so that a student can enter their entire schedule at once before clicking the 'submit' key. Once the schedule has been submitted, successful class registrations are shown on a table.

If a class section is closed or full, the system indicates a new section must be chosen and the reason why.

After the schedule is final and registration is complete, making changes using the system is easy. Located next to each class on the screen is a drop-down menu allowing classes to be dropped. Simply selecting 'drop' and then clicking 'submit' takes the class off your schedule. It's that easy, plus, for those Baylorites who function better in visual world rather than in an auditory one, seeing the schedule change on a screen is helpful.

The system also has several options for students to print their schedules, including the schedule worksheet view and the regular view accessed through Student Stuff.

In a society where bells and whistles are the norm, BearWeb is a great way to facilitate a chore in the college experience that everyone dreads. Sitting in a computer lab, or at your home PC is much more appealing than standing in a line at Clifton Robinson Tower or getting a busy signal from BearTouch.

Just think-- many alumni can remember a time when registration was as big a hassle as financial settlement is for Baylor students today. Imagine that, standing in long lines four times a year instead of just two.

Is there any chance of financial settlement over the Internet? Let's not press our luck.

Jeff Huett is a senior journalism and business administration major from Montgomery, Ala.