The Reg Is Dead, Long Live the Reg 2.0
The beta version of the online course registration system of AUBG, informally known as ‘Reg’, will be launched at the end of Spring 2017 semester. In the spirit of innovation laid by re: aubg branding, Centroida, one of the successful AUBG start-up companies, is working on a more reliable and user-friendly Registrar Office system. According to the information provided by Centroida`s team, the final version of the renovated system is planned for the Fall 2017 semester.
“Our innovation priorities are the course registration process, the degree audit and the student transcript functions,” said Tanya Markova, inspector at the AUBG Registrar`s Office. “Our system is successfully used in other American universities, yet, I admit that the registration module is out of date.”
The idea of the personal choice is strongly embedded in the liberal arts education. The pre-registration process is the first contact of students with the variety of curriculum opportunities provided by the American style of education. The pre-registration is not only an important step for the students, but also an essential part of the AUBG history.
The first classes of AUBG undergraduates had paper-based registration. They filled in a form, which had to be submitted to the Registrar`s Office. After 1994 the process was digitalized and only available through the AUBG computer system. Due to the limited number of computers, the process was slow and created queues. A system crash during the preregistration in Fall 2012 semester caused an improvised camp in the Main Building the night before the registration day. Some students spent the night sleeping on the couches and on the floor.
“There was a lot of trouble with the preregistration of the seniors and juniors in my freshmen year,” commented Nikola Nikolov, a fourth-year student, majoring in Computer Science. “Since there was some kind of change in the system, a lot of people spent the night before our first registration in the Main Building, waiting in front of the Registrar`s office. Back then, there weren’t registration times like now, so it was whoever can do it first at 8 a.m. It was horrible.”
The registration system was originally developed back in 2001 as a student project and ever since its launch, its maintenance is performed by the Registrar`s Office staff. One of the main disadvantages of the system is that all the data needs to be manually inputted, which is difficult and time-consuming for the three members of the Registrar`s personnel. Their tasks do not end with the system`s maintenance and the course scheduling. The office is also responsible for the student and faculty portals, GPA calculations, student evaluation system, as well as the Dean`s and the President`s lists for outstanding students.
“Reg is only a small part of our work,” noted Markova. “As professional software it is quite expensive and demanding. The Registrar`s Office is overworked, but we manage to provide an adequate service for the students. The Reg innovation is a huge project, which cost is yet to be estimated and the results will take time. However, if the whole system gets improved, we will have considerably less work.”
Apart from facilitating the Registrar`s Office work, the new reg system will be accessible off-campus – it will benefit the exchange and international students as well. According to Teodor Savov, partner and Software Development Manager at Centroida, the system will be stable enough to endure extreme loads of data. It will make the simultaneous course registration of a larger portion of students possible, thus, solving the problem with the overlapping lectures and registration times.
“In general, Reg 2.0 will streamline the entire process of managing the academic catalog in the registration system,” disclosed Savov. “We will also add online communication between students and professors for requesting permissions.”
This article was prepared by Ana-Maria Tacheva.