Students struggle with new COC online registration

by Taylor Villanueva 882 views0

As the spring semester approaches, College of the Canyons students are registering for a new set of courses, but difficulties with the college’s website have made it time consuming for students to register for classes.

One of these difficulties includes Datatel that will be down for emergency maintenance Jan. 11 at 8 a.m. The temporary shutdown is meant to improve the “system’s ability to handle the spring registration load,” according to College of the Canyons’ Technology and Online Services Department. This shutdown should not interfere with any set registration times.

Other difficulties include a hardware problem and the high capacity of students registering at the same time. Many College of the Canyons students have shown their frustration with the registration process.

Regardless of having one of the earlier registration dates, student Samara Gideon felt the effect of the website’s high traffic volume.

“The site took two to five minutes to load a page,” Gideon said. “Registering is a lot worse this semester than it has been in the past.”

Dr. Barry Gribbons, Vice President of Institutional Development and Technology at College of the Canyons, says that the school’s server is relatively quick compared to most.

“At most colleges our size, the online processes take a couple minutes even with a very light system load,” Gribbons explained. “At College of the Canyons, we’ve been able to optimize those processes so that they only take a second or two under normal load … (and) we continue to be committed to eliminate any system delays for our students.”

But what exactly is keeping the system from it’s optimal load time of a couple seconds? Gribbons says that there are three main things that were the likely cause of the slow server.

“One is a hardware issue. We have a new part ordered that should be in by Saturday.”

The new part is expected to clear up some of the registration site’s traffic, and more hardware changes are anticipated to be put into place before Summer 2014 registration. However, the hardware issue is only 20 percent of the problem according to Gribbons.

“There are certain days where the load is highest based on the number of people registering. This week had a couple of those days.” Gribbons explained.

At least seven more high capacity days are expected for this registration season.

The third issue relies on the fact that so many students are constantly trying to login to the website at the same time.

“We sent out an email for students to register in the morning when there is usually not a heavy load of site traffic,” Gribbons said. “But I guess a lot of students got the email and took the advice because that’s when the site was the busiest.”

To prevent this problem as much as possible, members of the school’s technology and online services department have been limiting faculty access so that students will have an easier time logging on to MyCanyons.

To avoid the expected rush of registration time, some students researched the course codes before their allotted registration dates.

“I searched for all of my classes back in December,” said Jessica Boyer, College of the Canyons student. “I had all of my codes to add the classes ready to go because I knew the website would be super slow, so I just put all of the codes in at once instead of searching.”

To simplify the process of searching for classes on a busy server, the technology and online services department has also added a PDF file that shows a list of available courses. The list is updated every morning as a way for students to search for course sections prior to their registration time.

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