Batch registration ended on April 12, with students building their schedules for the upcoming school year completely virtually.
There were 123,663 requested courses for the Fall 2021 semester, Registrar Keith Gehres said, and 23,972 students received their schedules in the process.
“We were able to complete the batch scheduling process on time and notify students as expected on Wednesday, April 21 with open registration beginning as planned on Thursday, April 22,” Gehres said.
After students received their schedules, they were allowed to make any changes necessary in open registration, enabling them to edit which sections of classes they were in.
Liana Bagel, a junior in the College of Engineering, said scheduling went smoothly for her this semester. She said her course request form allowed her to see which classes she would be getting into right away, which ones she needed to wait for and which ones she would need overrides to take.
“I think the system of the CRF is great as it makes us ensure we are all on track for graduation and it’s great to hear our adviser’s advice,” Bagel said. “At the end of the day, most of the people I know have been able to get into their classes. However, it wasn’t as smooth of a process as when there were ticket times for registering for all our classes.”
Gehres said batch scheduling was integrated to allow the largest number of students to be placed in classes that worked for their schedules.
“The pre-registration and batch scheduling process was used once again for all West Lafayette undergraduate degree seeking students for Fall 2021,” Gehres said. “We continue to focus on maintaining as equitable a process as possible while aligning demand for courses with availability of space.”
Bagel said that while she understood why batch scheduling is used, she preferred her freshman experience when she used time-ticket windows. The pandemic prompted the University to alter the way it enrolls students in courses because many of them have been held virtually.
Time-tickets gave each student a scheduled slot of time during which they could go into Purdue's scheduling software directly and select the exact courses and times for each class. Time-tickets were assigned in order of priority and grade, with those who had priority because of sports or honors first, then seniors down to freshmen, who scheduled their courses last.
With the change to batch scheduling, Bagel felt that the process “lost that personalization factor and more importantly, the prioritization of academic standing.”
“When I was a freshman, I enjoyed logging in during my ticket window and signing up for the classes I wanted, the times that worked out best for me and getting professors I heard good things about,” Bagel said. “I also don’t think it’s fair that the choice of selecting our schedules was taken away from us, considering we are paying a lot of money for these classes and now have to hope space opens up in our preferred sections."
Nick Smith, a freshman in the College of Liberal Arts, said it was difficult to find spaces in classes because they filled up quickly. But he was able to design a satisfactory schedule despite the shortcomings of the new format.
“Some of my friends had issues because multiple classes either filled up or classes had the same time slot,” Smith said. “Overall I feel like it’s a little stressful, but it’s not the end of the world.”
Gehres said students should “indicate alternative courses on the course request form if applicable” to mitigate the issue of enrolling in already full classes. The sooner students submit their request forms, the more likely it is that the Office of the Registrar can work with departments to create more sections of high-demand classes, he said.
“We were able to work with departments across campus during this process to identify and add over 8,000 additional seats to courses based on the demand identified from submitted Course Request Forms,” Gehres said. “This additional capacity was added before we batched schedules, which allowed many more students to receive space in these courses versus having to adjust their schedules during open registration.”