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02 August, 2021

The double-impact for zero-conflict course schedule management

By: Omar Abdulhafiz

vector image about student registration
Across the entire education sector, there two major challenges: Creating a class timetable that is conflict-free, and –particularly in the case of universities and colleges-- resolving any conflicts that may occur during the course registration process. These two challenges are a well-known concerns in both the K-12 as well as on the higher-education levels, although with varying circumstances and magnitude.

Even as students, nearly all of us have been through the struggle of having to register for two courses only to find out that they overlap, or even take place at the exact same time. It is thus no question that this problem causes a hindrance to the overall efficiency and smoothness of the educational process. But how do you solve it?

In short, there are two major interrelated components for efficient and conflict-free course schedule creation and registration management. In this article, we will focus one of them which is the registration system.

And since the scope of this article is not about the various capabilities of registration management systems, it will only focus on the features that enable a conflict-free course schedule management.


What is a registration system?

Toward the beginning of each semester, students typically log on to their university/college website and register for the courses they want to take for that semester. So they open up the course schedule and choose a number of available courses.

Each course may have one or more sections and different timeslots and possibly each section may have a different instructor, so we pick the section most convenient to us.

In short, this is what we mean by the course registration system. And of course, the dashboard that we work with is only the tip of the iceberg, and the system has many more complex components working under the hood.

For the sake clarity and brevity, we will not go too deep into the technical stuff here. However, we will focus on what makes the course registration system as efficient as it can be.


So, what makes an efficient course registration system?

To put it simply, a powerful course registration operates at three main layers, as follows.

  • First, it gives students access to the course schedule and allows them to register for the courses they want.
  • The academic advisor can also access the system in order to guide the students through their registration process.
  • Once the registration is done, the administration can also access the system in order to detect and resolve any issues that arise during or after the registration process.
funnel diagram on course registration


So, as we can see, there are three parties involved here: students, academic advisors, and administrators. As such, a powerful registration management system must provide each of them with a smooth and easy-to-use user dashboard where they can carry out their tasks with ease.

Furthermore, a reliable course management system also needs to offer an automated course management experience. And the automation involves several aspects.

 

Major aspects of automated course registration management

In the context of this article, we will focus on three notable examples.

Conflict prevention

It often happens that a student attempts to take two courses that cannot go together in the same semester for some reason. For example, they could be held on overlapping timeslots. Or, there may be some administrative rule prohibiting these two courses to go together in one semester due to a certain academic necessity.

In this case, the registration system is responsible for automatically detecting this issue and warning the student of it, thus preventing it from happening.
 

Course prerequisite validation

This is one of the most prominent examples of the conflicts that could occur during the registration process that we mentioned above. It happens when a student tries to register for a certain course which has a prerequisite that they have not completed yet. Therefore, the ability of the registration system to automatically prevent this from happening is a very important aspect of automation with course registration management.

Minimum/maximum course limit control

One of the major aspects of automation as far as course registration management is concerned is the ability of the system to automatically warn against cases of exceeding the predetermined maximum limit of a certain course. Likewise, it should also be able to warn us in cases where the minimum limit of students for a certain course has not been reached yet.

These important capabilities will certainly make life a lot easier for the administration as they no longer have to carry out this highly demanding manually anymore. Instead, they will only interfere if and when it is absolutely necessary.

One last question

Before we end this article, one last question comes to mind: But, where do all these courses come from in the first place? How are they generated?

The short answer is: This is where the timetable management system comes in handy!
Want the longer answer? Stay tuned for our upcoming article!

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About ESKADENIA Software

ESKADENIA® Software is a three-time MENA Award Winner & CMMI® level 3 certified company that is active in the design, development and deployment of a range of software products in the Telecom, Insurance, Enterprise, Education, Healthcare, and Internet application areas. The company is based in Jordan and has sales activities in Europe, the Middle East and Africa; more than 85% of its sales are exported to the global market. For more information, visit www.eskadenia.com, or contact us at pr@eskadenia.com.