October 29, 2008

PeopleSoft Functions Smoothly

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Yesterday’s CoursEnroll proceeded with no issues, according to David Yeh, vice president for student and academic services. The program allowed more than 2,000 seniors to submit their course requests for the Spring 2009 semester within the first half hour of the enrollment period, he said.
The apparent success of CoursEnroll came as a sigh of relief to students who had experienced bugs and glitches in the program when it was launched in April. The program’s subsequent failure to allow students to add and drop courses earlier this semester caused further distress.
“We learned a lot from our experience in March 2008 when we first went live and applied what we learned for this successful session,” Yeh explained. “We had a better understanding [of] how the system would behave in real production than in a hypothetical test environment.”
Yeh said that when CoursEnroll was launched, there were a number of system-related issues, such as code errors, that did not appear until it went live.
“The website was a little slow throughout, but that’s to be expected,” said Alex Spira-Gutner ’09. “I only had to pre-enroll for a few classes, so I got most of them pretty easily.”
Yeh said that a spike in logins to the system occurred in the first two minutes of CoursEnroll after 6:30 a.m. But after that, “response time dropped to approximately five seconds.”
“Only a handful of students had difficulty with login timing and had to log out and then log back in.”
Some students still voiced frustration with the system.
“The program should definitely allow us to enroll in courses with conflicting time slots,” said Heather Rogers ’09. “Like most students, I like to shop around during the first week of classes and usually want to test out two different classes that are offered at the same time before I decide which to keep and which to drop.”
According to Yeh, the University is still making adjustments to CoursEnroll.
Though students reported no significant issues with the system, Yeh said, “We will be making daily assessments … During the first year of any information system’s implementation, there are many refinements as we complete each cycle of each area’s business processes.”