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Round 2a of Grinnell’s new registration process (#1210)

Topics/tags: Registration, rambly

I didn’t proofread/edit this musing, either.

Today was round 2a of Grinnell’s new registration process. Seniors who were cut from courses had the option to bring their schedule back up to nine credits, on a first-come, first-served basis.

I got up early to see how my advisees were doing. I was a bit surprised to see that the cuts had not been made as of 6:55 a.m. Or at least it looked like the cuts had not been made; many classes were still over-enrolled. They remained that way through at least 8:00 a.m. It appears that making the cuts was not quite as easy as had been expected. Or maybe it was just more time-consuming. Or perhaps I just misunderstood the plans.

I certainly misunderstood the wait-list process. I had thought that students were not able to add themselves to wait lists until Round 3. But it looks like anyone could add themselves to wait lists today. Not many students appear to have done so yet. It’s hard to tell, since wait-list counts don’t appear in the standard report on course offerings [1]. However, you can see them in the search schedule of courses tool [2]. I’m too lazy to try to do that for every department, though. I’m even too lazy to write a script to automate that process.

What happened with my advisees? I have approximately fifteen advisees [3,4], twelve of whom registered for Spring 2023. Two of them got cut from a course. In both cases, it was a course they wanted to take for their major. I’d anticipated the cut for one student. The other one was a tossup. Both are now on the waiting list, but thinking about other options.

I’m happy to see that my third-years who wanted a particular CS course (but only one CS course) were able to get the courses they wanted. My seniors are in courses necessary for graduation. And it looks like the seniors, at least, will be able to get the remaining courses in round 3.

I’m surprised by some of the enrollments in the broader schedule. For example, I would have expected more students in both Country Music class and Broadway Theatre. I expect there are some strange things going on in students seeing that a course is not heavily enrolled and therefore leaving it to round 3.

What classes would I try to take if I were a student? Certainly those two courses. Karla Erickson’s SOC-295-03, Sociology of Robots and AI, if only to cause problems in the class [6]. However, it’s at 8:00 a.m. and I’d like to sleep in more. Oooh! There’s also a Sociology special topics on Social Network Analysis, SOC-305-02, Social Network Analysis. That’s at a better time (Tuesday/Thursday, 1:00-2:20). But I probably don’t have the prereqs and it’s probably not a good idea for me to sit in an early-career faculty member’s class. I always like taking art courses. Strangely, ART-134, Drawing, has an opening. However, I expect it’s for a particular class year. ART/FMS-155, Introduction to Film Studies, has the same topic as the five or so film studies classes I took as an undergraduate and young graduate student, but I’m pretty sure Film Studies has changed significantly since the 1980’s [7]. And I think taking intro film studies puts me on the path to taking ART/FMS-395, Documentary, class, which includes course-embedded travel (to Peru this year). GWS-111, Introduction to Gender, Women’s, and Sexuality Studies, is always on my list of courses to take. And the Capulet course on Queering Digital Humanities (GWS-295-01) also sounds cool. As long as we’re in GWSS, GWS-195, Living Well Cross-Culturally, also sounds interesting, if only to take a class from those faculty members.

Damn! I know that there were others on my list. Ah, I remember. I have long-standing plans to take LIN-114, Introduction to Linguistics, especially so that I can understand my children. And SST-295, Considering Student Success sounded interesting. But this is not a year to take courses, even while on leave. Oh well, maybe another year. Maybe when I move to SFS.

And, in reality, the most important class for me to sign up for right now is on e or more of the PE activity classes.

Enough about me. Let’s move on to the data! It’s now about 7:00 p.m. Enrollments do not seem to have changed in the pasts hour; at least the report I can get hasn’t changed. I’m guessing most of the seniors have made their changes. What’s happened, beyond cutting classes to capacity?

Let’s start with the classes that filled today.

  • ART-242-01, Sculpture, is now full at 15/15 (it was 14/15).
  • CSC-326-01, Software Development Leadership with Lab is full at 0/0. Read about CSC-324-01 below for more details.
  • CSC-341-01, Automata, Formal Languages, and Computational Complexity, is now full at 20/20. It was at 19/20. I expect that one of the students cut from CSC-301 (seven students), CSC-312 (four students), or CSC-324 (eleven students) added this. But it was a senior! Presumably, if they needed this, they would have enrolled already. I’m so confused.
  • MAT-218-01, Elementary Number Theory, went from 19/20 to 20/20.
  • PHY-234L-01, Mechanics Lab, went from 11/12 to 12/12. How can someone register for lab but not the course? Ah! It appears that one of the students was enrolled in the course but not the lab. At least I think. I’m having trouble counting at this time of night [9].

Some classes were cut, but remained over their cap. I’m not sure why. Let’s chalk it up to instructor generosity.

  • BIO-340-01, Aquatic Biology with Lab, went from 22/12 to 14/12.
  • BIO-375-01, Principles of Pharmacology with Lab, went from 17/12 to 13/12.
  • CHM-210L-01, Inorganic and Analytical Chemistry Lab, went from 19/16 to 20/24. I suppose raising the cap is a strategy to deal with high enrollments.
  • CHM-210L-02, Inorganic and Analytical Chemistry Lab, went from 14/16 to 15/24. Fascinating.
  • CSC-324-01, Software Design and Development with Lab, went from 31/16 to 20/20. Since CSC-324 and CSC-326 are co-located, we cap the total between the two classes at 20, and no one enrolled in CSC-326. I think we discouraged such enrollment.
  • ECN-295-02, Industrial Organization, went from 30/25 to 26/25.
  • POL/PST-220-01, Foundations of Policy Analysis, went from 27/25 to 26/25. It must suck to be the one student cut.
  • STA-395-01, Introduction to Machine Learning, went from 26/24 to 25/24. Ditto.

Some dropped below capacity.

  • I assume because of the interesting class-year policies for ART-134-01, Drawing, there’s now one open space. I wonder what class year it’s for.
  • ECN-286, Econometrics, went from 20/20 to 19/20.
  • MUS-219-01, Electronic Music, went from 14/12 to 11/12.

One new class was added.

  • WIL-110-01, Spark Challenge. Shouldn’t that be SPARK Challenge? I thought SPARK was an acronym.

And here are the rest.

  • One student enrolled in ANT-103-03, Anthropological Inquiries.
  • Two students unenrolled from ANT/GWS-195-01, Living Well Cross-Culturally. Why?
  • One student enrolled in ANT-295-03, Human Osteology.
  • BCM-262-02, Introduction to Biological Chemistry with Lab, added three students. Presumably, those were three seniors cut from the class (out of eight cut altogether). Don’t worry, there are still 12 slots left in section 2.
  • Two of the sections of BCM-262L, Introduction to Biological Chemistry Lab, added students, presumably students cut from BCM-262L-03 (Thursday, 1:00-3:50 p.m.). Section 1 (Tuesday, 1:00-3:50 pm) went from 4/12 to 5/12. Section 4 (Friday, 1:00-3:50 p.m.) went from 8/12 to 10/12. I wonder if those were the three seniors who had to switch BCM-262.
  • BIO-252-01, Organisms, Evolution, and Ecology with Lab, went from 13/24 to 14/24, presumably in response to the cutting of nine students from BIO-252-03.
  • BIO-252-02, Organisms, Evolution, and Ecology with Lab, went from 17/24 to 18/24.
  • BIO-345-01, Advanced Genetics with Lab, went from 8/18 to 7/18. That seems backwards. Perhaps someone needed to rearrange their schedule to deal with another cut.
  • BIO-345L-02, Advanced Genetics Lab, went from 5/10 to 4/10. Presumably, this is the same student who dropped BIO-345 for unknown reasons.
  • BIO-395-01, Cell and Molecular Biology with Lab, went from 7/12 to 8/12. Perhaps that’s the student who dropped BIO-345.
  • CHM-210-02, Inorganic and Analytical Chemistry with Lab, went from 16/24 to 18/24. Where did those students come from? I don’t see evidence that section 1 changed. Perhaps some Biological Chemistry students decided to do non-biological Chemistry.
  • I’m not quite sure I understand all of the changes to CHM-222, Organic Chemistry II w/lab. Section 1 went from 18/24 to 20/24, an addition of two students. Section 2 went from 33/24 to 24/24, an expected cut. Section 3 went from 33/24 to 23/24. Why is there now a space open? Perhaps a student switched to section 1 because of another cut.
  • The Organic Chem labs changed, too. Well, all but section 1. Section 2 (Tuesday, 8:00-10:50 a.m.) went from 11/20 to 12/20. Section 3 (Tuesday, 1:00-3:50) went from 33/20 to 21/20. Yeah, I should have listed that in the "still over-enrolled section. But it fit better here. Section 4 went from 28/20 to 20/20 Section 5 (Friday 1:00-3:50 PM) went from 4/20 to 5/20. While there are fewer options for the third0years, it doesn’t look too bad.
  • The two sections of CHM-363L, Physical Chemistry I Lab, both changed. Section 1 went from 3/12 to 4/12. Section 2 went from 12/12 to 10/12. How did we lose one student from lab, but not from the corresponding class? I’m not sure.
  • CHM-364-01, Physical Chemistry II with Lab went from 1/12 to 2/12. I wonder what course this student was dropped from. I’m also surprised that students didn’t think they needed to register in round 1. Doesn’t this usually fill?
  • CSC-151-03, Functional Problem Solving with Lab went from 8/24 to 9/24. It looks like we can fit seniors in the class, at least for the time being.
  • ECN-111-01, Introduction to Economics, went from 3/26 to 4/26.
  • ECN-111-04, Introduction to Economics, went from 4/26 to 5/26.
  • ECN-205-03, Behavioral Economics, went from 12/26 to 15/26. I assume the three new students are from Industrial Economics.
  • ECN-372-01, Seminar in Economic Development, went from 1/12 to 2/12. I’m confused by this. Since enrollment in the Econ seminars is predetermined, there’s no reason to register for them in round 1. Perhaps the Econ department should eject these students from the major for failing to understand how to manage systems.
  • ENG-205-02, The Craft of Fiction, went from 12/15 to 13/15. I assume that’s the one student cut from section 1.
  • FRN-102-01,Introduction to French II, went from 0/24 to 1/24. I assume we’ll see this increase quickly in round 3.
  • I’m too lazy to record the various changes to FYE-100, Grinnell’s First-Year Experience" course. I’m also confused as to why there were changes to FYE, since it’s only open to first-year students.
  • GLS/RUS-105-01, Russian Fairy Tale and Children’s Literature went from 6/25 to 7/25. I’d told one of my advisees to keep track of this course; I assumed it would fill in round one.
  • GWS-295-01, Queering Digital Humanities, went from 13/20 to 14/20. I hope there will still be room for me. [8]
  • HUM/SST-120-01, Introduction to Material Culture Studies, went from 5/12 to 6/12.
  • LIN-395-01, Experimental Linguistics, went from 5/15 to 6/15.
  • MAT-322-01, Algebraic Graph Theory, went from 8/12 to 9/12.
  • MUS-101-06, Grinnell Symphony Orchestra, went from 11/50 to 10/50.
  • PCS 295-01, Post-Conflict Pathways, went from 5/20 to 6/20. I hope that all the members of Congress enroll in this course.
  • PHI-111-01, Introduction to Philosophy, went from 6/25 to 7/25.
  • PHI-121-02, Philosophy for Life, went from 10/25 to 12/25. As I’ve said before, I’m always happy to see students registering for Philosophy.
  • PHI-233-01, History of Early Modern Philosophy, went from 12/22 to 13/22.
  • PHI-285-01, Philosophy of Language and Cognition, went from 5/22 to 6/22.
  • PHY-131-02, General Physics I with Lab, went from 13/24 to 12/24.
  • PHY-337-01, Optics and Wave Phenomena with Lab, went from 8/18 to 9/18.
  • PHY-337L-01, Optics and Wave Phenomena Lab, went from 6/12 to 7/12.
  • PHY-337L-02, Optics and Wave Phenomena Lab, went from 5/12 to 6/12. How can we have 13 enrolled in lab but only nine in the course? I have no idea.
  • PSY-233-01, Developmental Psychology with Lab, went from 12/25 to 13/25.
  • REL-228-01, Gods of Bollywood, went from 3/20 to 4/20.
  • SOC-255-01, Sociology of Asian America, went from 8/22 to 9/22. Was this one of the ten students cut from SOC-285, Contemporary Sociological Theory? Probably.
  • SOC-295-02, Sexuality, Gender, Race, and Environment, went from 13/25 to 14/25. I have a similar hypothesis here.
  • SOC-295-03, Sociology of Robots and AI, went from 17/25 to 18/25. I assume this course will fill soon.
  • SST-295-03, Data Wrangling for Non-Programmers, went from 2/30 to 3/30.
  • STA-209-03, Applied Statistics, went from 7/26 to 6/26. Strange. I would have assumed that students cut from the other section would have added this.
  • WIL-210-01, Learning from Alumni, went from 0/30 to 1/30. I remember when this course had a capacity of 80 or so. Smaller is probably better.

What have I learned from all this? I’ve learned that I’m not going to attempt this on every day of round 2. It feels like a lot of pointless work.

I’ve learned that classes with separate labs don’t necessarily have to have matched registrations right now. That confuses me.

I’ve learned that there are a few generous faculty who increase capacity in some cases. I’ll probably be one of those faculty when I’m back from leave. However, I’m not sure it’s a good idea to increase capacities. We set capacities for a reason.

I’ve learned that I don’t understand numbers at this point. There are a lot of amazing classes left that I assume will fill in round 3.

I’ve learned that students don’t completely understand the system.

I’ve learned that our various systems for reporting enrollment numbers don’t match. For example, if I look up CSC-312 in Search Schedule of Courses, I see that it’s over-enrolled by one with a wait list of one. But if I look in our course offerings report, I see that it’s full, but not over-enrolled. If I look under the Course Plan screen for a student on SelfService, I see that it has a wait list of four.

I look forward to learning more.

[1] Only available to people with GrinCo accounts.

[2] Open to everyone, I think.

[3] Why approximately? I still have one who is dropping the CS major and who has another advisor. I have one who has not yet declared a major. I also have one who is on leave and, therefore, doesn’t appear on my official list of advisees. The one dropping the CS major doesn’t need advice; the other two do.

[4] Why do I have fifteen advisees while on leave? That’s a good question. I’m pretty sure it’s a bad idea for me, but we lack advising resources. I know that some departments have their faculty keep advisees while on leave and other departments drop them. Perhaps Council should establish consistent policies. It would also be nice to see Curriculum Committee establish caps on the number of students a faculty member advises; that seems as much of an equity issue as, say, the number of MAPs we can advise [5].

[5] Am I a curmudgeon? Yes.

[6] Just joking, Karla. I love your insights on these issues and think we could have some productive discussions.

[7] Damn. I’m old.

[8] I’m only semi-serious. I don’t really have time to audit this spring. And there’s a question about auditing classes taught by ECF. Still, I’m pretty sure that Prof. Montague has the chutzpah to respond to my comments.

[9] It’s now 8:30 p.m. I’m old [10].

[10] It appears I’ve said that already.

Version 1.0 of 2022-11-08.