Soapbox: Registration times should not fall during class hours

With registration week coming to a close, an issue that surfaces every year has once again come to light. Should registration times really be scheduled during regular class hours? I would argue that having students register during class hours is distracting, stressful and takes away from the classroom learning environment.

When students have to register in the middle of their classes, they are not focused on the material at hand. They are instead watching the time, checking class availability and spending time on their computers registering. While registration usually doesn’t take very long, if the classes students want are available, it is still a distraction from the content and class discussion. This can affect professors, as well, who want to be accommodating to students but don’t want to sacrifice too much of their teaching time.

Registration is also stressful for students, which can be even more distracting. If a student is worried about getting into the classes they need and want to take, they are emotionally focused on a separate situation from what is happening in their current class. If registration doesn’t go smoothly for a student, they will be even less focused on their class and more focused on their future schedules.

Having these small interruptions in the middle of class can detract from the overall learning environment of the classroom. Students mentally ducking in and out could draw away from the focus of a discussion or the flow of a professor’s lecture. If registration times were moved, classes could continue to operate as normal during registration week.

One possible solution would be to schedule more registration times in the late afternoon and evenings, although this could present some conflicts with work schedules, sports practices and rehearsals. Another approach could be to address the stress students feel about registration, so that even if they have to register during class, it is not as big of a distraction.

There are some complications to changing the registration process, but it should be noted that having registration times during normal class hours is distracting and stressful for both students and professors. Going forward, this should be kept in mind when looking at registration and when considering any possible changes to the operation.

One response to “Soapbox: Registration times should not fall during class hours”

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