A year ago, the University of Miami launched CaneLink – just in time to throw students for a loop as they registered for the upcoming semester’s classes.
Students expressed dissatisfaction with the portal when it came out, and have continued to do so, but it seems that little has changed. The supposedly improved registration software has done everything but improve the student experience.
The poorly designed user interface is still confusing to navigate. Scrolling through strangely sorted drop-down menus or poking around for a hidden button is our only solution so far. A permanent fix would be to redesign the website – and, if that’s not possible, perhaps consider another model altogether.
We propose that students take an active role and voice their concerns with the university’s Information Technology (IT) Department. And at the same time, IT should gather the necessary research and poll students on what is troubling them.
Though this may not be feasible before students register for classes April 7, the university should begin to plan for spring 2015 and beyond. April will mark the third time students use CaneLink without noticeable improvements.
Although CaneLink introduced a few features to facilitate course registration – like the “shopping cart,” allowing students to select classes before their registration appointment time, and the ability to be on a wait list – it has introduced more complications than not.
For a system implemented to centralize services online, university employees still use myUM to view paychecks. (MyUM was the perfectly functional student portal we were forced to abandon for the glorious promise of CaneLink.)
Still another frustrating feature has been that not all majors and programs have requirements on CaneLink. Likewise, some classes are not reflected as fulfilling requirements for certain degrees.
The major issue for students is the lack of listed prerequisites. This wasn’t even a feature at first, leading students to register for classes they didn’t belong in. Some courses now list prerequisites, but not enough.
Beyond these issues are technical errors. How many times did you refresh your screen after a “login failure” notice? How about when CaneLink doesn’t let you add a course you’re absolutely eligible for?
UM paid Oracle PeopleSoft to create CaneLink. Although it’s too late to revert back to myUM, the university should develop services with students in mind. That doesn’t seem to be the case here, given the learning curve it takes to register for courses – a counterintuitive process for an educational facility.
Editorials represent the majority view of The Miami Hurricane editorial board.