Piazza Makes Course Registration Easier

This article was created by a Technology Services student employee. Our student employees attend, engage, and report on campus events that feature technology. Students provide a unique perspective on how innovations in technology affect campus life.

By Noah Malmed, Computer Science '15

Class registration is here. For most students, this is a time of stress. It’s a time where you see the class you need to take fill up before you can even register. It’s a time where students really start to reflect on their future at the University.

Fortunately there are heroes to provide guidance through these trying times. Advisors, of course, are there to help students figure out which classes they should take and when they should take them.

The only issue with this approach is that there tends to be a bottleneck of students wanting to see their advisors around registration time and during the beginning of the semester. 

For example, the Computer Science advising team only meets with Computer Science majors, as opposed to people trying to enter the major, during the first week of classes.

Due to this bottleneck period, advisors cannot fully provide the support that they are there to provide.

That is why the Computer Science department has started a Piazza board for advising questions that students may have.

For those unfamiliar, Piazza is an online question/announcement board that is free to use.

Above: The Piazza board for CS advising. Image courtesy of piazza.com.

It is very popular in the Computer Science department. In fact, almost every Computer Science class I’ve taken used Piazza to field questions from students and broadcast announcements from professors.

Piazza works great with large classes because it lowers the number of repeat questions asked and allows for other students to answer questions.  This, in turn, takes the load off of a strained course staff.

Browsing through other student’s questions on piazza has personally saved me many times while working on a homework assignment at the last minute.

Piazza allows for the community to filter out the easier, more frequent questions, while the people in charge can work on the more unique questions that students may have.

Piazza also allows for students to ask questions directly to other students. This is great for the advising department because it offers a new service.

Earlier today I eased a poster’s worries about whether the classes he is going to take next semester would be too hard. It’s these types of interactions that make Piazza a great addition to the advising department.

Hopefully this new approach will cut down on the heavy load put on the advising department during this part of the year, thus allowing more students to be helped.

I’m just mad that I won’t be able to reap the benefits because I’m graduating!