Bye bye Banner, hello Courses@Brown!

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The prayers of many may have been answered with the newest Brown University online tool. Replacing both Banner and Canvas Course Search, Courses@Brown offers a more organized, functional way to waste hours of time over both the summer and the semester when you should be doing something else.

Incorporating features for optimal use on both desktop and mobile devices, CAB gives students a clearer approach to scheduling courses for upcoming summer, fall, and spring terms. One of the main additions from Banner includes 3 filters – “Courses I Can Take,” “Include Independent Study Courses,” and “Don’t Allow Overlap with Courses in Cart” – as well as options to filter for any concentration (in addition to the “filter by department” option from Banner). These filters streamline the course selection process (especially for those fighting to finish all requirements in eight semesters) in terms of concentration.

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Also new to the course selection process is an automated course recommendation mechanism, drawn from course histories of students with similar academic traits, the same semester level, and the same/similar concentrations.

The “Add to Cart” option is much easier than it was on Banner, providing a fluid add without having to reload the page. The carts automatically start as a list, but are easily adjustable to calendar view with the touch of a button – when changing to calendar view, the list view appears to the left, allowing efficiency in viewing without having to scroll to the bottom of the page as in Banner.

A “Search too Broad” popup may appear if you forget to specify (this may be the new equivalent to the dreaded “0 Courses Found,” which prevalently filled the Course Selection screen in Banner). This is not terrible in terms of programming, but may be annoying.

Possibly the greatest improvement from Banner is the ability to enter course override codes directly into a course after selecting it from the search list, allowing direct registration into a course, rather than flipping back and forth through multiple tabs.

University Registrar Rob Fitzgerald writes that more updates to Courses@Brown are visible in the horizon, including a gateway to “access course materials in Canvas,” but that at its current state, CAB will be functionally adequate for the upcoming summer and fall advising periods.

Although the new site is simple and self-explanatory to use, a detailed and extensive web tutorial on CAB can be found here.

Images via.

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