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Release: Aug. 31, 1999

ISIS student registration system updated for ease of use, graphic function

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- ISIS, the acronym for the University of Iowa-created online student course registration system, now has expanded user features and functions, and the graphics look common to today's Web sites, replacing the monochromatic appearance users have grown accustomed to viewing.

Iowa Student Information Services has been upgraded to ISIS on the Web!, a new design that will make using the nearly 10-year-old registration system more user-friendly for students who've come to rely on it as a convenient alternative to class registration lines, to view courses and their U-bill. Students also will find it easier to send e-mail, and conduct UI Web-based searches among other uses.

The site, which has several working features, is still under development and was designed by a team of Information Technology Services programmers led by Ed Hill and directed by Joel Wilcox, Office of the Provost. The site reflects the programmers' use of a database-supported, dynamic Hypertext Markup Language system, Wilcox says. Unlike the HTML system of static pages, the ISIS on the Web! system configures pages on demand from several client-server databases and the ISIS mainframe database to make the site more functional for UI's users, Wilcox says.

"We are using the advantages of dynamic HTML to give students a better view of information about their lives as students in a more developed and meaningful context," Wilcox says.

A quick logon to the site shows easy-to-scroll links that allow users to click to view grades, view course listings and complete degree applications. Now, when users click to view their course listing for a current semester, the user's course schedule, complete with course meeting times, location and total semester hours appears on one easy-to-read window.

Wilcox says the registration feature will be in pilot phase only this fall, so most students will register using the older ISIS mainframe interface.

Other uses for the new site include My UIowa, a feature that allows users to save their Web site bookmarks, save, conduct and update UI or World Wide Web-based searches. The My UIowa Web services make ISIS on the Web! a true student Intranet.

Wilcox says when the site is complete, it will allow users to access their e-mail accounts in a true Web-based interface from the My UIowa link, eliminating the need to logon to the Pine e-mail program to type and send e-mails. A new Web interface for ISIS on the Web! will allow faculty

advisors and other non-student users the opportunity to access a real-time, online schedule of courses. Programmers plan an October launch of this feature, in time for spring 2000 schedule planning by students and their advisors.

Prototypes of some features, such as the ability to change mailing addresses, are still being developed, and should prove easy-to-use when completed next April.

A demo account has been created to allow non-UI students to tryout the new site and can be accessed at