After steadily replacing and updating the Banner system used by faculty and students, a new system will be fully implemented by February of 2018. This affects financial aid, enrollment and other key features.
Currently, students use the Banner system feature “self-service,” which is best associated with registration.
Faculty use the system “Bannder Forms,” which includes applications such as enrollment management, financial aid and the Bursar’s Office accounts.
The new system, entitled Banner 9, will not only bring a number of technical improvements to UNM’s online systems, but also a new cosmetic configuration.
“The great thing about (Banner 9) is that it does have a new look and feel,” Director of IT Applications Alesia Torres said. “It’s mobile friendly, and it’s on a newer web standard technology. And that’s why we’re having to do such a careful upgrade on this one, because the whole infrastructure is changing.”
In order to ensure a seamless transition between the systems, the IT Department began updating specific modules as early as February 2017.
The designated time between these upgrades allows for extensive user testing of the new systems. Departments are given the opportunity to experience the program before the official deployment in hopes that a trial will discover any present issues and allow for a noticeable mitigation of the glitches.
“We don’t know everything. We’re trying to do everything we can, from unit testing to extensive user testing and end-to-end testing,” Torres said, referring to the testing periods.
Given that the Banner 9 updates occur periodically rather than all at once, UNM IT had to decide which modules should be given specific prioritization over others. To do this, they spoke with each of the core offices and developed a roadmap detailing the order of system upgrades and when they would happen.
“We have to balance both the priority from the vendor perspective, and they want us to get all the form pieces done right away and not the self-service (student modules) right away,” Torres said. “But we also want to enhance the student experience. That is a really critical priority for us here, at IT. We’ve went ahead and worked with our functional offices, and they have agreed that Banner 9 registration is critical, and we are actually hoping to roll that out for summertime registration.”
The updated Banner 9 aims to correct a number of prevalent issues with the current LoboWeb registration system.
Under the current system, a student may have multiple holds on their account that could keep them from registering — it is a common occurrence that only one hold will be displayed, and the student remains unaware that there are several issues to address. However, Banner 9 will display all holds from the beginning so that students have all the information that they need in order to properly register.
UNM IT is also encouraging all those who have opinions regarding the Banner 9 update to contact them, Torres said.
“We need all the feedback we can get. If someone concerned, worried, has questions, thinks we are going in the wrong direction, we need to know that,” he said.
Austin Tyra is a news reporter at the Daily Lobo. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @AustinATyra.