MyRED has UNL students seeing red

Kelcey Lueninghoener, UNL grad student, feels burned by MyRED.

Story and Photos By Chelsea Coli, News Net Nebraska

Kelcey Lueninghoener, 23, expects to graduate with a master’s degree from UNL in May. And that’s no thanks to MyRED, the school’s troublesome new registration system. MyRED, shaping up to be one of the biggest headaches for students all across campus, almost forced her to stay another semester.

Lueninghoener had signed up last spring for a required fall class. The system didn’t record her because she hadn’t pressed the right button — which it didn’t tell her to do. She didn’t see the mistake until June, when she was checking her class schedule.

“I realized there was a “checkout your cart” button or something,” said Lueninghoener. “I had not done the third step, which was never necessary with the old program.”

By the time she caught the problem, though, the class was full. Lueninghoener, who is specializing in elementary deaf and hard-of-hearing special education, could not get an override. The class she needed was one where students were placed in elementary school classrooms throughout Lincoln. As a result, she ended up having to take two online classes, missing out on the classroom experience.

“It’s frustrating to have my classes messed up like that,” said Lueninghoener.

The villain: a MyRED welcome screen.

Lueninghoener is one of the many students who is having troubles with the new system. MyRED was a hastily developed replacement for the WAM system that UNL students had used for years.

“I just don’t like the way it is set up,” said 23-year-old psychology major Kerry Ellis. “I feel like it’s a lot harder to find what I’m looking for on MyRED. WAM was much less confusing.”

Although there’s no recorded number of complaints, problems are legion among UNL students. Scheduling headaches, bill problems and web site navigation confusion are common. However, it helps to know why the switch was made.

The company that developed and maintained WAM is abandoning the system, and advised UNL officials that it would not maintain it this year. This gave the school no choice but to find a new system, said Juan Franco, UNL Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs. Unfamiliarity, poor training and bugs in MyRED underlay the difficulties students are having this semester.

Franco says things are improving.

“Early on, students were having trouble because not everything was in there because we were just implementing it,” said Franco. “But we’re getting better at it, everything’s in there now; it’s just a matter of how to get to it.”

The university is working on fixing MyRED and getting it up to par with WAM, making it more user-friendly, he said.

“It’ll be a gradual transition,” said Franco. “We are improving it every week, even this week we made some changes.”

Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, Juan Franco, says MyRED will become more user-friendly.

One key problem is it takes more steps to do certain tasks on MyRED than it did on WAM. Franco hopes that by the time spring registration comes around, such wrinkles in MyRED will be ironed out, students will be more comfortable and the process will go much smoother. He says it’s important to remember that this is a transition period from a program that was perfected over 10 years to one brand new to UNL.

But for now the system isn’t making many friends. Lueninghoener, for one, says she’ll graduate on time mainly because of the heroic efforts of her teachers in rearranging her schedule. She believes that MyRED has to step it up.

“Overall, my thoughts on MyRED is that the system is much more complicated than it needs to be,” said Lueninghoener. “I am glad that they are working on it constantly, but until I see progress in the usability of the web site, I am not going to be happy with it.”

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