OASIS to get a new look

Students trying to view their course or tuition information this weekend will be denied access if they don’t login to OASIS before the system is shut down for upgrades. The OASIS Web site and voice response system will both be inaccessible starting Friday at 5 p.m. to allow the system to be upgraded and will not be available to students, faculty and staff until Tuesday at 8 a.m.

Banner, which is a product used to operate student information systems such as OASIS, will be upgrading to a newer form of Banner, from its current version 3 to version 5.

Bob Stuth, implementation manager for the upgrade, said Banner will be updated for the same reasons people make a switch to a newer version of Windows.

“It will give the ability to add more features,” Stuth said. “The look and feel of the system may just be different.”

Stuth said one feature that will be accessible after the Banner upgrade is the electronic, rather than manual, acceptance of admission applications to the university.

Stuth said allowing OASIS to have new features available to the university is a rebuilding process which means the old system needs to be taken down first.

“You don’t want to drive a car with the mechanics still under the hood,” Stuth said. “We can’t have an information change with the old system still up.”

Stuth said the faculty may run into more problems with the OASIS upgrade than students because faculty needs to update their OASIS desktop icons, which request login information to the system, before accessing the new version. Stuth said the icon can still be installed after the upgrade, but it is easier to do it beforehand.

Les Davidson, project manager for the Banner upgrade, said faculty members who use the system for student records, financial aid or admissions applications, will need to install a new icon that allows access into the various records.

“The old icon will no longer be valid,” Davidson said. “Without this, they can’t access the system.”

Stuth said he notified faculty about the system’s changes through listservs and instructions on how to install the new icon are available through technical support on the main page for OASIS. Stuth said the Information Technologies department is also providing training throughout this month to familiarize faculty with the new system.

“We highly recommend they take advantage of the training courses,” Stuth said.

Davidson said the main changes the faculty will notice in the new version of OASIS is its altered appearance and training classes will be available to help them adjust to the new database menus.

“The menus will just look different. It’s just a matter of learning how to navigate,” Davidson said. “Knowing how to get through the forms will be different for staff the first week.”

Davidson said with universities now becoming similar to businesses, the potential features, such as storing admission applications, transcripts and having easier access to these items, is an advantage.

“There is a whole competitive business in recruiting students now,” Davidson said. “The system will be more flexible to take advantage of the beneficial features.”

Gail Evans, coordinator of computer applications for IT, said students will no longer have to enter their personal identification number a second time on OASIS. Also, OASIS will allow them to get support on the Web site if they need help with their PIN number.

“This way students can change their PIN number or have it sent to them without calling,” Evans said.

  • Contact Grace Agostinat oraclegrace@yahoo.com