Enrollment Tools Support Communication Instruction

Published in MIT News on December 17, 2014, by the Office of the Dean for Undergraduate Education

This fall, students and instructors were introduced to a new enrollment process for communication-intensive humanities, arts, and social sciences (CI-H) subjects, which are part of the undergraduate Communication Requirement. CI-H subjects focus on the development of oral and written communication skills, and include a subset, CI-HW subjects, that focus specifically on the writing process. Each section is capped at 18 or 25 students to provide more opportunities for student interaction with their instructor and classmates and to facilitate communication instruction.

enrollment toolsIn the past, enrollments in many CI-H subjects were managed through the HASS-D lottery. Students who were not scheduled into a subject via the lottery resorted to finding openings “on foot” by attending classes and asking instructors for permission to add the subjects. This could be stressful for students, especially freshmen, since they had no insight into whether they had any chance of being offered a spot. It also created a burden on instructors who had to manage these requests individually, both responding to add/drop requests and attempting to enforce enrollment caps. As a result, class lists could not be finalized for several class meetings. With the end of the HASS-D lottery (due to the phase-out of HASS-D subjects), new enrollment tools were needed for CI-H subjects, which provided an opportunity to address some of these concerns...

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