Registration – Reserved Seats

Banner Reserved Seats

The Banner Reserved Seats functionality gives instructors the flexibility to reserve seats in their course for specific student groups – namely by major or by class year.  These details will be shared with students via the Schedule of Courses so that they can include the information when making their registration selections.  Many departments will find it useful in increasing majors’ access to methods courses or other courses required by the major.  Other departments will find it useful in ensuring that first-year students have ample access to their introductory courses.

We’re excited to be piloting this new functionality and want to share the following important points with you as you consider whether it’s right for your course.

1.            This sounds a lot like class mix.  What’s the difference?

Class mix is a tool used to guide optimization when the system is selecting students to place in a limited course.  It’s applied once, at the single point in time when optimization is run, and is reliant on the course being oversubscribed.  After that point, the class mix is moot and doesn’t affect any future registrations.  It does not allow for priority by major. 

Reserved Seats is a tool used when students are registering on a first-come, first-served basis.  It allocates seats to specific groups of students so that a certain number of seats may be held aside for them to access any time during registration.  The number of seats reserved for those students will be preserved throughout registration as students add and drop.

The Schedule of Courses display is still being finalized, but courses with seats reserved may appear as follows.  As students register, the number that remain on each line will update accordingly.

This course is limited to 5, with four seats reserved for majors and one unreserved seat that could be filled by any student:

This course is limited to 10, with four seats reserved for first-years, four seats reserved for sophomores, and two unreserved seats that could be filled by any student:

The overall capacity of the course is still displayed as it has always been, but this additional detail will give students a clearer understanding of how many seats may be available to them in real time.

2.            What groups of students can I reserve seats for?

You can reserve seats by major or by class year.  You do not need to reserve all of the seats in your course, and you don’t need to reserve seats for all four class years if you, for instance, only want to reserve seats for first-year students.  Students must meet all other requirements for the course (including prerequisites) in order to add the course. 

3.            Why would I want to use reserved seats?

We’ve heard from many departments and programs in the last several years with concerns about their majors’ access to required courses or about underclass students’ access to introductory courses.  This is a great solution to those concerns.  You might use it for your methods course or some other course where majors are the target audience.  You might use it to set aside seats for first-year students so that when their registration window opens later in the week there are plenty of seats still available. 

4. Do I have to specify reserved seats for each class if I want to reserve seats by class?

No, you don’t need to reserve all of the seats in your course and students must meet all other requirements for the course (including prerequisites) in order to add.  If a reserve grouping has filled, say with first-years, and unreserved seats remain, students who meet the reserve, in this example first-years, will still be allowed to register as they will take one of the unreserved (undesignated) seats.  The reverse is not true – if the course has some number of unreserved seats and they have filled, a student who does not meet the one of the reserve groupings will receive a registration error and not be able to add the course.