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View topic - Classes Going Online in April - New Procedure | UCB Comedy • Improv and Sketch Comedy Resource Forum

Classes Going Online in April - New Procedure


Questions/Comments about the NY Class Program

Classes Going Online in April - New Procedure

Postby tanouye » Fri Mar 28, 2014 3:20 pm

Hello everyone!

As we transition into our new space (see for more details), we're going to try putting classes online using the same process as the Los Angeles Training Center -- instead of having a fixed release day/time, we'll post classes as soon as we confirm the dates with the teacher. For now, I will post them to twitter as well, and see if that works.

This may seem like a huge change, but some of our older students will remember that we used this process before the advent of the message boards.

We'll see how it goes for April and then decide whether to continue releasing classes this way. Also, we're working on some upgrades to the registration process that may affect how this works, but I don't have an ETA for that.

This will not affect the Advanced Study process very much - those classes will still have submission windows with students chosen from all the applicants either randomly or by the instructor.

See below for a longer discussion of this!

---

A big downside of this is that it's harder to schedule your day to be available when a specific class goes online. I understand that will be frustrating. We'll see how it goes.

But here are some benefits:

- Rewards students who check the website more frequently. Right now, everyone is pretty much on equal footing showing up at the same time to register. The people who want to check in every hour for classes will at least now have an advantage over people who only check in once or twice a week.

- Matches trends in social media. The era of the internet message board may be going as more and more people switch to handheld devices and use new types of social media like Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook, etc. The phpBB code requires a lot of upgrades and maintenance, and with the huge number of threads, it can be hard to find the information you want or need. I think it will be easier to follow @UCBClassesNYC on twitter and check for updates frequently.

- Alleviates strain on the servers. When hundreds of people are logging in a the same time to register for a class, this can cause the site to go down. Future changes to the registration website may help this, but for now, the site is fragile and having a pre-announced release time causes a lot of database-intense traffic at once.

- Helps with the psychological frustration of students who show up at the time a class is released and still don't get in. We get a lot of calls from students asking "What did I do wrong?" and the sad answer is nothing. There were just too many other people there at the same time. Now people will still be frustrated, but it will be more of a "Shit, I didn't get there in time" sort of situation than an "I did everything I was supposed to but still couldn't get in."

- Allows for faster turnaround of class scheduling. Right now, if a teacher contacts me on a Thursday about an upcoming class, I can't post it until the following Tuesday. Sometimes this means delaying the class a week, or even not scheduling it if it's a one-time workshop from an out-of-town teacher. This would allow us to put them up immediately.

In some ways, there is no perfect system - as the demand for classes keeps growing, the classes are going to sell out quickly no matter what we do. Hopefully the new, larger Training Center space will allow us to offer more classes in a way that will alleviate the demand somewhat.

Let me know if you have any questions, and I'll try to answer them.
Erik Tanouye
School Manager
(also Improv/Sketch teacher and performer)
UCB Training Center
520 Eighth Ave, 9th Floor
New York, New York 10018
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Re: Classes Going Online in April - New Procedure

Postby Hal » Fri Mar 28, 2014 4:32 pm

Would it be a good idea to have separate Twitter accounts for different levels, like maybe one for core classes and one for advanced study? That way, people won't see a constant stream of updates about classes they wouldn't be signing up for. (If that's too convoluted, never mind.)
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Re: Classes Going Online in April - New Procedure

Postby tanouye » Fri Mar 28, 2014 4:37 pm

Erik Tanouye
School Manager
(also Improv/Sketch teacher and performer)
UCB Training Center
520 Eighth Ave, 9th Floor
New York, New York 10018
tanouye

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Joined: Mon Sep 21, 2009 3:52 pm

Re: Classes Going Online in April - New Procedure

Postby dwmurray87 » Fri Mar 28, 2014 8:05 pm

I have a couple questions!

RIght now, interns are supposed to email in advance so they can use their intern credit for classes and so they can pre-register. Is pre-registration going to disappear? Will there be a different process to use your intern credits now?

Thanks!
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Re: Classes Going Online in April - New Procedure

Postby jonhess1005 » Sat Mar 29, 2014 12:04 am

This actually sounds very efficient. Thanks for all your hard work, Erik!
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Re: Classes Going Online in April - New Procedure

Postby craigoconnell » Sat Mar 29, 2014 3:47 am

I second Dave Murray's question. If pre-registration disappears, that's a huge blow to interns.
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Re: Classes Going Online in April - New Procedure

Postby romanoandie » Sat Mar 29, 2014 10:32 am

If anybody is worried about missing a class announcement, turn on mobile notifications on Twitter (you can do it from their Twitter page), whenever @UCBClassesNYC tweets something out. It might get a little annoying, but at least you'll be kept in the loop.
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Re: Classes Going Online in April - New Procedure

Postby jedi6 » Sun Mar 30, 2014 1:19 pm

thanks for really trying to find a solution to this registration thing Erik!
on twitter is it the NY UCB account that you'll be posting class announcements?

my issue has been that "psychological" thing mos def as sorry to say the last time i was early and ready to go and did everything and when in the 11th hour i was almost there and got locked out it was really brutal. starting to even become torturous! which I'm sure you guys don't intend!

and, i know I'm not the only one!

so! thank you to tending to our psychological needs! :evil:

have you guys considered a total overhaul of this site? like building a better version from scratch? pricey but it will certainly be worth it and appreciated by students and I'm sure faculty alike!
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Re: Classes Going Online in April - New Procedure

Postby Olier » Sun Mar 30, 2014 4:20 pm

I third David Murray's question. Diversity scholarship recipients would also be affected by this change.
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Re: Classes Going Online in April - New Procedure

Postby Chris Griswold » Mon Mar 31, 2014 10:53 am

I've emailed all Diversity Scholars with the details on new diversity enrollment procedures. I believe the interns have been emailed as well.
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