Bits & Bytes
NOW, STUDENTS CAN LET THEIR FINGERS DO THE REGISTERING
It can't do much about the food, but IBM has developed a product that will help alleviate one major hassle for college students--class registration. Big Blue's 9270 Voice Response Unit (VRU) lets students register for courses over the telephone--from their dorm room, hometown, or even a pay phone. VRU taps into the school's mainframe computer and, using recorded instructions, coaches callers through the registration process. Each course is assigned a number, which students punch into the telephone's keypad.
Universities are just beginning to use the 18-month-old product. Among those gradually automating registration are Howard University in Washington and Guilford Technical Community College in Jamestown, N. C. At Guilford, 5,000 students took an average of just four minutes each to register for 1990's fall semester, IBM says.EDITED BY PAUL M. ENG