Automated registration workflow saves time and reveals patterns


Students at a university regularly voiced their frustrations with the paper-based course registration. Changing their course load meant printing the proper forms, taking them to the appropriate instructor or coach for approval, and walking the forms back across campus to the registrar. Administrative staff then moved the forms through another set of manual approvals. Inevitably, forms or approvals were lost in the shuffle. Without a clear process, staff sometimes missed key approvals, violating compliance obligations for grants and loans. In addition, the registrar’s office faced increasing pressure from the university’s administration to provide accurate class load data for budgeting purposes.


Students, instructors, and administrators all had issues with the system, and the registrar’s office knew it had to change. Ideally, students wanted a form they could fill out online. Instructors, coaches, and registrar staff wanted automated approvals to free up time from their busy day and to ensure they followed all proper procedures. For budgeting, administrators wanted clear data on registration trends and patterns.

The university tried to develop their own solution, but discovered that the integrated SharePoint/Oracle system they created couldn’t handle the sheer number of records. They also realized a real-time registration workflow required complex business logic.


The university’s Nintex partner immediately recognized that Nintex Forms and Nintex Workflow could solve the problem. The partner used Nintex Forms to improve performance: The new forms requested only the required data, refining requests to a third-party database. The forms only showed students the courses available to them, based on data like prior course history. Using Nintex, the partner also built a form that analyzed previous trends for each student.

Next, the partner created a complex Nintex approval workflow that verifies everything the registrar staff needs to know, such as:

  • Which instructors or coaches need to approve the change
  • Whether adding or dropping a course affects grants or donations
  • Whether the student’s undergraduate studies department or counselor requires notification

The automated workflow routes the approvals as necessary, removing the guesswork – and footwork – from the equation. When the approvals are complete, the registrar receives a notification to make the changes.

The Nintex partner’s solution also gives the university something it didn’t have before: reports for administrators that allow them clear insights for managing classes and resources to help mitigate impacts on their budget.


Students celebrated being paper-free. Instructors and coaches enjoyed fewer paper-related interruptions to their day and could focus 100% of their course time on students. The university administration immediately saw the following returns on their investment:

  • Reduced time of the course change process from 2-3 weeks to 2-3 days
  • Saved money by using electronic forms instead of paper
  • Better managed their resources through newly available insights

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