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How do you track open enrollment?

Posted on March 9th, 2010 by Anne Cardale, OLLI National Resource Center

Patricia Zimmerman, OLLI at the University of Nevada, Reno Asks OLLI:

For OLLI’s with “open enrollment”, members can attend most classes without pre-registering, do you track attendance?  How do you capture these statistics manually or automatically?  If you have an automatic system to do this, please tell us about it.

4 Responses to “How do you track open enrollment?”

  1. Although we our members can take as many OLLI classes as they want, we do not use open enrollment for several reasons including avoiding the attendance of nonmembers, limited room size, and adequate handouts and food if needed. One way to get an accurate count is to have the members register as they come in for events. For classes, you might consider assigning a room monitor or just requesting that the instructor take a head count or pass around a dated sign in sheet.

    I think some kind of registration encourages the people to take the class seriously, allows for easy contact if a class should be cancelled, and imparts a sense of commitment on the part of the member.

  2. We enter all of our course registrations, for both free and fee classes, into the University’s Banner registration system. This allows us to print a roster for each class and we also do email confirmations to all who are registered. Our University registrar uses this information to select and assign the right sized classroom, so we can usually accommodate all who register. We use the roster from Banner to take roll in classes.

  3. Since you are not taking registrations in advance it seems the suggestions to take a head count at the class are your best bet. You can accumulate the head count data as you go in a spreadsheet or a database for later analysis.

  4. BTW - We track enrollment for our classes and special events where space can be an issue and we want to contrrol the attendance. We require registration for classes which are tracked in our University PeopleSoft system and RSVPs for teh special events which are tracked in a internally developed database.

    We run weekly lunch and learn lectures that are not limited or shall I say have been self limiting. I attend those because they are a great way to connect with a cross section of members that changes from week to week. I don’t keep stats on the attendance because they are one-off lectures that we aren’t likely to repeat but I do have a gut feel of the trends over time. We went through a period of less interest but over the past year attendance is booming. We use thes lectures as a basic membership benefit and as a place where members can bring guests to sample the Osher experience. We open them to the public by posting on community calendars.-

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