Information Technology Services (ITS) Director Allan Borra admitted in an interview with The LaSallian last December that Animo.sys and My.LaSalle (MLS), mainstays of the University’s online systems, have already “outlived [their] design.”


The home-grown MLS, which went live for the first time in 2003, served as the earliest online enrollment platform for DLSU students. Although the system was initially successful, it was eventually bogged down by technical difficulties—such as a breach in the identification system, miscoded courses, late loading and listing of prerequisite and corequisite subjects, and de-blocking issues for regular students, among others—which led to the introduction of Animo.sys in 2013.

The system, which is now on its seventh year of operation, was intended to offer a better enrollment experience compared to MLS—but such has not been the case.  Even during the initial run of Animo.sys, it had already experienced multiple problems, forcing students to once again use MLS. In 2016, then ITS Director James Sy explained that “several rounds” of optimization had to be performed on the system before it could work properly. MLS, which Sy noted was “nearing obsolescence”, had saved the day.

As of now, MLS is still used alongside Animo.sys during the enrollment period—the former being used to view available classes and the latter to actually enlist in those classes.

The Oracle software base of Animo.sys is also notably used in the similarly-lambasted Student Academic Information System or SAIS of the University of the Philippines.

Despite attempts to reduce capacity overload issues, such as implementing a batch system, Animo.sys continues to face major performance bottlenecks; notable examples include the two-day postponement of enlistment during Term 3 of Academic Year (AY) 2018-2019 and complaints of mismatched classes in the most recent enlistment period, especially in the Gokongwei College of Engineering and the Br. Andrew Gonzalez FSC College of Education.

Remedial measures

To help address the issue of class shortages, online pre-enlistment was launched in February last year, offering a better projection of demand for classes by asking students to indicate the courses they expect to take for the following term.

Ramon V. del Rosario College of Business President Nathan Driz looks at the pre-enlistment process rather favorably, sharing that one of the major problems continually hounding the college is the availability of classes for majors and electives. According to him, the departments within the college had difficulties matching the demand for certain subjects due to limited of classrooms and faculty. In response, the Business College Government released a petition form during enlistment for students to request classes that were not being offered. “We also coordinate with our Academic Officer so once we receive a concern, we can address it as soon as we can,” Driz explains.

Meanwhile, University Student Government (USG) Vice President for External Affairs Ronin Leviste praises the USG’s Student Services team for “working tirelessly” to accommodate concerns. Leviste acknowledges that the enlistment period for the current term did not run smoothly but hopes that operations will be improved.

Maria Lucila Pamplona, Senior Lead Staff from the Office of the University Registrar (OUR), shares that there are instances wherein there are enough slots for classes, but these slots are not ideal for some students. “Some of these slots are least chosen by students as they [want to] create a more flexible and ideal schedule that will work for them,” she explains.

There is no definite say when the University’s online systems will reflect improvement, but Leviste hints at new possibilities of enhancement. “DLSU is currently developing a new system that will hopefully be implemented soon to further improve this process,” he shares.

Supporting systems

In January last year, DLSU launched a new Learning Management System called Animo Space, built on the online platform Canvas. Through Animo Space, students are expected to continue their learning experience online with ease. Similarly, teachers can provide their students with course materials through the platform. The platform has already been in operation for over a year and has received good feedback from students.

The sweeping changes did not spare DLSU’s public internet network myWiFi, which was phased out in favor of Animo Connect last July. In contrast to the old network, using Animo Connect required students to input their ID numbers and MLS passwords to gain internet access. Non-Lasallians and alumni who no longer have their MLS accounts would be unable to connect to the new network.

Student concerns

Abigail Suarez (CAM-MGT, ‘20) says that she did not see any significant improvement with the enlistment system throughout her stay in the University. “I wish the glitches wouldn’t happen anymore, because it always makes me paranoid [over] whether I’d be able to enlist [in my] classes,” she explains.

Suarez also wishes Animo Connect offered a faster connection, adding, “I especially found this a hassle when I was writing my thesis. [Animo Connect and myWiFi] provided the same internet speed based on my experience.”

Grace Regis (III, EED-ECED) found that the recent enlistment was difficult for her and others in her college. She pre-enlisted for a certain class, but when enlistment came around, she found that the class was not offered for her college. “I don’t get what’s the point of pre-enlistment kung di rin naman ma-ooffer sa college ko,” Regis shares.

(I don’t understand the point of pre-enlistment if the class won’t be offered in my college anyway.)

Digital transformation

Although efforts to resolve student woes seem to be at a standstill, the University has embarked on efforts to upgrade its platforms. University President Br. Raymundo Suplido FSC bared plans to transform DLSU into a “digital university” during the University General Assembly held last September.

Dubbed the Banner Initiative to Transform, Unify, Integrate, and Navigate (BITUIN), the project envisions a major overhaul to various DLSU platforms. Borra mentioned in a podcast last December that a few of the processes up for reforms are those related to enrollment, procurement, and admissions. The big leap that BITUIN promises also requires extensive adjustment for University employees, according to Borra, adding that “it’s more on retooling people.” With the target date of implementation six months away, Pamplona states that it is still too early to present an assessment for the new system, but she assures that the OUR is on board with the initiative. “We are open to this new direction to improve how we conduct our processes in the University to serve our clients better,” she expresses.

Gershon De La Cruz

By Gershon De La Cruz

Roselin Manawis

By Roselin Manawis

Isabela Marie Roque

By Isabela Marie Roque

Leave a Reply