Getting ready for the Bear Tracks upgrade

Have you heard that the U of A is moving to a new version of Bear Tracks starting on the last weekend of February 2021? The upgrade will modernize the look and feel of Bear Tracks and introduce some new tools. Read on to learn more about what this change will look like and how you’ll be affected.

Preparing for the upgrade:
You shouldn’t need to do much to prepare for the upgrade, as the vast majority of the functions (e.g. My Planner) have not changed. However, how you get to the page and how the page is laid out has changed. We’ve prepared the Undergraduate and Graduate Student Toolkit to provide an overview on what you can do to prepare for the change. We encourage you to familiarize yourself with Student Toolkit so you’re not surprised when you login for the first time after the change. Visit the Bear Tracks Upgrade site for more details.

Bear Tracks will be unavailable between the morning of February 26 and the end of the day on March 1 as the upgrade is completed. Once the system is available, an announcement will be added to the Bear Tracks home page.

New Interface:
The first thing you’ll notice when you login to the new version of Bear Tracks is the new Student Homepage.

Student Homepage (Desktop/Laptop View)
student homepage preview

When you click on square buttons (tiles) on the Student Homepage you’ll be taken to a collection of related menu items. The organization of menu items under tiles was determined by student feedback we gathered in spring 2020. The Student Homepage Primer provides some additional details.

My Schedule & Exams Tile and Menu

my schedule & exams preview my schedule & exams preview

Manage Classes Tile and Menu

manage classes preview my schedule & exams preview


Mobile Friendly Design
You’ll also notice that many pages will resize to the appropriate dimensions when you use Bear Tracks on your cell phone.

We gathered student feedback to identify which pages students are most likely to use on a cell phone so those pages have been updated to be mobile friendly. Examples of pages that will be mobile friendly include the View Class and Exam Schedule page, the Student Homepage and Watchlist.

Class Search in Mobile

 class search preview

New Class Search:
The new version of Bear Tracks introduces a keyword based class search that provides more flexibility over the search in Bear Tracks today. See this video for a demo.

You can expect to hear more about the Bear Tracks upgrade over the next several weeks. If you have any questions about the upgrade, please don’t hesitate to contact us.