Archive for January, 2012

Project Manager Introduction

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Hello, my name is Sam Daly and I am the Project Manager for the CRIATE project. I only joined the University on 3rd January and the sheer speed with which we are already progressing has taken some getting used to! Previous to Exeter, I worked for a local authority on mobile IT projects, and before this I worked for a number of years in IT sales.

Our approach to the project is helped by the fact that the University is organised into Colleges, each with their own existing course information database, so we are bringing them over one at a time to our new iPaMS system. However this is complicated by other existing deadlines and pressures that we will have to work around, so it’s not always up to us when we can do things.

Overall the project currently looks quite healthy and I think we have a good team in place to keep the momentum up. It’s a really exciting project, not particularly from a technical point of view, but from an angle of business benefits; we have never before had all our course related information in one place and we will be able to use this to the University’s benefit.

We’re nearly there with all our introductions, so please keep posted for more project-specific updates on our blog soon. Why not subscribe to our RSS feed and get all our updates delivered to your inbox?

CRIATE Lead Developer

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My name is Helen Connole and I’m the lead developer for the CRIATE project. I have worked at the University since 2007 and am the Web Developer for the Business School. I have been seconded to ExeIT part time for over a year now and have experience of how things work both in the colleges and in the central University infrastructure, which is very useful for this project.

The system itself is being built using the Zend Framework (PHP) and the aim is to create a flexible but sturdy system which will cater for the ever changing needs of the University.

iPaMS developer

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Hello all.

My name is Ben and I’m one of the two developers who is working on the CRIATE project. My role within this project is to carry out development work and assist the lead developer Helen Connole on the university’s new programmes and modules system called iPaMS.

I’ve been at the university since September 2009 and I have been involved in various development projects which have involved using a wide range of programming and structural querying languages and not just for clients within the university (one project was intended for use out in Afghanistan). Along with the CRIATE project I’m also responsible for developing and supporting the Exeter Award system, which is the university’s current careers events system.

Project Support Officer

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Hello everyone, my name is Lauren and I’m the Project Support Officer (PSO) working on CRIATE. I have a few main roles within this project. Firstly I work with the Colleges to help collect their programme and module data and to get it ready to import into iPaMS. Since October I have been working closely with our pilot college Humanities. So far we have collected all their 11/12 module data and I am now currently working on collecting their programme data too. Another aspect of being a PSO is to organise meetings with various members of the Colleges and project team. These meetings are essential for delivering updates regarding CRIATE and to allow further development within the project to go ahead. This role also allows me to be a point of liaison between other members involved in the project and Helen the lead developer. Overall I help with the general organisation of the project, filling up everyone’s outlook with emails and meeting requests and making sure everyone has done their homework on time!

Project Support Officer

Marketing and the Web Team

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The Marketing team has pushed for an integrated system where we house all programme and module information. Current challenges for the team include not knowing when changes to programmes and modules have occurred and not knowing which source of information is the most up to date. This makes maintaining marketing information about our programmes time consuming and challenging. It is hoped that CRIATE will enable the University to communicate its programmes professionally, accurately and within the law.
Benefits to the Marketing Office and Web Team include:
o Reduced administrative time required to check marketing communications, including modules and programme information
o Reduced time required to update website information with content being pulled through directly from the database
o Improved programme approval process reducing capacity currently required to find out about new programmes for marketing information

We hope that this will improve prospective student satisfaction through improved accuracy in programme information and timeliness of information.

Welcome to the CRIATE Project!

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exeter uni#

Welcome to the blog for the JISC funded CRIATE Project! This is where our progress can be followed during the project’s life cycle. There will be regular and informative updates from the whole project team, as well as postings of key documents and other related outputs.

By way of explanation, the CRIATE (Course Related Information AT Exeter) project is part of a wider JISC initiative related to making the most of course data.  CRIATE sits alongside 62 other projects in Stage 2 of the programme and is scheduled to run from January 2012 until March 2013.

CRIATE will build upon previous work by the JISC funded iPaMS (Integrated Programme and Module System) project, which developed a generic toolkit to allow the production, management and publication of programme and module information. The CRIATE project extends an existing, internally funded, project, which is developing a production course information database, based on the iPaMS schema, and gathering undergraduate course information from a variety of sources.

The CRIATE project will review the existing manual processes relating to course information, with the aim of introducing online programme and module approval, integrated with the course information database. From a technical perspective, the project will, in addition, review and extend the iPaMS database schema and specifications to address the requirements of Key Information Sets (KIS) and develop a process for the production of XCRI-CAP COOL URI compliant data feeds. This will also require the collation of course descriptions (numbering several hundred) relating to postgraduate, continuing professional development (CPD) and distance learning courses, in addition to undergraduate learning opportunities (with over 2,600 module descriptors currently identified).  As a result, the CRIATE project will deliver additions and amendments to the previously published iPaMS toolkit, made available at SourceForge.

In addition to the technical and process improvements, the CRIATE project is to review and update the governance and policies relating to course information and its supply to third parties. Furthermore, the opportunity will be taken to review requirements for the use of particular subsets of course data, particularly the various short courses on offer from the University of Exeter Business School, with the aim of identifying further uses of XCRI-CAP data.

That’s the project, in summary!  The project team is assembled, the work is under way and we are looking forward to getting to grips with more effective management of course data, and all the challenges that it will bring.  We also look forward to working with the other projects in the programme, and meeting their members at the various programme meetings.

Ian Tilsed
Project Director

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