Archive for July, 2012

We’re hiring!

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We are currently recruiting for an additional developer to join the CRIATE team full-time for 6 months. This will take our development capacity from 6.5 days per week to 11.5 days per week, so this will help us with the tough work ahead when we tackle implementing workflow for programme and module approvals.

For further details, or to apply, please visit the University website here.


XCRI-CAP Quick Update

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We recently had a meeting with our project team to discuss our progress with the XCRI-CAP mapping. It was important for us to finalise the fields that we will be feeding, enabling us to finish building our programme template in iPaMS. We found there were a few fields that didn’t quite map up between iPaMS and XCRI. An example of this was firstly the study mode field. In iPaMS we were holding a “modular” option whereas in XCRI there was an option titled “flexible”. We felt it was important to try and match up any of these inconsistencies to help make the feeding process as easy as possible. We have now changed our “modular” option to “flexible”.

Another field we discussed was the “assessment” field. Within iPaMS we hold a lot of data regarding assessment details, however, in this meeting we decided we would use our Marketing assessment field for the XCRI feed. This would be the same assessment information that would feed to our website, giving more concise information regarding the assessment. We also highlighted in this meeting that we needed to include not just the abbreviated version of the qualifications but also the full versions, such as Bachelor of Arts.

There were also a few fields we were unsure about, such as the “type” field held in XCRI. We weren’t sure exactly what information we could use for this field. The XCRI information explained that the “type” was for a grouping of similar courses in terms of target audience. We were therefore unsure whether to group them by discipline or by UG/PG. We contacted Alan Paull and he was very helpful in answering our questions. He explained that they have not published a classification or vocabulary for this element, except for CPD courses, so we could leave this element from our feed if we wanted. Alan also explained they were open to suggestions to how this might be handled. Has anyone else included this element in their feed, if so, let us know what information you are including.

After ironing out some of these issues we organised a meeting with the Marketing department for next week to go through our spreadsheet and talk further about XCRI. It is a very important aspect of this project and with the help from Marketing, it will allow us to market our programmes in the best way possible.

Once we have had our meeting with Marketing and finished updating our XCRI spreadsheet, we will pop it on the blog for you to all see. We look forward to finding out how everyone else has mapped their data so please send us links to your blogs.


Workflow Mapping

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Workflow mapping and finalising exactly how we plan for programmes to be approved and amended within iPaMS has been an ongoing task since the start of the project.  Over the past few months specific meetings have been held where we mapped out Business Approval and processes that currently occur in SITS.  However our focus has been on programmes and making sure that the programme template is fit for purpose.  Therefore any conversation about workflow has been connected to this.  For example the Graduate School of Education (GSE) run a number of ‘Continuing Education Short Courses’.  We met with GSE to discuss how these would fit into the programme template.  These non-credit bearing programmes are in fact approved in module templates, thus we looked into the approval workflow of these to ensure that it maps against other processes within the system avoiding us having to build a separate element of workflow for this handful of programmes.

Now that we have stopped looking at programmes we have finished mapping the workflow processes.  Squeezed onto a page of A3 our workflow diagram is complicated, to put it mildly.  Consultation with Marketing and Faculty has confirmed when individuals need to receive notifications about different stages within the process and to who will receive these.  Consultation with Admissions and the Library has allowed us to streamline parts of the Business Approval process so that each department’s involvement occurs at a slightly different stage, improving communication and efficiency throughout the development of programmes.

We are currently organising meetings with colleges so that those involved in the design and amendment of programmes and modules can comment on the proposed processes and we can make sure that iPaMS will work at this college level.  There have been a few discrepancies between colleges so far, but these are only minor- for example some colleges have a Learning and Teaching Committee, others have Programme Approval Committees, Educational Strategy Group Meetings serve a slightly different purpose in some colleges…  However none of these factors affect how the process works within iPaMS.  All feedback, so far, has been very positive and it looks everybody is looking forward to iPaMS being finished and seeking the benefits of an online workflow process.