Posts Tagged ‘engagement’

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.


A different perspective on our project

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Last week Ian Tilsed and I attended the first face-to-face JISC programme meeting in London. It was interesting to see just how many ways there were of approaching a similar goal. Many institutions already have a course information database and just need to produce a XCRI-CAP feed. Others, like us, were using the project as an opportunity to produce an entirely new system to consolidate existing sources. And quite a few were asking the providers of their student records systems to step up and produce the feed.

However many of the challenges facing the projects were the same. Engagement from the wider institution seemed to be one of the largest problems for most projects, but I was delighted to report that we are doing really well here. This might be because such a database at Exeter is well overdue, so everyone is really keen to see it implemented, but it’s a good sign nevertheless. The good news is that once we do have iPaMS in place, producing the XCRI-CAP feed should be easy as we have designed iPaMS to hold the data in the right structure to do this.

Now we need to put some thought into what the XCRI-CAP feed will actually be used for. Our course data is a valuable asset and we might want to consider who has access to this…


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