Posts Tagged ‘Marketing’

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.


Marketing Update

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The Marketing Team on the project team have been looking at how we are going to use the information stored in the iPaMs database, and making it fit for purpose.  The Marketing Team need to be able to confirm information at the earliest stages of development of a programme as we’re communicating with prospective students well in advance of programme start dates. We’re predominantly concerned with web pages for prospective students, but College Web Marketing Officers who are part of our wider team, will potentially be required to amend information published to current students: it’s the visibility of the website which often prompts the required change.

Key developments we are currently undertaking include:

  • Working on the Programme template, keeping in mind what we want to use the information for.  For example, we have suggested that we want a separate Marketing field to list the discipline area the programme falls into.  We discussed pulling the field from SITS, but it was decided that this doesn’t necessarily map onto our discipline/subject list, therefore is one is not fit for our purposes.  We are also keen to have a separate programme description field which we can amend to ensure the information follows our University style guidelines, and is suitable for a prospective student, as well as other audiences who may be seeking information on our website.
  • Amending and creating module descriptions which will be able to publish directly to the website.  In the 9k fee environment, it will be increasingly important for prospective students to know the details of what they will be studying.  Although we provide information at the moment, the iPaMs database will allow us to provide consistent information in a consistent format which can be easily understood by prospective students.  The amends can range from ensuring we are following the University-set style guidelines, to writing a new module description where none exists.  Currently the spreadsheet of modules has 903 modules from the College of Humanities and the College of Social Science and International Studies which have been added to iPaMs, but this is constantly growing as more modules are added by the team, and the colleges.

Postgraduate Study Site

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The Marketing Office is working with the web team to consider the presentation of postgraduate programme and module information on our website. Although not in scope of the CRIATE project itself we can see some real business benefits which will support student recruitment at the University of Exeter. We are conducting research which will help us to understand to what extent the current set up is meeting the requirements of the key audience – prospective students – and how we can improve the content and navigation of the current pages to better support postgraduate recruitment. This information will then be used to plan how we will pull through information from the CRIATE project to our website. A similar project will run in conjunction for undergraduate programmes.


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.