Posts Tagged ‘Pilot College’

Humanities Update

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We have been working with Humanities, our pilot College, for some time now. We first started collecting their 10/11 module data when the original stage 1 course data project took place. We have carried on working with them for stage 2 and in October last year we started collecting their 11/12 module data. The main reasons behind collecting module data first over programme data were due to module selection in March and the KIS return. The majority of Humanities’ data was held in a database known as Dwai, the rest of the modules were held in pdf. With 161 modules held in pdf the initial stage was to copy the data out into an excel spreadsheet; this took around 4 days to complete. Next we looked at moving the data from Dwai into iPaMS. Our initial problem with this data was iPaMS would be using the new 12/13 module template, which faculty office had not asked the Colleges to move onto until May. There was quite a large difference between the format of data held in Dwai (free text boxes) to the new module descriptor (structured tables). Graham Fereday (Computing Development Officer and Team Leader for Humanities) felt it was best to build a new temporary database whilst iPaMS was still being developed; this is how DwaiPaMs was born. DwaiPaMs was formatted to the new module template, Graham imported data from Dwai and any fields that had the same field names were matched and pre-populated with the data. The data that didn’t transfer easily into the new fields of the module descriptor was left within the database for us to copy and paste into the correct fields. This took around a month to cleanse all the 600 modules. Once this had finished, at the end of December, Helen (our developer) was ready to start importing this data into iPaMS. So far, the data is in iPaMS ready for the Humanities’ administration staff to start using to revise and turn into 12/13 data. Here are the two important dates regarding Humanities and their modules.

• Basic functionality of iPaMS (view/edit/copy) revise 11/12 data into 12/13 data: 14th Feb
• Data for 12/13 then feed to their intranet pages: 1st March (For online module choice)

We are now working on collecting Humanties’ programme data. This is similar to the module data in regards to some being presented in pdf and the rest being held in Dwai. Although there is a new programme descriptor for 12/13, we have decided to keep the data in its standard 11/12 format (even if Dwai doesn’t fully comply to this format). Faculty office have asked for the transfer of 12/13 data to be in the new programme format by August time. By bringing the data in on the standard format it will allow administrators the choice to copy over their 11/12 programmes on the new template for 12/13 now or keep it in the 11/12 format and transfer to the new 12/13 format nearer the time. We are currently waiting for iPaMS to be up and running, this will allow me to copy in the pdf data straight into the database, rather than copying it into a spread sheet and then importing. From previous experience with importing spread sheets into iPaMS, Helen has found it causes problems with erroneous characters. For the rest of the programme data, we hope to import straight from Dwai into iPaMS. This will still need some cleansing and correcting as I mentioned before, Dwai doesn’t follow the current 11/12 and contains a lot of free text boxes.

For now, we are on track to meet the 14th of February deadline where we will allow basic functionality of iPaMS to be used by Humanities’ administrators. Before this happens we need to compile some training material and run some training sessions. This will allow the administrators get to grips with iPaMS and will also provide us with important feedback. iPaMS is still being developed, so any useful comments the administrators give us will help towards future improvements within iPaMS.