Posts Tagged ‘Project Support Officer’

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.


Project Update

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Workflow with the Faculty Office

At the beginning of the week Cat, Sam and I met with Kate and Samantha from the faculty office. We were looking through stage 1 of the workflow which we had previously mapped out at the beginning of the year.  This meeting was very successful in working out what notifications faculty wanted and when they wanted them. It also helped to check the workflow was correct and what needed modifying. It was additionally decided that the faculty office would get their notifications within iPaMS rather than to a central faculty email. We currently still working on the workflow diagram and will be meeting with other departments to discuss their involvement in the workflow.

Lauren Welland (Project Support Officer)


Programmes

We have started to look at how programmes will be stored within iPaMS and which pieces of information we will need to hold against each specific programme.  The functionality of iPaMS has been a major consideration here as information from the programme specification will be used as a marketing tool for prospective students and as an information source for current students, it will hold all of the information required to comply with TQA and QAA standards and be worded in a way that will easily link in with the XCRI- CAP data feed.  Information imputed as a part of the workflow process for approving new programmes will also be archived against each specific programme, as will any changes made to the programme and the date in which these take effect.  Currently we have identified over 100 data entry fields for each programme; once we have established the level of data exchange between SITS and iPaMS this number could increase further.

Cat Hine (Project Support Officer)


User Roles

This week I have been working on assigning roles to users. I have first been creating different roles and permissions within iPaMS. Using Zend navigation I can hide/show relevant links dependent on the permissions these roles have. Some examples of roles will be system administrator, Webservice role and developer. I am also working on restricting view of data by College, to do this we are currently assigning all modules to their College. At the moment every iPaMS user has access to all the data in iPaMS, once we start moving other Colleges into the system we don’t want them to have access to edit other College’s data.

Ben Norcombe (Developer)


Code Improvement

I am currently rewriting the iPaMS module controllers. This builds on the work we did for the previous release of iPaMS to improve the codebase. That work was mainly about reducing the amount of SQL queries per page/action, whereas this time it is about cutting down on code repetition, thus creating reusable functions. The benefits will be that the iPaMS code is easier to maintain as well as more scaleable, setting us up nicely for work to begin on Programmes

Helen Connole (Lead Developer)


CLES Data

This week I have been working on collecting the CLES data needed for archiving into iPaMS. With help from the College we have collected a vast amount of word/pfd documents for their modules ranging from the academic years 08/09- 11/12. On Wednesday Sam, Cat and I met up with Andy, the Taught Programme Support Manager for CLES and discussed iPaMS. It was a very successful meeting where we showed iPaMS in action and discussed the move of CLES data onto the system.  As CLES’ data is all on word/pdf, a move to the database should help them significantly with reporting information and having easier access to their data.

Lauren Welland (Project Support Officer)


Humanities Update #2

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In previous posts we have talked about the dates that were set for Humanities.

• 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)

These target dates were all met and  this blog post will focus on our experience of Humanities moving from dwai to iPaMS.

Lauren Welland – Project Support Officer
“Initially the first week Humanities moved over to iPaMS, all was quiet, I didn’t hear from anyone for a few days. It wasn’t until a week later people started using iPaMS and this is where the questions came rolling in. The majority of the questions were about how to use iPaMS, I instructed users to firstly follow the training material, whilst also giving them help via the phone. It started to become obvious that people didn’t have time to read/watch the training material and felt it easier to ring up with their questions. After a few weeks of questions regarding how to use iPaMS, new emails and calls were now coming through regarding issues with their data. I began logging all the calls and emails I received into a spreadsheet. My job was to co-ordinate between the users and the developers, working on these issues to resolve them as quickly as possible. By investigating the issue log we were able to see specific issues were spread throughout a number of users, whereas some issues were specific to particular users. This allowed us to investigate why some of these problems were coming to light for some and not others. A few of the main issues which I would be contacted about daily were regarding the names of the convenors and problems with logging in. Since the last two upgrades we have had on iPaMS, the majority of the issues have all been sorted now. The only main problems we have left is convenors/lecturers’ titles not showing when feeding to the web but this is currently being worked on.”

Helen Connole – iPaMS Lead Developer
“On 1st March the Hums intranet switched over to using the iPaMS web service. There were a few teething troubles as the web service displayed items in the order and formatting of the module template which was used as the basis of the iPaMS template design. Humanities however wanted to customise this to look more like their current intranet, and with a bit of tweaking at the front end, such as not showing blank data fields, they were able to achieve the result they wanted. Ben is planning to produce some documentation around this so that web developers in the colleges can best utilise the web service for their needs.”

Ben Norcombe – iPaMS Developer

“Over the past few months I have been helping with switching Humanities intranet over to the iPaMS web service whilst also helping resolve users’ issues. One of the main issues we have had, that I have been working on, was users being logged off/ unable to log into iPaMS, using SSO. To solve this problem, last Wednesday we released the Zend_Auth OpenSSO adapter to iPaMS allowing the application to authenticate against the university’s installation of OpenSSO within the application. This decoupling from the university’s SSO gives us the flexibility to assign the user with a Zend_Auth identity and then utilse Zend Framework’s Acl authorisation classes while using the secure authentication methods available in OpenSSO. As the adapter was written with portability in mind we have made it available to our colleagues within the university and there could be an opportunity to contribute the code to the Zend Framework library code base.”

The next stage for Humanities, which we will blog about soon, is to move both their programme data and archived data over to iPaMS. We are currently working on making the old module descriptor templates in iPaMS ready to import the data over from dwai. We are also working on the new 12/13 programme descriptor, investigating how we can link modules to the programmes and best use the data that will be held in iPaMS. Keep an eye out on the twitter page @JISC_CRIATE for more regular updates on these tasks.


Project Support Officer

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As the new GBP Project Support Officer working on the CRIATE project I have had a lot of information to get my head around as I try and get up to speed on what has happened in both phase 1 and 2 of the project.  The team currently seem to be progressing at a rate of knots; we are now adding new module information from the College of Social Sciences and International Studies into iPaMS, Lauren`s training materials have been an invaluable resource in providing step-by-step instructions to help me with this.  I am also working on the `access rights` for individuals within iPaMS, hopefully getting started on this now will make life easier both for users and the project team as more information and functions are added to the database.

The entire team have been fantastic in helping me to find my feet and I look forward to seeing the project develop over the next year…there is still an awful lot of work to do.


Welcome to Catherine!

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I would like to welcome our newest team member, Catherine Hine, to the CRIATE project.

Catherine is a Graduate Business Partner who will be working as a Project Support Officer on the project for the next 12 months. She currently trying to get up to speed with all the policies, procedures and forms we have collected so far as well as understand where the project is up to, but we’ve already given her some ‘real’ work to do in looking at the permissions various people require for iPaMS, which will be used in the online workflow design.

In due course, I am sure she will be posting on here!


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!

Lauren
Project Support Officer