This project is aimed at enhancing our institutions use and re-use of course related information and making available selected information externally using XCR-CAP in a useful and sustainable way. This is a sector wide challenge with requirements such as the Key Information Sets, Higher Education Achievement Records, and Wider Information Sets, but also by our need to market our courses more effectively and to make the most of Educational Data Analytics to support strategic decision-making around courses

Course Data Stage 2 University of Bolton: Course Data Intelligence

This project is aimed at enhancing our institutions use and re-use of course related information and making available selected information externally using XCR-CAP in a useful and sustainable way.  This is a sector wide challenge with requirements such as the Key Information Sets, Higher Education Achievement Records, and Wider Information Sets, but also by our need to market our courses more effectively and to make the most of Educational Data Analytics to support strategic decision-making around courses.

Work already undertaken in stage 1 of the programme using enterprise architecture modelling techniques and mapping of our data capture has shown us that there is significant scope for:

  1. streamlining course data capture and re-use to improve efficiency and reduce re-keying errors;
  2. developing a common vocabulary for course related information;
  3. connecting databases so that semi-structured documents and information can flow between them without the need for re-keying;
  4. adopting naming conventions for resource location, which are regular and predictable and readable for humans and machines;
  5. developing new databases where information is currently held on isolated word processor files;
  6. making our current XCRI-CAP feed available in a way that is useful for different types of consumers of data for external prospective students and advisors;
  7. and querying our current extensive collection of data around course information to help answer key business questions.

Through this project we aim to put in place a coherent set of processes and technologies to address the opportunities listed above.

In addition, we will be leveraging the unified identifiers and vocabularies brought about by the work above to take a Linked Enterprise Data approach to data integration. By using a triplestore to bring together our entire course related datasets into a single environment, we can cross query and analyse them, and augment our datasets with relevant public ones.  Such an RDF based infrastructure will enable us to ask questions, perform course related analytics and do reporting that isn't possible with siloed data sources.

Objectives

  1. Develop a Programme (Course) Specification Database compatible with the XCRI-CAP specification. 
  2. Agree a common vocabulary for course related information.
  3. To replace our current single block XCRI-CAP feed with an efficient way of selecting specific sub-sets of course information to meet the need of different audiences and purposes, including those seeking Continuous Professional Development, part-time and other ‘hard-to-find’ provision.
  4. Using the common data structures of the XCRI-CAP specification, develop interconnections between databases to move data around.
  5. Bring together all course related information by designing and implementing a triplestore database.
  6. To provide Educational Data Analytics for decision making forums.

Anticipated Outputs and Outcomes

  1. Documented external XCRI-CAP data feeds to allow consumers to access the information they need.
  2. A case study that builds on the analysis of our current process and through working with stakeholders develop and model a proposed desired future process and software support, record the implementation and any resulting updates.
  3. Technical guidelines on how existing course related data can be extracted and brought together in a triplestore database and enquiries made on it using RDF data model and the tools provided for this approach.

Documents

Final Report

Project Staff

Project Manager
Project Team

 

Documents & Multimedia

Summary
Start date
12 January 2012
End date
29 March 2013
Funding programme
e-Learning programme
Strand
Course Data: making the most of course information
Project website
Lead institutions
University of Bolton
Topic