Course Data Stage 2 Brunel University - CDATA: Capturing Data Accurately, Timely and Accessible
The ‘CDATA’ project at Brunel University is an initiative that will take an holistic view of Brunel’s ‘course’ data and explore how technology can be utilised to ensure it is: accurate; timely; fit-for-purpose; and accessible to relevant ‘data-users’. The project will concentrate on identifying efficiency gains – from an Institutional back-office standpoint – whilst increasing the effectiveness of the management of ‘course data’ for all stakeholders across the University.
The University currently approves and modifies its ‘courses’ using various internal mechanisms; which capture the ‘course data’ through Microsoft Word forms, which are then available to all relevant parties using Microsoft SharePoint. The data is subsequently transcribed into the University’s Student Information System (SITS:Vision). This process leads to time-delays, inaccuracies and circumstances where the SITS system is updated before the University’s official procedures are completed. The data held in Word documents cannot be easily extracted and compared, in line with the aspirations of XCRI-CAP.
‘Course’ data is also required for other University systems (such as, Blackboard Learn, the University’s VLE and Talis Aspire, the Library’s e-resource management system). Currently this data is either inefficiently re-captured or taken from the student information system (rather than the ‘master system’: the Programme Archive within SharePoint).
This JISC Course Data project – alongside recent national initiatives such as the Key Information Set and Higher Education Achievement Record - have provided an opportunity for the University to review its course data and revisit the existing requirements of HESA and the Student Loans Company, for example, for course information.
The CDATA project intends to – using the 4D model of the Appreciative Inquiry (AI) organisational change management methodology – define, design, develop and deliver a range of new functionality within the student information system’s web-face (eVision): the new Programme Management functionality will be launched as ‘ProM’. The ProM functionality enables the capturing of programme data that is accurate, timely and accessible; thereby meeting internal requirements and enabling the extraction of accurate course data in the XCRI-CAP, HEAR and KIS feeds.
The CDATA project team will work with a range of stakeholders to analyse and map the current processes and utilise technology to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of the business processes associated with programme management at the University.
The project will concentrate on the layer pertaining to course data, focusing on: ensuring all required data is captured; is accurate; the collection, processing and retrieval of data is timely; and the accessibility of course information, both internally and externally, is improved.
Anticipated Outputs and Outcomes
- Project website, blog and Twitter feed
- eVision/SITS software development
- System generated standard course feed in a XCRI-CAP 2.1 format with a COOL URI
- An “Appreciative Inquiry (AI)” methodology adapted for use within the context of the CDATA project
- JISC project reports
- Dissemination to the wider community
- Luke Bell, Brunel University, (SITS) Data Management, 01895 265418 firstname.lastname@example.org