The CoBoMo project will build upon the previous JISC-funded OxCRI, Erewhon and OxCAP projects and will enhance Mobile Oxford to harvest XCRI-CAP data from Oxford Open Data (and potentially other sources in the future) and display a searchable geo- sensitive course directory to students. A web services interface will be added to Sakai’s Student Enrolment System tool so that Mobile Oxford can exchange data with it. This will allow students to book on courses through Mobile Oxford via a dedicated mobile UI. Authentication will be handled by oAuth.
Oxford University has more graduate students than it does undergraduates. In order that graduates leave with the skills that they will need for a prosperous career, the university offers a very large number of training courses, these are offered either by departments, divisional offices or by Doctoral Training Centres. The Oxford University Student Union (OUSU) 2011 Report on behalf of Post-Graduate Taught Students highlighted the need to make it easier for these students to access information about training opportunities and to enrol for places.
A tool to aggregate and render multiple XCRI-CAP feeds is being developed as part of OxCAP project. This tool allows students to book on courses through the institutional VLE. This tool, known as the Student Enrolment System (SES), is situated within the open source Sakai Collaborative Learning Environment (CLE). Sakai is used by a number of UK institutions including Newcastle, Bath, Cambridge and Hull.
The open source Oxford Open Data, (OOD) platform is used to store details about all Oxford’s graduate training courses and produces feeds in a variety of formats (incl. XCRI-CAP and RSS) for consumption by the SES tool and other third parties eg JISC.
The CoBoMo project will build upon the outputs of the OxCAP and Erewhon projects and will develop a Course Booking Mobile ‘app’ within the Molly Project (aka Mobile Oxford) framework. Mobile Oxford is an award-winning open source project and locally branded versions of it are currently deployed at a number of institutions including Oxford Brookes, Bangor and St George’s Universities.
We propose that Mobile Oxford be enhanced to harvest XCRI-CAP data from OOD (and potentially other sources in the future) and display a searchable geo-sensitive course directory to students. A web services interface will be added to Sakai’s SES tool so that Mobile Oxford can communicate with it. This will allow students to book on courses through Mobile Oxford via a dedicated mobile UI.
Sakai has a standardised web services interface to many of its tools – this is known as the Entity Broker API and serves JSON or XML data. We plan to implement such an interface within the SES tool which will allow Mobile Oxford to gain access to data stored within Sakai. In particular we will provide interfaces for: availability information (number of spare places), send booking request, check booking and cancel booking.
Mobile Oxford will be extended so that it can consume multiple XCRI-CAP feeds from multiple sources (although here we will only connect to OOD). Feed items will be made available in a geo-sensitive directory hat can be browsed and searched by a variety of facets such as keyword (title, description etc), subject and date. Mobile Oxford will provide a custom interface that communicates with Sakai via web service calls, for courses not bookable through Sakai, Mobile Oxford will present a URL to external booking systems. It will be up to these services to provide web access that is optimised for mobile access – this is not included in this proposal.
Authentication between Mobile Oxford and Sakai will be handled via oAuth.
The fruits of this project will give additional visibility to training courses which is something that the 4 academic divisions, OUSU (students union) and the University Skills Group are keen to see happen.
Mobile Oxford service manager
13, Banbury Rd, Oxford. OX2 6NN
Tel: 01865 283348