xcri-cap feed use demonstrator (Cottage labs)
This proposal is for the development of a software applications to demonstrate the value to institutions and students of aggregated, standardised coursedata, using the xcri-cap 1.2 feeds produced by the JISC #coursedata programme.
This proposal is for the development of a software applications to demonstrate the value to institutions and students of aggregated, standardised coursedata, using the xcri-cap 1.2 feeds produced by the JISC #coursedata programme (as described in the ITT document).
The previous phase of JISC xcri-cap work has succeeded in creating an environment from which rich course metadata across numerous institutes can be easily extracted; by taking advantage of the application programming interfaces already in place in this environment, we can quickly demonstrate the value of access to such high quality data - providing a basis for further uptake of similar APIs across all institutes in the higher education community, enabling better provision of information to students (for the purposes of discovery) and staff (for the purposes of analysis).
This earlier xcri-cap work presents the opportunity for us to solve a number of problems; in the scope of this project, we would like to tackle one in particular.
The most talked a out aspect of higher education for the last couple of years is that of cost; would-be students face charges for access to education that exceed in one year what an entire degree programme may have cost (in terms of fees) not five years ago. This, unfortunately, paints academic pursuits as consumable goods - and as academic excellence is a somewhat intangible product, a student is going to expect a considerable level of quality for the service they will pay to consume. This situation presents two intertwined problems:
How can we present the true value of academic endeavour beyond that of it being a consumable good?
How can we provide justification to the consumer that the quality of the delivered service is worthy of the high cost pertaining to it?
By collecting course information data via the xcri-cap feeds of various institutes, we will present an easily searchable, navigable, up to date collection of all available metadata in one place, with faceted browse capability on any key datapoints.
Presentation of the metadata will be via an HTML5 website, viewable on modern devices from desktops to smartphones. (Mobile apps could also poll our API-driven service, but is beyond current scope). Presentation will also be enhanced by visualisation elements demonstrating results such as “popular courses” and so on.
Finally, slices of useful information will be presentable as widgets for embed on any website; therefore, relevant data could be presented next to a particular course description on a university website, for example.
By achieving this, we will be able to provide material to help justify the cost of academic services by comparing across the sector, whilst hopefully also demonstrating the benefit of scholarship beyond that of a consumable product by prov ding a way to link additional relevant material into course descriptions. Overall, this will show the benefits of easy access to open data such as that provided by xcricap feeds, and prove the success of the JISC-funded xcri-cap projects.
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