Course Data Stage 2 New College Durham
Following an institutional self-assessment of internal course data flows with a view to implementing an xCRI-CAP feed for aggregators and focussing on xCRI-CAP output, the current project serves to effect potential process improvement for the collection, maintenance and promulgation of curricula information.
Owing to changes in funding and the increasing potential financial burden being placed on students, embarking on an educational programme is now a considered purchase for prospective students. As a significant provider of both further and higher education provision, New College Durham (NCD) is committed to providing a meaningful, high quality educational experience. Therefore, NCD is embracing the xCRI-CAP project in recognition of its long history of quality provision and cognisance of three main drivers for raising awareness of such provision as well as facilitating informed prospective student choice. The drivers are:
- Prospective fee paying students want to know more about the academic experience a course will provide and be able to compare this with other courses.
For example, what courses are offered, their mode of attendance, cost, duration, etc? How does such provision compare within, and without, the institution? Would a prospective student (and/or his/her employer if applicable) be able to be reliably informed about short-duration programmes, CPD opportunities, or perhaps modular provision?
- Better informed students are more likely to choose a course that they will complete, and be more motivated to achieve better results.
- Increased scrutiny by quality assurance agencies and the Government’s requirement for transparency of publicly funded bodies.
The specific objectives of Stage 1 of the project were as follows:
- Identify main institutional stakeholders
- Convene meetings with institutional stakeholders
- Consider existing internal processes for the collection and promulgation of curricula information
- Completion of Self-Assessment Framework
- Formulate initial Implementation Plan
Achievement of, and building upon, the above objectives may be deemed as the complement of the over-arching aim of Stage 2, namely the development of a Course Advertising system which embodies the increased utilisation of appropriate technology leading to the following objectives:
- More persistent, standardised, and therefore comparable, course information in a consistent location making discovery within, and without, the institution easier.
- Improved quality and assurance thereof giving rise therefore to more efficient and effective course data.
- Increased and intuitive accessibility to, and objective comparison of, courses, especially those which may not currently be as intuitively accessible (eg, those delivered by distance learning, CPD, bespoke provision, etc).
- NCD is able to make appropriate and informed decisions about its processes for managing course-related data, leading to a reduced administrative data burden, cost-effective working, and better business intelligence.
Anticipated Outputs and Outcomes
The outcomes of this project will be informed by the JISC study into the applicability of the ‘Enterprise Architecture’ (EA) strategic change management technique to the education sector. The EA approach recommends that change is enabled when organisations have a good understanding of their:
- existing information assets
- business processes
- organisational structures
- information and application infrastructures
This approach also prescribes that stakeholders be consulted to understand their concerns and draw out potential conflicts between differing concerns. Therefore, the required outcomes of the project may be summarised as:
- Improved practices, processes and procedures
- An effective service to students, staff, partners and stakeholders
- Improved compliance with regulators, funders and the law
- Efficient, timely and secure internal and external sharing of information
- Ensured accuracy of information
- Through use of xCRI-CAP feed(s) the developed course information system will be robust and have the potential to be interoperable with other data sources using the same open standard (eg potentially KIS, WIS, HEAR, etc).
Malcolm McBain, Project Manager, (0191) 375 4374 firstname.lastname@example.org
- Tony Lewin, Project Champion, (0191) 375 4072 email@example.com
- Mark Anderson, Staff Liaison, (0191) 375 4440 firstname.lastname@example.org
- Suzy Taylor, Data Records Manager, (0191) 375 4422 email@example.com
- Beth Etherington, Marketing Manager, (0191) 375 4042 firstname.lastname@example.org
- Graeme Thompson, MIS Manager, (0191) 375 4362 email@example.com
- Mark Hodgson, Web Developer, (0191) 375 4434 firstname.lastname@example.org