This issue of finding effective information systems to support course and curriculum management featured prominently in the institutional approaches to curriculum design programme and the projects involved produced some useful resources on their approaches:
- Manchester Metropolitan University has produced a generic set of stakeholder requirements which were used to frame its in-house implementation (case study on developing stakeholder requirements for an academic database) and a host of findings on what is still the most thorough reform of course information management in the sector. The database is now used to populate the institutional VLE (Moodle), making key information visible to students every time they log on
- Cardiff University created an institution-wide academic database and has released the full technical specification for their work based on the SITS student record system and use of representational state transfer (RESTful) web services
- The University of Strathclyde developed a solution using Microsoft SharePoint and details of its work can be found in the PiP technical development report
- Birmingham City University also adopted a Microsoft SharePoint solution and has detailed its technical journey in a SharePoint blog
Our flexible service delivery programme also explored this issue through an investigation of product modularisation ie attempting to take the curriculum management module of a proprietary system and make it available via the Cloud to a range of institutions with different student records systems by making use of XCRI and a service oriented approach. The outcomes of this work are published in a case study on the cumulus project led by Roehampton University in partnership with Canterbury Christ Church University, De Montfort University, the University of Lincoln, the University of Nottingham and Unit4.
Within our course data programme a number of different approaches were taken and the following are some examples of institutions who delivered a broader curriculum management solution in tandem with their XCRI-CAP feed:
- The University of Exeter created the integrated programme and module system (IPaMS) as part of an earlier programme. The system is freely available for others to use under an open source license and full technical details can be found on the project blog. Features include:
- An XML specification for programme descriptors and module templates
- An open database schema to hold programme templates and module descriptors including version control to support the approval process and an archive facility
- A web application to allow access to the data for editing and downloading with automatic notification of change
- Web services to allow transfer of templates and descriptors to and from the database.
- A fully populated database using data from one University academic unit interfacing with the SITS student records system and the Moodle VLE
- A fully documented online toolkit available freely under open source licence.