Mar 10

Open Course Data at Loughborough – Phase 2 Final Project Report

Read Loughborough University Open Course Data Phase 2 Final Report on Scribd

Mar 07

Open Course Data: We’re Live!

Today we threw the switch and made our Open Course Data feed live, as shown in these screenshots from the JISC XCRI-CAP Aggregator site:

 

Screen Shot 2013-03-07 at 12.32.00

 

Screen Shot 2013-03-07 at 21.37.16

 

Screen Shot 2013-03-06 at 11.57.51

Our data feed can now be found by all three suggested “Cool URIs”:

http://lboro.ac.uk/courses.xml
http://lboro.ac.uk/data/courses.xml
http://data.lboro.ac.uk/courses.xml

We’re using the Open Government License for this.

There are still a few rough edges that we are working on, but we hope that you will find it useful!  If you build an application that uses this data, please do leave a comment to let people know about how you are using XCRI-CAP.

 

 

Jan 27

Open Course Data at Loughborough (Project Summary Video)

 

Nov 24

Open Course Data – November 2012 Interim Report to JISC

Section One: Summary

In our previous interim report we noted an intent to build our initial prototype of the Open Course Data system around the University’s Web Content Management System (CMS), Site Manager from Terminal Four.  This work has now taken place and a feed of course data in the XCRI-CAP format is being generated automatically from the (draft) next edition of the Undergraduate Prospectus.

We had proposed that the CMS would become the canonical source of course marketing information, simplifying the process of managing course marketing and also allowing a single authoritative copy of the data to be used for a variety of purposes.  This approach has been very well received, and we are currently piloting the new CMS based approach with a number of University Schools and Departments.  An illustrative screenshot from the CMS is shown below:

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Nov 24

Open Course Data – Terminal Four Site Manager CMS Formatter for XCRI-CAP Generation

This is the Terminal Four Site Manager CMS “formatter” which takes the values for the fields defined in the content templates, and turns them into an XCRI-CAP XML record describing a course.

We regard this as code for the purposes of copyright/licensing, and as per the terms of the JISC project grant we are making it available here under the GNU General Public License, version 3.

 

<t4 type=”content” name=”Study Option 1 UCAS” output=”selective-output” modifiers=”” process-format=”true” format=”<course>

<dc:description href=&quot;http://www.lboro.ac.uk<t4 type=&quot;navigation&quot; id=&quot;637&quot; />&quot;/>

<dc:identifier>http://www.lboro.ac.uk<t4 type=&quot;navigation&quot; id=&quot;637&quot; /></dc:identifier>

<dc:identifier xsi:type=&quot;courseDataProgramme:ucasCode&quot;><t4 type=&quot;content&quot; name=&quot;Study Option 1 UCAS&quot; output=&quot;normal&quot; modifiers=&quot;&quot; /></dc:identifier>

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Nov 24

Open Course Data – Terminal Four Site Manager Content Template Elements for XCRI-CAP

This table shows the Site Manager CMS content template elements that we have been working with to describe a course.  There are a lot of them, but we need to break out and apply formatting etc to individual fields.

 

Name Description Type Required Max. Size
Name The name of the piece of content Plain text

Yes

80 Characters

Course Name Plain text

No

2048 Characters

Department/School Selector Check Box
(Department or school)

No

2048 Characters

Department Select Box
(Departments and schools)

No

2048 Characters

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Nov 24

Open Course Data – Centralised XCRI-CAP Course Information using Terminal Four Site Manager

Centralised XCRI-CAP Course Information using Terminal Four Site Manager

 

This specification was developed for Terminal Four, for their work on integrating XCRI-CAP generation with our online prospectus

 

Overview

The University is looking at using Site Manager to generate a course marketing information feed using the XCRI-CAP standard.

As part of this work, the University is keen to explore how Site Manager can be used as a centralised location for course information that can be used to power both the online prospectuses but also be leveraged to produce print prospectuses and other material.

The current process for producing print and web prospectuses is labour-intensive and it is hoped that by using Site Manager to manage the process of updating course information by academic departments and central services, we can see significant time-savings.

For the purposes of this project, the Undergraduate Prospectus (www.lboro.ac.uk/study/undergraduate) will be the focus, but the aspiration will be to extend this to the management and production of the Postgraduate Prospectus in the longer term.

As the current online Prospectus is updated throughout the year, this can be considered to be the most up-to-date version of the University’s course marketing information so would be what the subsequent year’s content would be based on.

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Nov 05

Open Course Data – Course and Department Information Management via Site Manager CMS

Nov 05

Open Course Data – Graphical Overview of XCRI-CAP 1.2 Specification

Nov 05

Open Course Data – Representing Course Information in Site Manager CMS

Nov 02

Open Course Data – Evaluation Plan

 

V2 – October 2012

No Timing Factor to Evaluate Questions to Address Method(s) Measure of Success
1 Interim reporting +Project close Generation of XCRI-CAP feed Inclusion of key data, addressing of issues around complexity of course data versus XCRI-CAP fields (e.g. entry requirements) To be reviewed by project team and stakeholders Loughborough satisfied with the content and its presentation after harvesting / aggregation
2 Interim reporting +Project close Generation of XCRI-CAP feed Technical feed successfully validated and available for aggregation Peer review with other programme members + JISC support activity JISC satisfied with the content and its presentation after harvesting / aggregation
3 Interim reporting +Project close Efficiency and effectiveness improvements of internal processes Reduction in duplication of material, manual processes moved online, online processes moved to central IT systems To be reviewed by project team and stakeholders Quantifiable efficiency savings, e.g. due to move from emailing spreadsheets to use of online system
4 Interim reporting +Project close Efficiency and effectiveness improvements of externally-driven processes Third party web-sites supporting the XCRI-CAP feed of data To be reviewed by project team and stakeholders Quantifiable efficiency savings in reduction in separate provision of data
5 Interim reporting +Project close Stakeholder engagement Is the project successfully engaging with its stakeholders? Stakeholder survey of Marketing, Academic Registry and Schools Stakeholder “happiness” with the project and its outputs; feedback following phased roll-out
6 Interim reporting +Project close Resourcing and timing Did the team have sufficient effort devoted to the task? Were there difficulties prioritising this work in relation to other activities? Had the benefits outweighed the effort required? Had other critical work been affected? To be reviewed by project team and stakeholders Project generally felt to have come in “on time” and “on budget” and the internal resource required felt to be proportionate to the benefits.
7 Project close Embedding of work done on project Are the project outputs being used within the core marketing processes? Check online prospectus, School and Departmental pages etc Widespread or universal take-up of project outputs

 

Jun 20

Presentation at Open Course Data Technical Day, June 2012

Here is a presentation delivered by Martin Hamilton at the JISC Open Course Data programme Technical Day in London on 20th June 2012.

 

May 25

Open Course Data – May 2012 Interim Report to JISC

Section One: Summary

The project has made good progress with its initial work activity to review existing processes in and around the area of course marketing.  A number of “quick wins” have been identified (see report available via the project blog), and it has been agreed by key stakeholders that we will concentrate our efforts on making the University’s Web Content Management System (CMS) the authoritative source of course marketing information.

We will now move on from the process review phase of the project to begin prototyping work on improved approaches to gathering and managing course marketing information, and the generation of an XCRI-CAP feed based on standard CMS templates.  We are conscious that many other institutions use the Site Manager CMS software from Terminal Four, and indeed some preliminary discussions with other UK HE Site Manager users began after May’s Open Course Data online programme meeting.

The project will be sending a representative to the Open Course Data technical day on June 20th, and it has been suggested that the Institutional Web Management Workshop (IWMW) in Edinburgh (June 18th-20th) might provide a useful forum for Terminal Four and user institutions to exchange ideas and information around their XCRI-CAP implementations.  Loughborough will also be sending a representative to IWMW.

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May 17

Open Course Data – Review of Prospectus Processes and Recommendations

1.1  Information for Prospective Students

The type of information provided within the two student prospectuses (undergraduates and postgraduate) includes the following:

  • Courses available: for undergraduate, postgraduate taught, and postgraduate research.
  • Entry requirements: for each of the courses.
  • Course structure: Example modules for each year for the degree programme.
  • General information: about the degree programme, placement opportunity and career prospects.
  • Contact details: the office to contact for further information.

1.2  Information Sources 

The information provided in the prospectus is obtained from two main sources. These are; the academic departments who provide information regarding the degree programme and the course structure. Academic registry provides information about the course entry requirements and the UCAS codes for different types of programmes i.e. three or four year programme.

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May 17

Open Course Data – Business Process for the Prospectus and UCAS Course Information

May 17

Open Course Data – Ideal Process Map

May 17

Open Course Data – Postgraduate Prospectus Process

May 17

Open Course Data – Undergraduate Prospectus Process End-of-cycle

May 17

Open Course Data – Undergraduate Print Prospectus Process

May 17

Open Course Data – Undergraduate Web Prospectus Process

May 17

Open Course Data – Data Mappings to XCRI-CAP

Undergraduate Example – BSc (Hons) Geography with Economics

 

XCRI feed given in bold; comments given in italics.

 

 

<course>

 

(2 identifiers – one would appear to be a direct link and another just the unique identifier)

 

<dc:identifier>http://www.lboro.ac.uk/study/undergraduate/courses/departments/geography/geographywitheconomics/</dc:identifier>

Marketing – web-prospectus

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May 17

Open Course Data – Initial Assessment of Data Availability

The XCRI feed requires a variety of course data, generally at programme (course) and presentation[1] level, with common data relating to the provider.

This summary is supplemented by an annotated sample XCRI feed for an undergraduate programme at Loughborough University (BSc Geography with Economics), the production of which helped inform the findings. This sample feed should be consulted for information on specific data locations and gaps.

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May 14

Hello

Hi there, this is a site dedicated to open data projects at Loughborough University. Our main open data project at the moment is to develop an XCRI-CAP feed of our course marketing information as part of the JISC Open Course Data initiative. This should help us to understand how to address a much bigger challenge in the coming years – the research council open data mandate. Be sure to check back here for regular updates, or follow our progress in your RSS reader.