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Presentation of XCRI work at the University of Bolton

Presentation of XCRI work at the University of Bolton



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Boxcri Boxcri Presentation Transcript

  • Bolton and XCRI 27th March, Leeds, Scott Wilson Bolton and XCRI
  • Or… Overcoming the chicken-and-egg conundrum of XCRI adoption
    • At the University of Bolton, we’ve realised a lot of benefits from adopting XCRI…
    • … Even though we don’t think anyone is seriously using our XCRI feed yet!
  • UB 2009 UB 2007-2009 UB 2009-2011 UB 2012-
    • How we adopted XCRI
    • JISC-funded XCRI mini-project in 2007
    • Initially looked at SITS IPP extensions
    • Abandoned in favour of creating a new course database, focusing on marketing and web search
    • The Course Database is now the catalyst for a range of innovations and improvements at UB
    • The Marketing Perspective
    • Lack of national standard has been a major headache
    • 3 staff involved in updating external sites:
    • 1-UCAS, 2-HotCourses, 3-innumerable local, regional, sectoral, subject and national initiatives
    • Value of target sites not easy to judge
    • Accuracy and timeliness very hard to manage, creating problems for the public with outdated info around on web
    • A thankless and rather dull job staff would rather avoid!
    • Prospectus Push
    • Staff still view course information in prospectus-centric way, e.g. an annual push
    • Despite the fact that course search has up to 4x as many users per week than our annual total of printed prospectuses!
    • Still have to use “prospectus push” to goad staff into taking action on course information
    • … but XCRI has enabled us to take a more managed all-year-round view of course information
  • The Bolton Course Database Designed from scratch Requirements gathered from marketing, QA, and student data management A lot of differences in language/terminology and data requirements - also different views of what a “course” was! In the end, database design primarily based on XCRI with marketing and QA requirements
    • While originally developed to support generating the XCRI feed, the DB is actually used to support:
    • Course search on our website
    • On-demand prospectuses and course information sheets
    • Prospectus printing
    • Course Search Project
    • Identifying the information needs for effective search was pretty challenging, and delayed implementation
    • Initial import was a big job, involving inputting data from hundreds of Word files. But never again, except for brand new courses! All updates go directly into course database
    • XCRI and Course DB enabled us to take a more managed approach, and improve quality of both data and results
    • Live update of course staff contacts from HRMS is a big improvement - saves a lot of effort and improves accuracy
    • Course Search Project
    • Printing templates/stylesheets based directly on course db results enable schools or individuals to print their own information sheets or mini-prospectus - much cheaper!
    • Have been enable to work on consistency of style and quality of content with new central management of course information
    • Overall the course “portfolio” doesn’t have much overlap or waste, but we don’t really have a good picture at module level
    • In the future we can see further value from this investment in XCRI realised by:
    • Supporting innovation in the course validation process
    • Developing new services that rely on course information as core data
    • … as well as the original core purpose of reducing time spent updating course information on other people’s websites…
    • (Potentially the biggest win will be the “tertiary” sites)
    • How we implemented XCRI
    • SQL Server database
    • Intranet application for managing courses, owned by Marketing
    • Live connection to HR database & Active Directory for keeping course contacts up-to-date
    • Versioning and auditing
    • Course Search service linked from website
    • How XCRI fitted our needs
    • A good fit for our existing marketing fields; only notable missing areas are:
      • Keywords (vs subject)
      • Related courses linking
      • Employment sector
    • A good fit for the entities for our database
    • Course/Presentation distinction in particular very useful
    • Potential areas to expand into
    • What’s next?
    • Linking cost element directly to fees, bursaries, scholarships
    • Google Analytics
    • Integrating with validation process
    • Custom reporting to support planning
    • Extending approach into managing modules - building the business case based on the value realised in managing courses