Academic IT projects

The Education IT Programme includes several Academic IT projects and initiatives related to teaching and learning. The input received from departments and faculties as part of the Digital Education Strategy consultation was fed into the Education IT Board, and will help to set priorities for future Academic IT projects. 

All completed Academic IT projects are available from the completed projects page.

You may also like to refer to the latest Education IT Programme Update for Academic IT projects completed recently.  

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WebLearn, built on Sakai software, has been Oxford’s virtual learning environment (VLE) for some years. To find out if it still meets the University’s needs today or if an alternative solution should be considered, a VLE review is being carried out. 

During Michaelmas and Hilary terms, students and staff across the collegiate University were consulted, including people who do not currently use WebLearn. Over 1000 staff and students responded to the VLE Review survey, and approximately 100 participated in a workshop or interview. In addition to these activities, other research was carried out, including understanding what approach other universities took when recently carrying out their own VLE reviews. we are now using the findings to investigate how best to meet Oxford's VLE requirements. 

The User Group, which includes representatives from across the University, has been closely involved in the important task of prioritising requirements. The next step will be to evaluate the potential of WebLearn to be enhanced to meet future requirements, against ‘benchmark’ information obtained from leading VLE suppliers. If the result is a decision to procure a new VLE, a shortlist of suppliers would then be evaluated by the VLE Review Project Board and User Group. Detailed planning for the delivery phase of the project will then take place, to ensure a highly coordinated and supportive transition, and the Education Board will be asked to approve this approach in Michaelmas term 2017.

Further details are available from VLE Review web page and frequently asked questions. Any questions can be sent to

Following a successful pilot with the Social Sciences Library in the use of online reading lists, this project will consult with several academic departments that have expressed an interest in using online reading lists. The aim is to select a suitable third-party application that is compliant with the Library’s Management System, as well as the leading VLE platforms.

Plagiarism detection in formal assessments and during the Graduate admissions process is provided by Turnitin and iThenticate, respectively. This project will review the efforts that are in place today to support plagiarism awareness, evaluate the use of these tools, and assess if their continued use is valuable or if another tool could better meet these needs. 

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