Student Systems projects

The Student Systems projects portfolio is delivering a mixture of incremental improvements to existing functionality, the creation of new systems, and the replacement of software reaching the end of its support. 

Completed Student Systems projects are available from the completed projects page.

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

Expand All

In 2018 Graduate Supervision System (GSS) will be replaced. The replacement is required because the vendor is withdrawing support for the underlying platform. This presents an opportunity to improve our systems in this area, and incorporate the improvements recommended by the Education Committee (this list is published on the Graduate Supervision Reporting page).

Key aims for this project are:

  • Replacement of GSS with a new Graduate Supervision Reporting module in eVision (GSR).
  • Implementation of process changes intended to improve reporting participation and quality. 
  • Technical improvements to eliminate downtime and data problems associated with GSS.

The Training Needs Analysis forms will be made available within GSR. The Project Board also agreed that integration with the smart phone application Inkpath, which was originally in the scope, should not be included at this stage as it is due to be piloted by various departments during the 2017/18 academic year.

The project will continue to draw on the expertise and input from a Project Board and User Group, to identify the detailed requirements for the new system. The User Group is made up of representatives from across the University, from divisions and colleges with a range of GSS user roles. 

Further information, including benefits, is available from the Graduate Supervision Reporting page.

This project evaluated various solutions to replace the marks management system MarkIT, which is used by a number of Humanities and Social Sciences departments. It also gathered feedback from the University’s Exam Boards to understand the wider demand for a centrally provided solution for capturing marks, and calculating award outcomes. 

The project, with the help from a User Group, evaluated various solutions, including off-the-shelf solutions. It was concluded that any off-the-shelf system would have difficulties accommodating the variety of processes used across Oxford’s Exam Boards. Equally, a custom built system won’t be scalable to future, new users. Therefore, before looking at other solutions to replace MarkIT, it will be essential to explore whether some of the workflow can be simplified and made more consistent. Education Policy Support will lead on this piece of work, with the intention of taking proposals to the Taught Degrees Panel of the Education Committee in Michaelmas term 2017. While this work is underway the project will be put on hold. The Education IT Programme will review progress at the end of Michaelmas term, and assess the possible ways forward. A new solution won’t therefore be implemented during the 17/18 Academic year. Those people using the central version of MarkIT will in the meantime continue to be supported in their use of MarkIT by IT Services. 

Any queries about this project can be sent to edu-it@it.ox.ac.uk.

Student Systems sought feedback from eVision and SITS:Vision users via the eVision/SITS User Experience Survey, open from the end of March until 12 May. Around 20% of eVision users responded to the survey, which included a variety of staff types, e.g. academic and administrative, from all parts of the collegiate University. The results will be analysed and published on the Student Systems website, and feedback will inform future development plans for Student Systems. The winners of the ten £50 Amazon vouchers have been contacted.

Further information is available from the Student Systems website.

The Research Thesis Digital Submission (RTDS) application is a simple, safe and secure way for research students to submit a digital copy of their research thesis and additional materials for examination. RTDS is being piloted with students in the Medical Sciences Division and their examiners, alongside the formal research degree regulations, including submission of the official printed copy of the thesis. The pilot began in mid-March and will run until the end of 2017 (i.e. over the deadlines for Hilary and Trinity terms 2017), and findings will be analysed to ensure the application meets users’ needs, before rollout to the other three academic divisions is proposed for 2018.

 

The Admissions Decisions Support System (ADSS) annual updates in 2017 will ensure the ADSS system supports the 2017/18 admissions round (for applicants seeking entry to Oxford in 2018/19). The main change is compliance with new numeric GCSE grades in English Language, English Literature and Mathematics to be introduced in England in 2017. The changes will ensure that these new grades can be used in conjunction with all other datasets that support admissions decisions. A list of additional improvements for tutors and admissions officers has now been agreed and as many of these will be incorporated as time and resources allow. This work will be delivered by October 2017. 

A number of central policies and processes for the appointment and payment of examiners on taught examination boards have been assessed, with the aim of avoiding delays in appointing and paying examiners, and ensuring compliance with regulations. This project will seek to deliver a solution that will streamline new examiner appointment and payment processes, and will integrate with existing University administrative systems, such as CoreHR and Oracle Financials.

In June 2017 SITS:Vision, the underlying application for eVision, Student Self Service and Graduate Applicant Self Service, was upgraded from version 9.2 to 9.3. There were no changes for users, but this routine upgrade was to ensure that the University’s student records system remains up to date and continues to be supported. This project aims to establish an annual window in Trinity term to upgrade SITS:Vision at a comparatively quiet point for eVision in the academic cycle. 

This project is currently investigating the demand for a shared timetabling and resource booking tool for academic purposes. The current focus is on a solution for the Bodleian Libraries, for student inductions. The project has also identified that there could be some wider interest in improvements to room booking processes, and this will be explored further. If you are potentially interested in using such a tool please contact edu-it@it.ox.ac.uk

This project was set up in response to Council’s goal of achieving faster funded offers in the graduate admissions process. It will implement a number of system improvements to benefit applicants, academic assessors and administrators, and address known problems, e.g. with applicant payment system and email notifications to referees.

A number of people in University Admitting Bodies (UABs) and colleges provided feedback via the eVision/SITS:Vision User Experience Survey, which was used to inform and prioritise the list of requirements. Representatives from UABs and colleges will be invited to join a working group, which will consider a number of specific user requirements in more detail, including improving the search results functionality and the ability for users to correct on-system errors without needing to request help from the Student Systems Support Centre. The full list of improvements is available from the Graduate Admissions Improvements page.

The improvements are being delivered in two phases in time for the 2017/18 admissions round. This includes changes related to the Graduate Application Form, which were delivered on 1 September 2017, and changes for UABs and colleges to be delivered on 1 November 2017. 

This project will ensure that eVision and SITS:Vision support the University’s 2016/17 return of student data to the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA). This includes fixing some known issues in eVision and SITS:Vision, and incorporating any changes required by HESA. 

In Hilary term, both the ICT Steering Committee and Steering Committee of Conference agreed to start a project to replace OxCORT, the system used currently to administer undergraduate tutorial reports and payments. OxCORT was originally introduced at Oxford a decade ago to replace a paper-based system, but is no longer being actively developed. This project will begin by identifying with colleges how best the new system could support them, including investigating possibilities for streamlining manual processes, with a view to implementing it for the 2019/20 academic year. College contacts were invited to attend briefing sessions in Trinity term, and after the last session has taken place, the presentation slides will be added to the OxCORT briefing sessions page. 

This new project will investigate how student progression (GSO) forms can be moved online. The project will begin to work with key colleagues across the University over the summer, to gather information for the analysis and planning phase, which will begin in Michaelmas term 2017.

During the 2016/17 academic year, work has been carried out to stabilise and enhance existing student systems functionality (two separate projects). During Trinity term, enhancements will be made in the areas of factors affecting performance (FAP), submissions, undergraduate admissions, and research management. In addition, helpdesk responsiveness has been improved by tackling common problems. Data from the Student Systems Support Centre shows:

  • New support calls have reduced by 18% so far this year
  • Number of open tickets have been reduced by 65% (814 in September to 288 in May)
  • 70% of new tickets are resolved within one week (61% in 2015/16)
List of site pages