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.  

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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. 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 will run from mid-March 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 in 2018.

When research students and their examiners use RTDS, the system will allow them to securely share files, and will give the student a single source of corrections to work from. Research students and examiners will receive automated email notifications to inform them when they need to access RTDS. For students, access will be via login, while examiners will receive a unique web link that takes them directly to the relevant files for download. Students and examiners are supported in their use of RTDS by Frequently Asked Questions and Quick Reference Guides, available from within the RTDS application.

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. The University is increasingly required to deliver information to grant-awarding bodies on the nature and effectiveness of Graduate Skills Training, and the current system makes this a complex and manual operation. 

The Graduate Supervision Reporting (GSR) project will deliver a supported system that incorporates the improvements to graduate student reporting endorsed by the Education Committee in Trinity term 2016. The new system will be built in eVision, the main student records system for the University of Oxford.

During the current analysis and planning phase, the project is drawing on the expertise and input from a Project Board and User Group. In addition sessions have taken place with students, to gather their feedback on the current GSS system, Training Needs Analysis (TNA) documents and more.

Following approval of the project approach from the Education IT Board in Trinity term 2017, detailed planning for the delivery phase of the project will take place.
 

The Assessment Results Management project will implement a new system to support the management of marking of examinations. The system will integrate with SITS:Vision, and have the capability to import assessment structures and student exam entries, as well as export paper marks and outcomes. The system will also generate reports, which will enable detailed analysis of results in a consistent way.

The aim of the project is to provide departments with the following:

  • Current MarkIT users: a new system to allow MarkIT, a system used by a number of Humanities and Social Sciences departments to support their examination and results processes, to be retired. It is expected that these departments will make full use of the new system, including moderation and outcome calculation requirements, in 2018. It is anticipated that the use of the marks management functionality will also be made available to other exam boards at a later date.
  • Non-MarkIT users: departments currently not using MarkIT will continue to upload and download paper marks and course outcomes in spreadsheet format, however they may do this through a new system, instead of WebLearn.
  • Additional capability of capturing ranking and overall marks will also form part of this project.

Based on the requirements, the project, with support from a User Group, is currently evaluating possible solutions, including an internally custom-built solution using the Microsoft Dynamics application and off-the-shelf solutions.  It is hoped to make an informed decision on the preferred solution during Trinity term 2017, after which planning will begin for the first phase of delivery and implementation.

In June 2017 SITS:Vision, the underlying application for eVision, Student Self Service and Graduate Applicant Self Service, will be upgraded from version 9.2 to 9.3. Regular upgrades help to ensure that the University’s student records system remains supported and secure. There will be no major changes for users, however the aforementioned systems will be unavailable for the duration of one weekend in June, the timing of which will confirmed via the usual channels closer to the time. This project aims to establish an annual window in Trinity term to upgrade SITS:Vision in line with the supplier’s software releases.

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. Additional improvements requested by ADSS users will also be reviewed and incorporated if 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.

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 will be informed in early June.

Further information is available from the Student Systems website.

This project aims to support faster admissions and funding decisions, and make improvements to student systems that will benefit applicants and referees, including resolving technical issues with applicant payment and email notifications.

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. 

The now obsolete student records system, OSS, will be switched off in Trinity term 2017. Data that needs to be retained has been identified and will be stored before the system is turned off.

This new project is currently investigating the demand for a shared timetabling and resource booking tool for academic purposes. Possible uses might include library inductions, University exams and events, admissions interviews, and on-course timetabling in divisions and departments. It is expected that possible tools will be evaluated in 2017/18 and will initially be piloted with the Bodleian Libraries for student inductions. If you are potentially interested in using such a tool please contact edu-it@it.ox.ac.uk

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