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. These projects are being timed to complement the rollout of Canvas, the new virtual learning environment (VLE).

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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The selection of Canvas by Instructure as the VLE that will replace WebLearn is the result of a process that began with the 2016 Digital Education Strategy implementation consultation. This identified the need for a more intuitive and user-friendly VLE. 

The Canvas @ Oxford project has now moved to the early adopter phase, which will involve several departments and faculties moving their courses to Canvas, the new VLE.  
 
Early adopters will attend a number of Learning Design workshops, and will be closely supported by Learning Technologists and implementation coordinators throughout the duration of the phase. The early adopter phase will undergo a rigorous evaluation which will be used to inform the wider rollout, expected to take place from summer 2019.
 
A series of roadshows are being run during the lifetime of the project, with the dates being widely communicated across the University each term. The first set of roadshows ran during Trinity term and were attended by nearly 200 people in total. 

More information about Canvas can be found on the Digital Education website. For details about what will happen to WebLearn, and a forthcoming related project (WebLearn Admin Use Reduction) please refer to the what will happen to WebLearn page. 

Any queries can be sent to canvasoxford@it.ox.ac.uk.

The Online Reading Lists project will deliver a solution to enable students to access their reading lists – linked to full-text resources and catalogue availability data – in an accessible, digital environment. The solution, now known as Oxford Reading Lists Online, has been integrated with the library management system, the new Canvas VLE, and Oxford Single Sign-On authentication (SSO).

 As of 1 August, following successful testing and training of academics and library staff, ORLO is being used by the project’s early adopters, drawn from all divisions and departments. The system is currently populated with over 150 reading lists which will be used by students joining early adopter courses from September 2018.

 The solution will be completed by March 2019, and a detailed plan for a wider rollout across the University will be delivered by the project team. 

Details are on the Online Reading Lists project web page, and any questions can be sent to orl@it.ox.ac.uk.

The University’s 2016 Digital Education Strategy consultation identified increasing interest in trialling the use of technology for examinations, with a view to moving from handwritten to typed exam scripts, at least for essay-based assessments. The E-exams project recently trialled a system to allow students sitting timed, invigilated essay-type examinations, to type – rather than handwrite – their responses. The Department of Computing Science, Faculty of Law, and Faculty of Theology and Religion took part in trial exams, which were delivered successfully in April. Students were asked to complete a survey to share their experiences of the trial. 

The next phase of activity includes formal evaluation to be carried out by the project, with a final report, containing data analysis and review of findings, due in September 2018. It is expected that a follow-on project to investigate how e-exams can be scaled up will be run during the 2018/19 academic year.

Details are on the E-exams page.

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