Teaching Management System (TMS): replacing OxCORT


TMS is now live

Now that TMS has been launched, please use the main TMS page on the Academic Support website for access to TMS and further information and guidance about the system.


This project replaced OxCORT, the system used to administer tutorial reports and payments in respect of undergraduate tutorial teaching provided by, or on behalf of, colleges. The project was initiated at the request of both the ICT Steering Committee and the Steering Committee of Conference.

The new Teaching Management System (TMS) serves both colleges and departments, providing a common system for academic staff and undergraduate students, and greater visibility of teaching provided to undergraduate students across the University.

Update, December 2021

  • TMS is now available for those who have been given access or authorised on the system via the TMS website
  • The TMS Project is now essentially complete, and support for TMS is now carried out by the Student Systems Support Centre (SSSC)
  • A blended training approach has been taken, including guidance for users via built-in self-help and PDF information manuals on the Guidance and support page
  • Representatives from both colleges and departments were very involved in shaping the development of TMS, to ensure it meets the needs of the collegiate University. The representatives participated in regular review meetings as system features were developed, as well as hands on sessions where they were asked to share feedback on their experience of using TMS
  • OxCORT is now 'read-only' and will only be available until July 2022, to allow access to historic reports and data

Background to TMS

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The TMS solution is fully consistent with the University’s strategy to use Microsoft technologies for custom development of software applications, providing a secure and resilient solution that can be easily supported. TMS aims to save time for users, wherever possible, by being flexible and intuitive, and reducing the need for repetitive tasks.

The solution makes use of existing integrations with other University systems.

The new TMS solution is available for use by all colleges and departments. It permits tutors to be set up from among college and department staff, staff from other parts of the University including libraries, current undergraduates (Medical Sciences only), current postgraduates, and external staff. Most departments with responsibility for undergraduate teaching have already confirmed their interest in using the new system. A jointly owned system by colleges and departments will result in greater visibility for departments of teaching provided to their students, and by their employees.

Some of the key benefits of the TMS solution are described below:

  • Enhanced student experience
    • Provides students with better access to reports on their academic progress
    • Better visibility of students’ reports, enabling colleges and departments to communicate more effectively, and resolve any issues promptly
    • Provides student sign-up to available classes and tutorials
  • A modern, reliable solution which improves upon OxCORT
    • Secure and stable platform, easy to support
    • Web based, flexible, and easier to use for both academic and administrative staff
    • Improved GDPR compliance
  • A joint solution for both colleges and university departments
    • Consistent approach across the institution, improved data quality
    • Better visibility of undergraduate teaching across colleges and departments
    • Common system for college and departments staff and academics
    • Enables replacement of various departmental systems (for example, Minerva)
  • Improved payments
    • Clearer payment options
    • Reduced administrative workload for college and departmental administration staff in reconciling payments
    • Improved payment processing and reporting 

Governance and stakeholder involvement

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  • During the analysis and planning phase of the project, the project team undertook comprehensive stakeholder consultation. This consultation included 25 workshops with college and departmental staff, six User Group meetings, a session specifically held for tutors, a student survey (512 responses), a student workshop, and a learning needs survey, which was completed by 110 staff, including 45 tutors, and 31 organising/personal tutors
  • In addition, two departmental specific briefing sessions were held to gauge departmental interest in using the new system, and relay planning and goals
  • The implementation phase from April 2019 saw a continuation of this type of activity, including specific TMS User Representative involvement in the development and testing of the new system. TMS User Representatives include representatives from both colleges and departments and form part of the new TMS Stakeholder Involvement Groups
  • Users of the system will be prepared for the changes through detailed communications and training, and will be invited to showcase and roadshow events as development progresses

The TMS Project Board met on a regular basis to review progress of the project, and had ultimate responsibility for overseeing its direction and governance. The Board was chaired by Ali Rogers, Senior Tutor at Keble, and Chair of the OxCORT Management Committee (OMC).  

The project took an agile approach to TMS development. This means that we broke the project down into contained iterations (often called sprints) and building the functionality in bite-sized chunks. At the end of each iteration we reviewed what we had built, with input and feedback from our user representatives, to ensure that the functionality met the agreed requirements as it is built. Our user representatives included:

  • Product owner - Mark Pobjoy (Senior Tutor at Magdalen).  It's a large task, so Mark will be supported by 3 delegate product owners
    • Henry Jestico (Brasenose College)
    • Leanne Carveth (Computer Science)
    • Ari Oluwafemi (TMS Business Analyst)
  • TMS User Representatives Group (select first dropdown) - alongside the product owner and delegates, a group of approximately 20 user representatives provided subject matter expertise and represent the needs of end-users in colleges and departments. The User Group was chaired by Mark Pobjoy.