Teaching Management System (TMS): replacing OxCORT

This project will replace 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) will serve 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.  Key features of the new system will include:

  • Managing college and department teaching across multiple teaching types (for example, classes, revision, and practicals)
  • Allowing tutors to record teaching hours and submit teaching hours easily, whether for a group of students or for an individual student
  • Providing students with easy access to tuition reports 
  • Calculating incoming and outgoing payments for tutors, colleges, and departments
  • Publishing department teaching arrangements (classes) for student self sign-up
  • Allowing tutors and students to view all their own teaching arrangements
  • Tracking teaching hours against college (and department) stints
  • Reporting on both TMS and historical OxCORT tuition

Development of the new solution continues, and delivery is planned in time for Michaelmas term 2021.  

 

 

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  • College and department offices should have access to TMS from early August 2021, and will be able to complete their set-up in readiness for tutors to use the system in Michaelmas term 2021.
  • 'Countdown to TMS launch' communications to college and departmental contacts has started with college and departmental briefings sessions.  Alongside this, a blended training approach will be provided for all relevant colleagues to help prepare them for using TMS, so that there will be no need to attend any sessions in person. Instead, guidance for users will be via built-in self-help and PDF information manuals on the Student Systems website.
  • Representatives from both colleges and departments have been 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 will no longer be used after August 2021, except to allow access to historic reports and data for 12 months following shutdown, and so tutors should submit all reports for 2020-21 (and any from previous years) in OxCORT by 31 July 2021. 

If you have any questions, please email the project team at tmsproject@it.ox.ac.uk.

The new TMS solution will be available for use by all colleges and departments. It will permit 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 (26 of 30) have already provisionally 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.

The TMS solution will be 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 will aim to save time for users, wherever possible, by being flexible and intuitive, and reducing the need for repetitive tasks.

The solution will make use of existing integrations with other University systems.

  • 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 has seen 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.  

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 

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

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

  • 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 will provide subject matter expertise and represent the needs of end-users in colleges and departments.  The User Group is chaired by Mark Pobjoy.

Please find useful TMS project documents below:

TMS Stakeholder Groups ToR

Please note: Documents are behind Single Sign On.

You can contact the TMS project team by email via tmsproject@it.ox.ac.uk.

Contact

Project mailbox: tmsproject@it.ox.ac.uk

Education IT Programme
Location: Gibson Building
Email: edu-it@it.ox.ac.uk
Tel: 01865 (6)13437