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 Examiner Appointments and Payments (EAP) project aims to streamline and automate examiner appointments and payments processes for undergraduate and taught graduate degrees. The system is based in Microsoft Dynamics CRM. The Appointments element was released in June 2019, ready for the 2019-20 Exam Board Chair nominations. The Payments element is scheduled for MT 2019, in time for 2019-20 Exam Board payments.

Instead of having to complete various spreadsheets and sending these back to the University’s Examinations and Assessments team using WebLearn and SharePoint, academic administrators in departments, Senior Nominating Officers (SNOs), Chairs of Examiners and Proctors now have direct access to the EAP Appointments system, enabling them to find and enter information more easily and quickly via easy-to-use tabbed screens.

Update on progress

Payments

  • This element is nearing completion. Final testing is now taking place, and training will be offered to Exam Board administrators in the run-up to go-live. All users will be invited to roadshows. As with Appointments, user guides and other support will be available online. 

Details are on the Examiner Appointments and Payments project pages. 

On-course applications will replace the following ten paper-based Graduate (GSO) forms with online applications and digitised approval / workflow processes before the start of Hilary term 2020:

  • GSO.2b: Defer Transfer of Status

  • GSO.3: Appointment of examiners 

  • GSO.3c: Dispensation from consultation of the thesis

  • GSO.4: Change of mode of study 

  • GSO.6: Change of title 

  • GSO.8: Dispensation from residence 

  • GSO.14b: Defer Confirmation of Status

  • GSO.15: Extension of time 

  • GSO.27: Appointment of examiners - Law 

  • GSO.29: Withdrawal 

Their paper-based equivalents will be phased out once the online applications have been launched.

An automated process will see the student completing one of the first ten on-course applications online, increasing the quality and speed of the service. User dashboards will allow students and staff to access and track submitted applications, with automated email notifications being sent at key points in the process. Students will access their applications via dashboards in Student Self Service, and dashboards for staff can be found in the eVision system.  

Further information

Read the project's latest update here and you can find more detail in the FAQ document.

And more information about the project can also be found on the On-course applications project page.

This project is part of the Focus programme, a broad programme of activity to improve the way in which support services are delivered across the University.

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. Delivery is scheduled for Michaelmas term 2020, and development of the new system will start in April 2019.

The new system 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 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 new system will be developed using Microsoft Dynamics software, and will include an easy-to-use portal for tutors and students.

During the analysis and planning phase of the project, which has now come to an end, the project team started comprehensive stakeholder consultation with academic staff, students, and administrators. Colleagues in colleges and departments, and students will continue to be involved through two-weekly development sprints, a continuation of the User Group, user testing, and other activities, ensuring we will respond effectively to Oxford’s needs.    

Further information
Details about the project are available from the Tutorial Management System (TMS) pages.

News update: click here the latest Project update.

Background
The HESA Data Futures programme is preparing the University to meet the requirements of the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) for the new approach to collection of student data. The University currently returns student data to HESA on an annual basis, however the changes will require us to supply a wider range of data, and to supply it more frequently. The programme will ensure this regular reporting can be done efficiently, and that statutory responsibilities are met, by making improvements to processes and data handling. This will enable the University to continue to receive funding at the appropriate level.  

HESA had originally set the expectation that the new data returns would be required from January 2020, but on 12 March 2019 it was announced that this launch date has been deferred. The Oxford HESA Data Futures programme is assessing the implications of this delay, but continues to move forward with the changes as planned, so that the programme is in a good position to deliver when the new launch date is agreed.

The programme has been waiting for HESA to finalise details of the requirements so that a full statement of the impact can be shared. The latest announcement about the deferral suggests that the uncertainty may persist for a while longer. We will continue to update colleges and departments as we receive more information. 

The programme team has delivered a number of introductory presentations at colleges and divisional meetings since the start of this academic year, to share an overview of the programme, and to gain an understanding of the impact of the proposed changes. Colleges and departments will continue to be engaged with through workshops, surveys, working groups and more, to fully understand how HESA Data Futures will affect processes and systems, and to ensure that all relevant staff are kept informed of developments. 

The project is jointly sponsored by Jackie Hoyle (Director of Student Registry) and Mike Glover (Director of Planning and Council Secretariat), with Student Registry and Student Systems working closely with IT Services to deliver the solution.

Further information
Details are on the HESA Data Futures web pages.
Queries are welcome via email to hesa-student@admin.ox.ac.uk.

OuAAM provides outreach practitioners with a new platform on which they can set up and run outreach programmes and events. Practitioners will be able to use the solution to market their events, manage registrations, applications and selection, gather feedback and outcomes, and perform evaluation.  It will enable increased efficiency through standardisation and automated workflow, and will provide enhanced security and compliance with data protection regulations (GDPR).

The first phase of implementation will deliver the core solution required to manage the UNIQ programme (residential events held in the Easter and summer vacations).  A roadmap has been developed which provides a suggested roll-out to early adopter colleges and/or departments who can utilise the same functionality as UNIQ to manage residential outreach events.

The project has now reached the end of the analysis and planning phase, and the project team have compiled detailed information on the required scope and delivery activities, including resources and costs.  The proposal to proceed is now awaiting funding approval but, as this has not yet been secured, in the interim Undergraduate Admissions and Outreach (UAO) will continue with their existing processes.

Further information can be found on the Outreach and Access Activity Management (OuAAM) project page.

The Academic Transcript Improvement project combines a number of transcript improvements: the movement of Clinical Medicine transcript production to the Academic Records Office (ARO), and delivery of an improved mechanism for exam boards to provide overall marks and ranking data. 

The project is now nearing conclusion.  The new upload mechanism that allows exam boards to provide overall marks and ranking data was successfully deployed in June 2019, and a high number of exam boards have already taken advantage of the new functionality.  Where the data has been uploaded, the overall marks and ranking information has automatically been made available to final honours school students in Student Self Service.  In addition, a number of minor transcript improvements have already gone live, and the decision to transfer development of the ERASMUS placement and attachment data to transcripts from this project to the HESA Data Futures project has been agreed.

The movement of the Clinical Medicine transcript production to the Academic Records Office (ARO) has been agreed and the dates for cut-over to the new service are being finalised. This move improves efficiency and consistency, by aligning the transcript production for Clinical Medicine to the standard University process. 

At the end of November, the Graduate Admissions Online Decisions project was reviewed by the Education IT Board, in line with the usual governance processes and funding gates. Unfortunately, although the Board was very supportive of the project and the work done to date, and agreed on its benefits, the project was not given the green light to continue, as there is not the funding available at the moment to allow it to proceed. The project team will preserve the work that has been done so far and will talk to the Focus programme about the impact of this decision on their related activities. The project would like to take the opportunity to thank those who have contributed to project activities.

This project enables more departments to use the course booking software provided by Accessplanit (sometimes referred to as CoSy), which brings greater automation into the management and administration of training courses.

AccessPlanit had already been used successfully by the Finance Division and IT Learning Centre training teams, enabling improved training communication between providers and delegates, and the creation of shared records for delegates of training attendance.  As a result of this project, the system has now also been rolled out to additional training providers: the Language Centre, Oxford Learning Institute, Student Systems Support Centre, and the MPLS, Humanities and Medical Science divisions. Further training providers are still in the implementation phase. 

The project is also delivering a mechanism to allow training providers to easily share their course catalogues via platforms such as Mosaic.

The project seeks to ensure GDPR compliance in accordance with the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that came into effect on 25 May 2018. The regulation imposes additional obligations which process personal data, and introduces severe penalties for breaching of data protection. In response to the new regulation, the University has updated its data privacy notices for applicants and students, and has also defined new procedures for handling data breaches.

The Information Compliance team has recommended a number of changes to Student Systems to reduce the risk of future data protection breaches.  The project will work alongside the Universities Information Compliance Team (ICT) to help define personal and sensitive data stored on systems owned/managed by Student Systems.

The project is currently at the Analysis & Planning stage (A&P) and is hoping to move into the delivery phase from November 2019, once funding is approved.

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