Institutional Awareness of XCRI-CAP
Two individuals attended the WYLLN XCRI-CAP seminar in Leeds in 2009. The timing of the event fell just as the University of Bradford was starting to address issues around the collation and presentation of their course related information.
Following the event an initial impact assessment was undertaken to identify the key cultural and technical challenges and tasks they would face working through XCRI-CAP implementation. It was quickly identified that technically implementation would be relatively simple. However, the cultural challenges presented greater perceived barriers.
An initial scoping exercise identified key individuals, and a meeting was arranged with representatives from Academic Standards, Admissions & Enquiries, Management Information Systems (MIS), Student Records, Schools and Recruitment, to raise awareness of XCRI-CAP and outline a project to create course catalogues. Technical and project management representatives from WYLLN also attended to offer support.
In general there was wide support for the implementation of XCRI-CAP although Deans and Academic Directors appeared uninterested in XCRI-CAP, as they perceived no visible change to operations or activities. However, all parties were interested in the concept of creating a 'single point of truth' in relation to course related information.
Internal Systems Pre Implementation
Prior to developing the internal Content Management System (CMS) with XCRI-CAP compliant templates, the marketing team would receive Word documents containing appropriate information to advertise courses. From these they would develop the prospectus as a series of accessible PDF documents. These accessible PDFs would then be 'cut and paste' to create an online prospectus.
The strategic drivers for The University of Bradford were the need to: develop a course directory, create a content management system and establish a web team, increase general efficiency and effectiveness of managing and presenting course related information. It was considered that implementing XCRI-CAP would help in achieving these challenges by:
Creating consistency in the approach to collecting, collating and presenting course related information
Streamline internal processes
Create a 'single point of truth ' in relation to course catalogue
Support the development of a CMS
Enable 'print on demand'
Move away from a prospectus driven operation
Create the ability to react quickly to ideas and new courses
Create content online
Support the promotion of undergraduate, postgraduate and CPD courses.
At an early stage of the XCRI-CAP implementation, it was agreed that the scope of the project would focus on the transformation of undergraduate course information, ensuring the impact on activities outside the web and marketing teams and resources required were minimal. As a consequence of this the Senior Management Team were not required to be involved in any decision-making process at this stage. The WYLLN technical and project management resource supported the University of Bradford in the early stages of the project by:
Holding mapping workshops reviewing current data structures against the XCRI-CAP standard
Supporting brainstorming sessions to identify opportunities and key stakeholder groups
Providing expertise and knowledge on XCRI-CAP
Providing guidance on suggested activities to assist implementation
Supporting the University of Bradford to attain a comfortable position where staff could implement XCRI-CAP.
Built XCRI-CAP compliant templates into the CMS
Took the latest undergraduate course information and populated templates
Templates will feed online and print course advertising information
A key challenge for The University of Bradford was identifying and allocating resources to work on XCRI-CAP implementation. Individuals had the technical skills and capabilities but very little spare capacity to take on additional activities.
Where the data sits has also been a point for ongoing debate, either as a part of Student Records and linked into SITS or within a Content Management System.
The internal champion also had to develop communication styles and content that ensured non-technical staff understood the principles of the development without having to translate technical jargon. The material and guidance provided by the WYLLN team helped the internal team develop new communications styles and messages.
It was also recognised that XCRI-CAP implementation would result in changing the way people worked and would require a different attitude and approach to the generation of course content for marketing in the future.
The University of Bradford would like to be in a position, as a result of transforming the way they collect, collate and present course related information, to be able to react and respond to external markets and opportunities by adding and removing course offerings efficiently.
They recognise the wider opportunities through postgraduate and CPD study and increasing internationalisation and wish to be receptive and responsive to new emerging markets.
The institution recognises that instigating an effective course management system based upon XCRI-CAP will enable them to utilise course related information more effectively to respond to new and emerging markets.
The University of Bradford recognises that many HEIs use similar CMS systems to them and identified the need for vendors of the popular systems to respond to the emergence of XCRI-CAP and provide greater help and support for institutions wishing to progress with implementation.
There are future projects that will include wider implementation of XCRI within the institution. It has been recognised that these will require specific project management and technical resources allocated to ensure success. Proposals are being drafted to present to the Senior Management Team for review. At this stage Pro Vice Chancellor (PVC) level involvement and support will be required to take the implementation further.
The following pages contain case studies or links to live feeds from those who have already worked with and/or implemented XCRI-CAP.