Euclidie - EUCLID Informatics Enhancements

Identified below are proposed local Informatics enhancements to EUCLID (with the moniker of Euclidie for want of a better catchy name). These have been identified by the Teaching Organization, Graduate School and Computing body as:

  • pre-existing - not new functionality
  • essential to business function
  • not duplicating existing functionality within EUCLID
  • not being provided by EUCLID now or in the near future

Most of these processes will require some form of data sharing with EUCLID (as the golden copy) once EUCLID replaces our local database and the existing data streams from SMS/DACS are terminated. For more details on the existing data streams see EUCLID Interoperability.

Although these processes have been identified within Informatics we expect most are needed in some form by other Schools in the College of Science and Engineering as well as Schools in other Colleges.

Functionality is ordered below as:

  • critical - non-continuance would have severe impact
  • important - non-continuance would be detrimental
  • useful/improvement - not currently linked to our local database or dependent on a central data stream but could benefit from being so

Due to the reduced scope of the EUCLID project much of our local database functionality will in fact now have to be retained in some form (see EUCLID Interoperability for more details). This additional functionality (such as mark collation, BoE Reports and tutorial group management) is not yet specifically included in the enhancements listed below.

Systems Account/Authentication Management - CRITICAL

We use UG, PGT and PGR student data from existing central data streams and our current local database to automatically create student accounts. The central data streams which currently sync automatically and unattended and our local data supporting this need to continue in some form.

Systems Authorization Management - CRITICAL

We use UG, PGT and PGR student data and course structure data from existing central data streams and our current local database to automatically create student roles and capabilities for authorization control to services. The central data streams which currently sync automatically and unattended and our local data supporting this need to continue in some form.

Teaching Software Management - CRITICAL

We use course structure data and course management data (such as lecturers running course) from existing data streams and our current local database to manage local teaching software for courses installed on our systems. The central data streams which currently sync automatically and unattended and our local data supporting this need to continue in some form.

Online Practical Submission - CRITICAL

We use UG, PGT and PGR student data, course structure data and course management data (such as lecturers running course) from existing central data streams and our current local database to automatically manage online electronic practical submission (and lecturer/TA collection for marking). The central data streams which currently sync automatically and unattended and our local data supporting this need to continue in some form. Although EUCLID will not directly support online submission the intention is that it will be linked to the new VLE which will. However the status of the VLE review is unclear and until such time as the School adopts a central VLE the existing system needs to continue.

Local improvements also need to be made to the submission system as below. These may escalate work on this to re-implementation instead.

  • integration of new EUCLID course codes (and probably assessed course work codes).
  • handling the "disk filling" problem and/or providing suitable feedback to the submitter.
  • automatically turning off submission at deadline (EUCLID holds assessment deadline information).
  • retaining every submitted file (backend would be version controlled rather than straight filesystem).
  • whether to support not-for-credit coursework and whether done in the same way as assessed coursework.

Mailing Lists - CRITICAL

We use UG, PGT and PGR student data, course structure data and course management data (such as lecturers running course) from existing central data streams and our current local database to automatically create mailing lists for courses. These are heavily used by academic staff for student contact and information dissemination. The central data streams which currently sync automatically and unattended and our local data supporting this need to continue in some form.

Post Application Visit Day (PAVD) - CRITICAL

We invite all our UG and PGT applicants to attend one of our Post Application Visit Days (previously known as "UCAS Days" to distinguish them from University "Open Days"). The PAVD process has already been locally implemented (due to time pressure on requirement). It is entirely automated, driven by a scheduled BOXI report emailed into the local database system and processed to maintain a local simplistic read-only copy of the EUCLID universe (as regards PAVD). Additional information not represented in EUCLID is attached to the EUCLID data and locally maintained by the ITO using existing systems. The ITO also have to read applicant personal statements on EUCLID to input personalized information locally (this information is not available via BOXI download). This information is then used to automatically generated personalized letters to be sent to applicants inviting them to PAVD (again using existing systems). An unattended automatic data feed from EUCLID or direct API would be a superior technical solution to an emailed BOXI report. For more technical details on the implementation see the PAVD Sync Process

Taught Postgraduate Post Application Communications (PGT) - CRITICAL

In order to maximise recruitment we stay in regular contact with taught postgraduate applicants by sending regular emails. The PGT process has already been locally implemented in exactly the same way as the PAVD process (again due to time pressures on requirement). The local information is used to manage and automate sending different types of email at various stages of the application process (using existing systems). An unattended automatic data feed from EUCLID or direct API would be a superior technical solution to an emailed BOXI report. For more technical details on the implementation see the PGT Sync and Send Process.

PGT Admissions - IMPORTANT

Provide a web form for the Teaching Organization and/or Registry to use to add additional information with each PGT application that is missing from EUCLID (such as interests, scholarships, notes, history of contact). This will then be maintained locally tied to a local copy of data from EUCLID on PGT applicants.

  • Interests - we would like to attach to each PGT application a list of interests that can be used to target/tailor correspondence with the applicant.
  • Scholarships - we would like to attach to each PGT application additional funding information.

We would need a data stream from EUCLID with PGT applications that we can hold locally and tie to locally maintained information on interests and funding. We may have to generate a report/web/mailing from this. Essentially a variant/extension of PAVD handling.

PGR Admissions - IMPORTANT

We don't expect the majority of academic staff to keep a daily watch on EUCLID for new applicants. Instead we would like to see an unattended automatic data feed from EUCLID that can be used to create a mail shot to alert academic staff that they have outstanding actions on EUCLID to look at. Potentially this could be done manually with a BOXI report and mail merge but a fully automated solution would be preferable.

UG4/PGT Projects - USEFUL/IMPROVEMENT

We maintain information on UG4 and PGT project titles and possible supervisors. The system is used by students to choose projects and for the projects administrator to allocate supervisors and ensure a spread of effort across teaching staff. Currently the system is standalone and so requires some duplicated maintenance of student information, it would be an improvement to seed it straight from EUCLID.

Webmarks - USEFUL/IMPROVEMENT

We produce reports for College for UG4 and MSc project marks through a web form system that controls and combines the marks and a criteria report from both markers. Currently the system is standalone and so requires some duplicated maintenance of student information.

Course Proposals - USEFUL/IMPROVEMENT

While course descriptors from 2009 will be managed directly through EUCLID, for the course proposal process through the Board of Studies the descriptors lack key information such as supporting statements. We will provide a web form that these details can be entered onto which will generate a PDF which can be attached to the EUCLID record. Don't believe there are any direct interoperability requirements for supporting this. See the BoS Proposal Document

RT DoS Triage System - USEFUL/IMPROVEMENT

The Teaching Organization use this to manage, triage and track incoming support requests from students and follow up enquiries from applicants. This system would benefit from some data being available from EUCLID (such as student to DoS mappings).

-- TimColles - 07 Aug 2008

Topic revision: r9 - 01 May 2009 - 18:02:11 - TimColles
 
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