Course in A Box: Project 178


This is the final report for the Course In A Box project - Project 178 - the aim of which was to produce a list of functional requirements for a set of self-contained web-page templates and configuration files (similar to those for Institute In A Box) that were detailed enough to be useful, but were neutral with respect to implementation requirements.

Work Done

Various basic questions were circulated in an attempt to refine and clarify the areas on which to focus. It was hoped that a set of template pages could be described that would supersede the various ad hoc pages currently in use, and discussions were instigated with all course lecturers and organisers to find out what was needed. The initial poll produced a detailed list of requirements, that were then used to assess implementation feasibility.

Documents were produced (see below) that listed all items of data appearing on the various course web-pages, with a note of who was responsible for each item (the "data-ownership table"). These items were then organised into requirement categories (functional, operational, etc), with some indication of how consistent these requirements were with one another. Once the requirements list had been drawn up, these were formulated into a Discussion Document, and meetings were held with ITO and IGS (now ISS) folk to establish what could be uncontentiously agreed. Such meetings resulted in a revised Discussion Document, which was then circulated for further comment.

The final meeting was held on 23.March.2011, at which it was agreed to try and keep any interim Course-In-A-Box requirements "as simple and streamlined as possible, and to accept the circulated data-ownership list as an effective requirements list". An initial implementation of CIAB pages was carried out by Neil as Project 209.


It was noticed early on that there was a lot of interest in a revamp of the course web pages, but there wasn't always agreement on what should be done or how wide-ranging it should be. Issue was also taken with the fact that any new web pages would be created alongside existing pages, and this was felt to be very confusing for students. However, resource constraints did not make a replacement of existing pages likely.


There was no initial time allocation, but a user-consultation and document revision project such as this was not likely to be quick. In total, the time taken was 80 hours - just over two FTE weeks.


The requirements list was subsequently circulated on 02.May.2011, and was intended to be used to create an interim set of Course-In-A-Box web pages alongside the existing pages. These pages would (initially, at least) be distinct from existing course web pages (integration was thought likely to be too involved), and contain just database-generated information.

This final list of requirements was, unsurprisingly, a compromise. Disagreement as to scope, and the effort and time involved for a full implementation of all the suggestions resulted in a minimal set of objectives. It was hoped that this situation could be rectified in the future.


-- RogerBurroughes - 03 Oct 2011

Topic attachments
ISorted ascending Attachment Action Size Date Who Comment
pdfpdf CIAB-data-ownership3.pdf manage 76.0 K 04 Oct 2011 - 14:19 RogerBurroughes Data ownership table
pdfpdf CIAB-discussion2.pdf manage 115.9 K 04 Oct 2011 - 14:20 RogerBurroughes Discussion document
xlsxls MinReq.xls manage 12.5 K 04 Oct 2011 - 14:19 RogerBurroughes Requirements template
Topic revision: r6 - 26 Oct 2011 - 14:29:03 - RogerBurroughes
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