Introducing the OxCAP Project

OxCAP is a JISC funded initiative to expose data (as an XML feed) about courses at Oxford. This project has the explicit backing of the PVC for Education and the Registrar.

It is agreed that we concentrate on graduate training opportunities.

JISC want public information about courses in XCRI-CAP format so that they can offer a portal which aggregates feeds from “all UK institutions”. This will serve 2 purposes: (a) to allow hard-to-find distance learning courses to be found and, (b) to allow fee-paying students to compare what courses institutions offer so that they can make an informed decision about where to go.

Advantage for Oxford: this will show the world how much excellent graduate training is on offer and will help us to attract the best students

Individual training providers will supply details about their courses in electronic format (RSS, XCRI-CAP, CSV etc) to the Oxford Open Data platform which is managed by OUCS. Information about the courses will be stored and will then be available as a series of data feeds; there will be an authenticated feed for internal use (by WebLearn’s Student Enrolment System (SES) tool) and a public feed (containing slightly fewer courses) which can be consumed by anybody that finds a need. In addition, we will generate supporting software artefacts (improved SES tool and JavaScript library for displaying courses on departmental websites).

The service will be piloted from January 2013 and all aspects will be improved based on user and community feedback.

Process and policy guidance will be developed in conjunction with the training providers to ensure all the outputs from the project are sustainable.

Advantage for Oxford: this will allow students to take full advantage of the training on offer leading to better trained researchers and academics and will make improved use of university resources.

The project is managed by Adam Marshall (OUCS) and Bridget Taylor (Social Sciences) and overseen by the Student Enrolment System Steering Group, reporting to the Education Committee.

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