to cap it all

More data magic has been performed by the WebLearn and  OXCAP  teams.

When the principle of subsidiarity is so enshrined in the university it is hard to offer any kind of consistency of experience.  Nevertheless, in the face of repeated requests from all parties that ‘information about all types of training should be available in one place’, the OXCAP project have managed exactly that*.

The OXCAP project is about collecting and distributing information about graduate training opportunities at The University of Oxford. This information is stored in the University’s Open Data Service (ODS) and is then used to drive a ‘course booking portal’ and to publicise the excellent training that is on offer at Oxford.

In all cases the source format is transformed from XML into RDF (Resource Description Framework). The RDF data is then validated and stored in the University of Oxford’s Open Data Service (ODS). ODS is a giant RDF database and stores numerous other ‘open datasets’ such as OxPoints location data.

ODS has two distinct storage areas: a ‘public’ store and a password-protected ‘private’ store, in both cases the RDF is converted into XCRI-CAP v1.2 (and other formats if so desired) and made available as an XML feed.

The public store supplies XCRI-CAP feeds for external use such as course aggregators or for display on (departmental or college) websites; to facilitate this we have produced a small JavaScript widget which allows a searchable subset of courses to be displayed on a web page.

The private store supplies a slightly richer feed to internal applications such as WebLearn and Mobile Oxford.

WebLearn exposes the course information within the SES tool and Mobile Oxford will ultimately present a course search ‘app’ which will allow students to locate courses and initiate booking via their mobile phones.

All that remains is to discuss what the display should be called. Obviously not ‘OXCAP’.  ‘Training’, ‘ All Training’ , ‘Researcher Training’, ‘ Skills Training for Researchers’, Graduate Training’, ‘Training for Graduates’, ‘Skills Portal’,  ‘Complete List of training’, ‘ Still Incomplete List of Training but Better than What we had Before’, ‘Data Magic’?

An elegant diagram showing the process:

 

 

* training which is never added to these data feeds will not magically appear as part of  this process.

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