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staffs XCRI. Peter Moss ([email protected]) Staffordshire University. Approach. Mapping Structured Interviews Internal aggregation using existing resources Existing faculty/school systems/content CMS (Tridion R5) Student Records (TheSIS Plus) Production of XCRI-CAP feed

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Peter Moss ([email protected])

Staffordshire University


  • Mapping

  • Structured Interviews

  • Internal aggregation using existing resources

    • Existing faculty/school systems/content

    • CMS (Tridion R5)

    • Student Records (TheSIS Plus)

  • Production of XCRI-CAP feed

  • Testing with aggregator


  • Interview were generally successful

    • …but difficult to arrange!

  • Getting to ‘the big picture’ was difficult

  • Separating perception of the process from reality was challenging!


  • Very disjointed and inconstant process

  • Overreliance on manual processes throughout

  • Comprehensive QA underpins the processes, but creates complex workflows

  • Lots of less than satisfied stakeholders!

  • Some work underway to address these problems already


  • CMS content not accessible to us

    • Unfortunately due to restructure/redesign of website the team did not have time to supply us with a ‘feed’ which we could use

  • No other ‘repository’ of course advertising material available to the team

  • Student records system only contains current and historic courses

  • No ‘production’ quality feed was going to be possible 


  • To carry out a small scale development to synthesise an XCRI-CAP feed

  • This development would ..

    • Not focus on being a technically ‘brilliant’ solution (neither the time nor necessity)

    • Identify potentially problematic areas of the schema

    • Generate some suggestions/comments about the general implementation experience


  • The following code packages were produced

    • simpleXcriGen

      • Simple Java model of XCRI-CAP document

      • Great as a learning exercise and as a ‘thought provoker’

      • Disclaimer: Not suitable for production environment

      • Disclaimer: No … really – don’t do it!

    • staffsXCRISyntheticCatalogGen

      • Uses simpleXcriGen, JDBC + existing code

      • Outputs XCRI-CAP for SU containing current awards – but has no real ‘consumer’ content available

      • Shows how a simple internal aggregation could operate

  • Resulting feeds hosted on web server


  • Got us a feed, sort of!

  • Feed lacked any real ‘consumer’ content but was structurally valid

  • This turned into a number of feeds

    • mainly performance reasons for this

    • aggregator did not seem to load a multi-provider document when it was tried

  • Registered with the

  • Raised a few questions and suggestions ….

Suggestions 1 2
Suggestions (1/2)

  • Internal Recommendations

    • Adopt a more holistic approach to course data management

    • Existing workflow automation solutions need to be extended and adapted

    • Make use of HIVE repository for outputs

    • Actions already underway

      • Recommending that XCRI-CAP output be considered as a requirement (alongside web, print, etc)

Suggestions 2 2
Suggestions (2/2)

  • Suite of ‘reference’ documents?

  • Identifiers

    • Is a resolvable ID necessary?

  • Vocabularies/Extensions

    • Course description type for ‘testimonials’/personal statements

    • Consistency of levels, subjects, etc

  • Distance learning courses and geolocation

    • Search equality?

    • Presentations with support for “home based” learning venue?

  • Update models

    • Guidance for implementation teams on approaches to update patterns

  • Entry requirements

    • Ability for ‘non-typical’ requirements (such as accredited experience) to be formally recorded, especially of interest for widening participation initiatives


  • Project has helped to consolidate lots of internal problems, which are now starting to be addressed

  • We have made some, hopefully, useful suggestions to the XCRI project

  • Project team intends to continue to monitor and, where possible, participate in further development and promote production of XCRI-CAP from SU