Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Student Systems Programme?
The focus of the initial phase of work, which started in August 2011, is to replace the functionality currently provided by the Oracle Student System (OSS) with the new system, SITS:Vision. In essence, this includes the management of the following areas:
undergraduate and postgraduate applications
on-course student records
- examination and assessment components
Phase 2 will involve further improvements to our student systems and administrative processes. The programme as a whole will:
- Prioritise the replacement of the functions of the University’s existing core student records system, OSS;
- To work on better integration and data-sharing between the new student records system and other systems that are used in support of applicants and student administration, and to improve administrative processes;
- To review those other systems to determine whether they are meeting requirements, and if they are not, to carry out development or replacement work where appropriate.
Which other systems are affected?
At the core is the Oracle Student System (OSS), our student record database. A range of important services are delivered by other student systems which connect with OSS. These include: for student progress reporting, the Graduate Supervision System and the Oxford Colleges Online Reports for Tutorials (OxCORT); for the management of teaching and learning provision, the Student Enrolment System and DAISY; a separate examination timetabling system (CMIS); for support of postgraduate applications, Embark (a third-party product); and ADSS (Admissions Decision Support System) and ADMIT (bespoke systems supporting undergraduate admissions). Alongside are other established systems that are key to our support for teaching and learning activities across Oxford, including Tableau reporting, WebLearn, Nexus, Infosys, and the pilot of the Scientia timetabling system.
What is the timing for this work?
The first part of SITS:Vision functionality went live during Michaelmas Term 2012. Students are using eVision to book to attend their degree ceremony from July 2013 onwards. College staff are using eVision to manage information about degree ceremonies, including gathering information about additional requirements for graduands and their guests.
The timescale for Student Systems Programme activities this 2013-14 academic year is as follows:
- October 2013: New ADSS (Admissions Decision Support System) service live for the 2013-14 undergraduate admissions cycle.
- February 2014: Completion of student record development for testing and integration.
- From September 2014: Roll-out of eVision for the management of the main student record, to replace the Oracle Student System (OSS).
- From Autumn 2014: The use of eVision for Admissions activity has been removed from this current delivery period to reduce the workload, cost and risk to the Programme in order to achieve successful delivery of the student record. The anticipated delivery of Graduate and Undergraduate Admissions activity involving the use of SITS:Vision is Autumn 2015.
How are you developing the new system for Oxford?
The development and delivery of each area of the new system is divided into eleven distinct parts (termed ‘workstreams’). Each workstream is chaired by a senior member of academic or administrative staff with expertise in the workstream’s activities. Workstream members have been nominated through consultation with divisions and colleges, the University administration and others in order to ensure that each workstream has a strong and focused team and is representative of colleges, halls, departments, faculties, divisions, central services and students.
What is the new system like?
SITS:Vision, the UK market-leading student management software system supplied by Tribal Group, comprises a ‘back office’ database that will mostly be used by a small number of super-users and eVision, a user-friendly web view, which will be used by the majority of academic and administrative colleagues and by students. eVision is designed to be intuitive to the user. Access to eVision will be through the same web URL for staff and students, from any internet connection, and requiring only the University Single Sign-on. You can login to eVision at www.admin.ox.ac.uk/studentsystems.
What will the new system be used for?
Oxford will use SITS:Vision to support all the major stages in the student lifecycle, from pre-application to graduation, and to improve data-sharing with other key systems that support activities associated with Alumni and Development, Finance and Personnel. The aim is to provide timely access to consistent and up-to-date information for academic planning, oversight, and teaching and learning.
Will there be support and training?
Yes. The top priority is to ensure that the release of each element of the new system is successful and that appropriate training is delivered to support academic and administrative staff. Training for eVision will include a combination of: online help; online training simulations for more complicated processes or refresher training for occasional users; self study material e.g. manuals and quick-guides; workshops and classroom training.
How will the Programme engage with Colleges?
Colleges and Halls are already reasonably well represented in the development and delivery of the new system. A number of academic and administrative staff members were involved in the procurement and selection phase, and others sit on the Programme Governance Groups and Workstream Implementation Groups. In addition, we have put in place a framework of College Champions to act as points of contact to receive and circulate communications about the Student Systems Programme; to help raise awareness of the timetable for changes that will affect Colleges, and to engage, consult and provide feedback into the programme to ensure that College requirements are fully represented.
How will the Programme engage with Students?
The Student Advisory Group will ensure that students are consulted and communicated with, will provide feedback and will act as a forum for discussion of student expectations, views, and use of emerging technologies. The group will meet formally once or twice a term. This group is not limited to those who are knowledgeable in IT.
What is eVision and what is it used for?
eVision is the web view of the SITS:Vision student records system, which will be used by the majority of academic and administrative colleagues and by students. SITS:Vision will be used to support all the major stages in the student lifecycle. Some staff and students will use eVision for Degree Ceremony bookings from Michaelmas Term 2012 onwards. SITS:Vision will enventually replace Oxford's current student record system (OSS).
I am a member of staff, can I get access to eVision now?
Yes. Unless you are responsible for degree ceremonies administration in a college, you will not be able to access any work areas, but you are able to login and view the eVision homepage. Details on how to access and log into eVision can be found on the Student Systems website. Access to eVision requires only the University Single Sign-on and a modern web browser.
The Support & Training workstream is assessing the OSS Information Custodian paper-based authorisation process to help inform how access to work areas within eVision may be provided. Workflow within the new system will be utilised.
How do students access eVision?
The first live use of eVision for students will be to support the administration of degree ceremony bookings from Michaelmas term 2012. Students who are invited to book their ceremony will receive an email with details of how to access and log into eVision, also available from the Student Systems website.
How do I know which username and password to use to login to eVision?
Staff and students will use their Oxford Username credentials to access eVision. These details are sometimes referred to as your Single Sign-on, Nexus or SSO account and are used to access weblearn, email and many other University resources.
I can't get past the webauth login screen.
There may be a number of reasons you can't get past the Webauth Verify Personal Details screen. Further information and guidance is available on the IT services website.
What type of browser should I use?
I've forgotten my password, how do I reset it?
The Webauth page at https://webauth.ox.ac.uk/reset_password allows you to change your Oxford Username password.
IT Support Staff
Will super users of the data warehouse data feed continue to have the same level of access?
This will be reviewed and requirements taken into account.
How many interfaces are there between student systems and other systems?
A lot! - and each one will be considered and replaced, alongside assessing whether rationalisation of the number of interfaces is possible.
Will it be clear who owns which bits of the data?
Data owners, and where the master of the data resides, will be documented as part of the programme work and training and support materials.
What about entering college specific data into central systems?
This will take place in Phase 2. It is important to capture what colleges and departments are having to consider, e.g. buying additional software to manage a college process, since it may be supported by central systems in Phase 2.
Will SITS:Vision only contain data on college members, or will non-University employee data also be available?
Yes, staff data will come through to SITS:Vision from the Core User Directory (CUD). Eventually pre-applicant student data will also be available in SITS:Vision.