Digital Experience (DIGE)

The Digital Experience Workstream (DIGE) has now closed. The project’s recommendations report was submitted to Education Committee in June, and is now available to download from the Student Systems Programme Sharepoint site. Members of Education Committee will be meeting in September to discuss the approach to take forward the recommendations, to include consideration in the development of the new University Strategic Plan (2013/14 to 2017/18) to guide future areas of activity.

The Digital Experience Workstream

DIGE proposes a series of activities to achieve a description of the current digital services provided by Oxford for students and staff to enhance the learning experience and learning support activities, and a vision for the systems and services we think will be needed to support learning and teaching for the next five years that puts us ahead of our competitors. This is an holistic project looking at all students (full time and part time), all services (including learning spaces/facilities and third party services) and the complete student journey (from pre-university education through to lifelong learning).

  • Digital technologies include desktop PCs, laptops, smartphones and tablets; and embraces the software that runs on them, such as Nexus email, Sharepoint, WebLearn, SOLO, OxCORT, GSS, OSS and the admissions systems.
  • Services include help desks and other IT support services run by colleges and departments, information skills classes run by the Library Services, and also services provided by OUCS (now part of IT Services) such as the IT Learning Programme, server management and web hosting.

This workstream is a joint initiative between Oxford University IT Services (in particular the Learning Technologies Group) and the Academic Administration Division. The Digital Experience Workstream will run from October 2011 to April 2012, alongside, but not exclusive to, the Student Systems Programme.

Dr Stuart Lee is currently Deputy Chief Information Officer at IT Services, but Photograph of Dr Stuart Lee formerly Head of the University’s Learning Technologies Group which he set up in 2001. He is a member of several senior University ICT committees, has led major research projects in the fields of digitisation, humanities computing, and e-learning; and is also a lecturer and researcher at Oxford’s English Faculty. In 2008 he was made Oxford’s Reader in E-learning and Digital Libraries and received a University Teaching Award.

It is important that Oxford tries to meet student expectations across the board, especially in the current climate and funding regime. Similarly if we wish to maintain our place amongst our peers in terms of the student digital experience we need to know what is expected, what is available, and what is coming. That said we cannot afford to compromise in any way the mainstay of our traditional teaching method - personal interaction with world-class researchers. As Oxford's Reader in E-learning this is a challenge I look forward to engaging with.


The workstream is focussed on:


  • Establish basic principles to guide future areas of activity

Mapping the Landscape

  • Mapping Staff Expectations
    • Collect and assess the needs identified by academics with reference to supporting the learning and teaching experience
  • Mapping Student Expectations
    • Establish student expectations when it comes to using IT to support their learning and time at Oxford
  • Beyond Oxford
    • Benchmark our provision against our peers in the UK and elsewhere

Mapping the Architecture

  • Map out the current IT architecture at Oxford, showing the various systems in use (plus those hosted externally), and the connections and dataflows between the underlying infrastructure and applications
  • Assess the core objective of each system/application, and what functionality they offer (or could offer)
  • Modeling the experience of a students and where there are key interactions with our systems (or not in the case of obvious gaps)

Assess Current vs Needed

  • Comprehensive report bringing all the results of the Workstream together and a set of recommendations
  • More informal handout highlighting the current student digital experience promoting systems in place and underway


The full membership of the Digital Experience workstream is as follows (Nov 2011):

Dr Stuart Lee (Chair), Director, Computing Systems and Services, Oxford University Computing Services (now part of IT Services)

Liz Masterman (Project Manager), Senior Research Officer, Oxford University Computing Services (now part of IT Services)

Kat Lee (Project Manager), Implementation Lead, Student Systems Programme

  • Melissa Highton, Head of the Learning Technologies Group, Oxford University Computing Services (now part of IT Services)
  • Jeremy Welch, Services Manager, Graduate Admissions & Funding
  • Jared Hutchings/James Tibbert, Student Administration
  • Dr Emma Smith, Hertford College, Humanities Divisional Representative
  • Dr Damion Young, MedSci Divisional Representative
  • Dr Nicholas Green, Director of Studies, Department of Chemistry, Mathematical, Physical and Life Sciences Divisional Representative
  • David Upton, Professor in Operations Management, Saïd Business School, Social Sciences Divisional Representative
  • Dr Adrian Stokes, Director of CPD, Continuing Professional Development Centre, Department for Continuing Education
  • Jennifer Allen, Oxford University Student Union
  • Tim Jones, Disability Advisory Service
  • Angela Carritt, Bodleian Libraries