The University has just started a JISC-funded project to help Universities make the most of Course Information. The driver for this project is to allow all University of Kent courses to be compared to other courses throughout the UK in a standard way, using the XCRI-CAP (eXchanging Course Related Information – Course Advertising Profile) format and Cool URIs.
The question of how the XCRI-CAP initiative fits with KIS (Key Information Sets) has come up and have done a bit of research and here is what I have found:
XCRI-CAP is a standard format that allows course advertising data to be collected electronically by central sites so that students can compare courses in terms of title, subject, abstract, application procedure, assessment, learning outcomes, prerequisites, location, cost, where to apply, etc.
- from http://www.xcri.org/wiki/index.php/XCRI_1.2
To implement an XCRI-CAP feed, the University would pull data from the Student data system and the programmes factory, combine it to form a set of standard files and put them in a specific place to be harvested in real time by course comparison websites.
The KIS will contain areas of information that students have identified as useful such as student satisfaction, course information, employment and salary data, accommodation costs, financial information, such as fees and students’ union information.
Though these projects have similar aims, they are different in the following ways:
- The KIS requires data to be loaded from Universities to a central site, where XCRI-CAP data is hosted at the University itself, allowing it to be kept up to date throughout the year.
- The KIS is an aggregation of disparate information from a range of sources, and is more than just course-level information – it also contains institutional-level data (such as accommodation costs), and historic subject-level data (such as NSS scores).
- In its basic form XCRI-CAP does NOT cover these elements, but does provide a structure for accurately describing the courses identified in the KIS. XCRI-CAP can be extended to include other data including KIS elements, and JISC work is beginning to focus on this. (see http://www.jisc.ac.uk/whatwedo/programmes/elearning/coursedata.aspx for more info).