XCRI eXchange - Key Messages
XCRI-CAP has come of age. Since 2005 it has developed into an accepted standard for the publication of eProspectus information. There is an increasing, though small, number of implementations in the higher and further education sectors. These have grown from JISC-funded projects and through direct institutional actions. The XCRI community now has a range of expertise, and much of it was on show at the XCRI eXchange.
Mark Stubbs, the godfather of XCRI, introduced the day and extolled the virtues of using the new standard.
JISC has committed extensive new funding to stimulate the use of XCRI-CAP. Ruth Drysdale from JISC introduced the JISC call ‘Course Data: Making the most of Course Information’, a two stage capital programme running from September 2011 to March 2013.
Recent developments in XCRI-CAP include the launch of XCRI-CAP version 1.2. Scott Wilson (CETIS) explained the changes that were made, the main one being harmonization with the European Norm, Metadata for Learning Opportunities.Over the years, organizations have developed many tools to help with the development of XCRI-enabled services. One of the most exciting of these tools has been produced by the MUSKET Project. George Dafoulas explains.
Richard Staniforth (UWIC) fed us some fundamental questions about XCRI governance and marketing; how do we make it into a Hollywood blockbuster, not a seven year itch.
The University of Nottingham's Centre for International ePortfolio Development has been at the forefront of XCRI developments nationally and in the East Midlands. Kirstie Coolin told us how their successful 'ecosystem' has been built.
Craig Hawker has been working in the East Midlands with the University of Nottingham team for many years. Now he has built some highly useful technical tools for XCRI-CAP generation and validation.
David Sowden at the University of Hull has also been producing useful XCRI-enabled linkages. XCRI-CAP is seeing increasing usage for CPD courses, and David has been linking CPD course information with the NHS Key Skills Framework.Edge Hill University completed an XCRI mini-project in 2008. Mike Nolan explains how XCRI-CAP was used to knit together internal systems for course marketing information.
Neil Pearson from Hotcourses gave us the aggregator perspective, which was not all rosy. His demands were strict! However, he also recognised the need for aggregators to take responsibility for making XCRI-CAP work effectively.
For the last of the 'show and tell' sessions Richard Entwistle from InGenius Solutions in Bristol described the XCRI eXchange Platform (XXP), an XCRI-enabled service supplier for the HE and FE sector. Services included import and export, collection through specialised XCRI-CAP enabled web forms and other value-added goodies.
After the discussion groups we had an excellent short plenary, during which Ruth, Scott, Kirstie and Alan summarised the discussions. It has become clear that XCRI needs to be marketed more as the 'gold standard' for courses information, and that the new JISC programme gives us all opportunities to further the objectives of interoperability and standardisation. As Kirstie pointed out "we've cracked the joining up stuff, we've got the plumbing sorted, we're on the way to a great new bathroom!".