Weeknote 2/2014


Last week was a busy one, but very interesting.

  • Spent Monday facilitating a workshop on course data. We were exploring the current status of XCRI-CAP (eXchanging Course Related Information, Course Advertising Profile), a standard for describing course marketing information. The session went really well, and there were a lot of very interesting conversations. From my perspective, as a bit of an outsider to this area, some of the main points included:
    • The need for a rebrand. It’s something that should appeal to a wide variety of people within educational organisations but it currently comes across as very technical.
    • The need for a reboot! Momentum was lost when Jisc funding dried up. Now we’re not saying just pump more money into it because that’s not sustainable in the long-term. It’s more about demonstrating the benefits of the standard and moving forward with services that take XCRI-CAP feeds and do something useful with them e.g. UCAS, Prospects. Once those services are onboard it will drive the quality of XCRI-CAP feeds.
    • A high profile aggregator. I mentioned above the need for a service to take and use XCRI-CAP feeds. This will be of major benefit to students who will be able to easily compare course information and make better decisions about which courses they apply for. There could be some exciting news in this area later in the year so keep an eye out.
    • Consistency in what services ask for. XCRI–CAP is not wholly prescriptive and so there is a need for aggregators to be consistent in what they’re asking for e.g. it would be handy if they all asked for ‘sentence case titling’ for example so that institutions didn’t have to make amendments or require the services of a third-party to do this for them.
    • Support from vendors. Having a discussion with some of the major vendors of information systems across UK education and gaining their buy-in to the standard.
  • On Tuesday and Wednesday I had the first sessions of a coaching course I’m doing. Really enjoyed learning about coaching and how it can be applied within an organisational context. I’ll write another post about the course and reflect on my experience shortly.
  • I spent Thursday reviewing submissions to the Summer of Student Innovation competition and reading papers on ‘coaching’ whilst travelling to London.
  • Finally, Friday was spent planning the first Summer of Student Innovation summer school coming up in July.


Not as many recipes for you this week.


  • GoodReader 4 is a cracking app for reviewing papers. Definitely recommend it although I think I got it a bit cheaper with having an earlier version.
  • Was out in Manchester over the weekend and I was introduced to Uber, an app for hailing taxis. Absolutely brilliant! It’s also available in London. If you try it enter my promo code andrews226. You’ll get £10 free credit and so will I. My group of friends went the whole weekend not having to pay a fare. It shows you where the cab is in relation to your location, provides information about the driver and allows everyone to rate each other.

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