University to overhaul online systems

The technology behind OxCORT is a decade old, and is “no longer being actively developed and requires replacement”,  according to a University statement.

Oxford University is set to carry out a major overhaul of its online systems, following student feedback.

Nexus will be updated and OxCORT will be replaced by another system, Tutorial Management System (TMS), in time for Michaelmas 2019.

The technology behind OxCORT is a decade old, and is “no longer being actively developed and requires replacement”,  according to a University statement.

The University sent out a survey on 8 May asking students questions about their use of OxCORT, including how often students use the systems and how they access it.

According to the spokesperson, the survey was sent to all Senior tutors “for dissemination in their colleges”.

The spokesperson told Cherwell: “OxCORT’s replacement provides an opportunity for improvement, and the project team is keen to hear from both students and tutors to understand what features they would like to see.”

The spokesperson confirmed that the new system “will have the same general functionalities.”

They continued: “The project is working with colleges and departments to identify how best the new system could support them, including investigating possibilities for streamlining manual aspects of the tutorial reporting and payment process.”

The IT Services website also notes that in working with a wide range of students and staff, the TMS project may result in a more powerful and versatile system than OxCORT.

“Development of a replacement system may also present an opportunity for additional departments to engage with online reporting of undergraduate teaching which is not currently recorded in OxCORT.

“Solutions are therefore being considered for both an improved system which mirrors the current OxCORT, as well as a wider system supporting additional departments.”

The survey is open until Thursday, 24 May.

SOLO has also undergone changes, including a new user interface, which is in BETA currently.

According to a page on the new SOLO site, IT personnel responded to several complaints about the system from students.

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Among other new features, SOLO now has ‘Search Everything’ as the default, and simplified some search functions.

According to the page, personnel are working on a feature that will allow SOLO to remember users’ most-searched libraries.