Annual Report 2011-2012

Statshot

More than 70 technology projects and more than 30 e-learning projects are currently underway.

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Technology

The Information Systems and Office of Learning Technologies teams handle the technological needs arising in all areas of institutional management and university life.

«This year, we succeeded in providing uninterrupted service even as we made the transition to the new governing team.»

Dr. Llorenç Valverde Vice President, Technology
  • «Over the academic year, we deployed the mobile Virtual Campus, completed the Open Apps and m-UOC projects, and ensured access to information on the UOC’s mobility activities.»
  • «The general objectives for the year were related to placing technology at the service of learning.»

Information Systems

The Information Systems teams are tasked with designing, promoting and implementing solutions to the needs arising from the UOC’s various management activities. The solutions are designed in accordance with institutional guidelines and take the form of global, comprehensive and systematic actions to achieve efficiency and effectiveness gains. The goal is to provide the best, most suitable and most seamlessly integrated solutions in order to ensure the continuity of the system as a whole.

Technology projects to support teaching

Under the SEC project, a new campus link system was implemented with a single automated circuit for teaching management actions. Process managers were provided with the necessary data-entry monitoring and tracking tools to decrease the number of process incidents at the start of the semester.

Students’ options were expanded and improved in the sections on examination rights and the dispatch of materials.

The DPC for processing certificates and payments was upgraded to enable management of commissions, engagements and payments to external staff in accordance with the new model.

Technology projects to identify demand

As part of the roll-out of the UOC Business school, projects were launched to analyse processes and applications for managing the new university transfer strategy: the UOC as the university for business.

The 2011/2012 academic year also saw the completion of the Development of the “Study at the UOC" section project, which sought to make it easier for users to browse the School of Languages website, improve the search engine and centralize the information on the academic offer. This centralization was intended to improve management of the associated processes and automates the posts to the different sections and in the different formats of the Study at the UOC section.

Technology projects related to research and knowledge dissemination

The Student RSS project allows students to set up an RSS news feed for campus news by student profile and section.

Technology projects related to support

The External Contracts application was modified to reconfigure existing contract templates and manage the Author area. These improvements are intended to provide support for the strategic objective of ensuring open access to teaching materials.

Additionally, the physical access management tool was calibrated and configured to enable management of physical access to UOC buildings by role and permission level, in accordance with the University’s security policy.

Technology projects related to software development and updates

The Consolidation and virtualization of hardware and communications project aims to minimize the space requirements and resource consumption of the hardware and communication and storage devices of the Castelldefels and Tibidabo data-processing centres (DPCs) by means of virtualization and consolidation techniques.

Over the academic year, the basic specifications of the UOC’s new configuration management database (CMDB) were defined. A market analysis was performed, and the choice was made to purchase, instal and implement the ManageEngine AssetExplorer software.

Within the framework of the eScriptori project, the Webex videoconferencing system was implemented, enabling management of virtual rooms and meetings.


 

Office of Learning Technologies

The objectives of the Office of Learning Technologies (OLT) are to ensure the development and improvement of the UOC’s learning technologies by designing, developing or purchasing the necessary software to meet the needs of the Virtual Campus and to enable content management.

Teaching and learning tools

The academic year saw the launch of the eAssessment project, a library for the automatic assessment of open-question tests.

Community tools

The OLT implemented a user Q&A system, intended to serve as a shared online knowledge database, and Technipedia, a platform for promoting entrepreneurship among young people in different African countries.

Mobile tools

The UOC rolled out a mobile Virtual Campus that adapts the Virtual Campus’s features and information to the needs of smartphone and tablet browsers to ensure easy and intuitive navigation.

Basic tools

These changes were complemented by the adaptation to the IMS Global Learning Consortium’s Learning Tools Interoperability (LTI) 1.1 specification. This adaptation will facilitate the inclusion of external tools in the Virtual Campus.

Separately, the Catalan Employment Service (SOC) e-learning website was launched.

User-centred design and support projects

Over the academic year, the following projects were launched:

Support blogs for troubleshooting in relation to classroom tools.
The Multi-device Accessibility Lab, which makes it possible to assess the accessibility and usability of websites and mobile apps.