After over two years work we have reached the end of the JISC-funded Cascade project – wrapping this up and the final reporting requirements are a big part of the reason why I have blogged so little in recent months.  This was a huge project looking at a very broad cross section of activities in the Department for Continuing Educatiosplashn at Oxford.

Technology-enhanced curriculum delivery is a large area and has the ability to affect everything we do; therefore, it was essential to closely define the scope of the project. Following a detailed scoping exercise, we focussed on areas where using technology offered the greatest potential impact, either through financial efficiencies, greater effectiveness, or application across a number of activities. This resulted in a project that developed sustainable new services that provide:

  • VLE support for award-bearing courses, incorporating online assignment-handling and access to generic content;
  • Wider availability of online enrolment and payment services;
  • Support for the course design process.

We quantified the benefits these services offer the Department in terms of greater efficiency, improved service or innovation, and have developed tools, processes and documentation to streamline and embed them in our work.

The cuts in funding faced by the Department as a result of the ELQ policy is now being mirrored across Higher Education as a whole, making many of our project outputs more relevant than ever to a wider audience. In particular they offer:

  • Suggestions of areas where other institutions might achieve comparable benefits;
  • Information on how to achieve such benefits;
  • Shared outputs upon which others can build;
  • Open source code for enhanced assignment-handing in Moodle;

allowing others to benefit from our developments. All outputs are available on the Cascade project website’s outputs page, and in the next few weeks I will blog in more detail about some of these.

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