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Progress Blog

XCRI-cap Foundations: modelling course marketing information

User AvatarPosted by XCRI Project Manager at 31/05/2012 12:05:01
Course information sources diagram
At Aston we’re currently in the Foundations stage of our XCRI-cap project. As part of this pre-development work the Project Manager has interviewed staff involved in producing or managing course-related information within the University. This research has revealed the range of course information sources and the differing information that each one presents.

We have been able to model the marketing information in terms of the source, its timeliness and the depth of detail presented.

At the heart of the model is a small set of information common to all of the materials – course title, course code, contact information etc. The different marketing sources build upon this core adding detail and becoming more specific. At the same time the additional material increases in timeliness as we move towards the edge of the circle. Thus, the prospectus, constrained by its size, contains the least detailed information (but for a broad range of courses) and is updated annually. At the outer edge of the circle, social media present small, detailed chunks of course-related information almost as it happens.

Modelling is a key Atern technique and exemplifies the methodology’s ‘Communicate continuously and clearly’ principle. Diagrams like this allow the Project Manager to quickly, easily and unambiguously share insight amongst team members, test assumptions and generate debate. When creating models we’ve found that using a deliberately hand-drawn, rough and ready style works best:
  • Models can be produced quickly so that they can be shared and discussed sooner
  • They appear more approachable than formal notations and people seem to engage more readily with them
  • It visually indicates that they are works in progress open to discussion and modification and invites feedback.
In subsequent posts we’ll be looking at the models for other course information processes like programme specifications and prospectus production.

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