Oxford Learning College

Case Study

Oxford Learning College (OLC) part of the Oxford Learning Group, is a leading and internationally recognised distance education provider.

They promote high quality home study courses to students globally. Since the establishment of the College in 2000, OLC has provided tuition services and qualifications to over twenty-thousand students; ranging from A-Levels and Level 3 Diplomas to Edexcel accredited BTEC HND courses across a wide variety of subjects.

Using their advanced Virtual Learning Environment and a Student Management System supported by Oxinet, OLC delivers both course contents and tuition entirely online, offering students all the advantages of virtual learning.

Challenges

  • Large number of students enrolled on a variety of different course types, levels and subjects

  • A CMS that lacked integration with coursework and assignment submission systems

  • Little unity or automation between students submitting and tutors marking work, and verification of syllabus or course completion

  • Students sometimes experienced delays in the marking of their coursework once submitted

  • Tutors found it difficult to liaise with students via the website portal, as well as being able to demonstrate marked work for payment

Solutions

By working with OLC, Oxinet were able to establish a set of requirements which provided the basis for an integrated solution using the latest technologies to allow OLC to achieve its goals. Oxinet used .NET to develop a bespoke system named ‘Campus,’ with a Microsoft SQL Server running alongside the existing OLC website. The existing OLC site ran on a Linux Server, so the implementation of the .NET/SQL Server component which necessarily ran on a Windows Server, needed to integrate with the Linux hosted part of the system. Despite potential conflict, a risk assessment was undertaken and it was agreed that maximum benefit would still be achieved by implementing a separate part of the site supported by a database, and completely invisible to the end-user. The decision to deliver the new part of the site in .NET and SQL Server also meant;

  • modern development and debugging tools could be used

  • a quicker development and greater degree of reliability in the final delivery

The ‘Campus’ section of the site was created through close collaboration between Oxinet and OLC. OLC tested features in-house as they were developed, providing feedback to Oxinet directly, enabling fast and precise turnaround of amendments.

Outcomes

Both students and tutors are now able to login in to this new section, allowing students to upload their coursework and assignments for marking. After login, the ‘Campus’ system issues an email to the relevant course tutor or pool of tutors advising them that coursework is waiting to be marked.  When a tutor has completed marking, awarding a specific grade or a simple Pass/Fail depending on the course type, the student is then informed automatically by email and can then login to the ‘Campus’ section again to view the mark achieved together with any feedback. A student chat facility, implemented with a JavaScript plugin was also made available to allow students a degree of interaction with their tutors in a distance learning environment.

A tutor payment system was also implemented as part of the .NET development. Invoices are now automatically raised by the system at the end of each month informing the tutors of payments they are due to receive in respect of work they have marked.

Independent Verifiers can also login to the system to audit assessments, ensuring accuracy and consistency across all tutors and subjects.

The new system has increased the speed at which coursework is marked and feedback is delivered, improving the student experience and overall level of satisfaction with the College. Tutors too have also noted improvement as they now receive payments more efficiently.

“The new system has meant that student’s work is marked faster and they are much happier. Also any amendments or new requirements have easily and promptly been implemented.”

– Lydia Wallington, Head of Centre, Oxford Learning College

OLC plan to use the new ‘Campus’ system for all future courses and Oxinet continue to support their staff with web development matters via our own dedicated Helpdesk.

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How PEMS benefits you

Administrative Staff

For Placement Managers, HEI academic staff and admin teams, PEMS is a useful tool for tracking, monitoring and reporting on students’ academic progress all in one place. It supports pre-placement checks, ensuring regulatory standards are maintained.

Students

Students benefit from a simple, paperless system that enables them to quickly update their details and statuses, supporting a stress-free placement management process. No more paper forms, they can access placement information and report attendance using their mobile phone or tablet.

External Stakeholders

Placement providers, external bodies, assessors, mentors and supervisors can be permitted secure access to certain functions and reports. Paper forms are eliminated, as placement providers can now perform all the necessary tasks such as audits and student evaluations online.

Resellers

Organisations which are part of an existing network of institutions or are currently enabled to sell through procurement frameworks can benefit from becoming a reseller, enhancing their public sector solutions offering with PEMS.

2020-05-22T10:27:15+00:00