Projects and initiatives
The Project Delivery and Development team provide comprehensive end-to-end support for College initiatives to integrate information technology into teaching, research and support services.
The team includes:
- Business Analysts who carry out analysis of requirements and processes, structure information and design efficient information systems.
- Developers to build or customise information systems to the required specifications.
- Project, Portfolio and Programme Managers to manage reliable delivery of projects for Education, Research, Business Support and Infrastructure Service Lines with involvement of College representatives, staff and students.
- The Project Support Office (PSO) who provide day to day support and assist with the implementation of agreed standards for running projects.
These are some of the key projects being managed by ICT at Imperial College London.
Blackboard Ally Adoption
Purpose: To implement Blackboard Ally into our Blackboard Managed Hosting instance to provide additional accessibility and inclusive learning support to students and staff. Implement the institutional wide inclusivity reporting and provide high-level institutional insights to Director Student Support, Service Line Manager and Head of Disability Advisory Service so that this information can be used to inform the wider adoption of Ally across the College. The project will also provide more accessible content including alternative formats across all Blackboard course content.
Ally has been enabled in our test environment. Blackboard have enabled courses for the previous academic year on the Imperial staging system and institutional reports for the previous academic year are now available for Learning technologists to view on a course by course basis. The next Learning and Teaching Committee meeting chaired by the Vice Provost for Education, scheduled for November will inform the board on an agreed framework for Learning Technologists to operate in and to engage academics.
For more information about this project please contact Judy Asenguah, Project Manager.
Windows 7 upgrade to Windows 10 (staff) project
Microsoft will be withdrawing support for its Windows 7 Operating System from January 14, 2020. To ensure the College remains secure with the latest technology, ICT is working to deliver Window 10 across the remaining Windows 7 estate.
Upgrading to Windows 10 and Office 365 will give the College access to greater file sharing and collaboration features within Office 365 which is a core enabling factor for remote and smart working initiatives.
Upgrading all machines to Windows 10 will bring all users onto the same Operating System platform and more importantly onto Microsoft Office 365 which will enable them to have the ability to utilise the enhanced Office 365 file sharing and collaboration features between and across teams and functional areas. To ensure staff have a seamless transition, the Project Team has created a detailed upgrade process that aims to provide the least disruption coupled with a targeted communications program to aid the Windows 10 migrations.
Once scheduled, the Windows 10 Upgrade Team will be conducting the preparation activities to ensure everything is in place before a faculty upgrade is scheduled.
The project is delivering updates as and when scheduled with individuals & groups of Users but due to a change in Project Manager and a review of the deployment approach we are in the process of re-planning the remaining work. As part of this, we will be extending our support with Microsoft through 2020 for support of existing Windows 7 Users.
We will be contacting Faculties to explain our approach and requesting help in identifying key contacts to enable us to update departments as and when it is convenient for all parties. The current schedule will continue through to Q4 2020
For more information about this project, please contact Antony Wells – Project Manager.
REF analysis and preparation project
The Research Excellence Framework (REF) is a peer review assessment of the quality of research taking place at eligible UK Higher Education Institution’s (HEIs).
The REF2021 submission is a mandatory requirement for all UK Higher Education research institutions. The assessment of REF is a competitive exercise across institutions, and the quality of the submission has a significant impact on the reputational esteem of the institution and to the future funding allocations from Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE).
ICT is providing system support to the Strategic Planning Department and Faculties to manage the College’s interpretation and submission for REF 2021. ICT has established a programme of works within which systems related changes and development related to REF will be managed.
This includes the development and update of a bespoke staff data checking application – ‘JEFF 2’. ICT will also work with other existing applications (Symplectic & Spiral) to ensure the functions and modules are appropriately configured or developed to support the submission and review of Research outputs.
For more information about this project, please contact Naresh Maharaj– Project Manager
Establish CELCAT Attendance Monitoring Project
The current methods of recording attendance across departments are varied. With some courses requiring attendance to contribute to the e-student course grade, having a consistent mechanism for taking and capturing attendance data is becoming more important to the College.
Departments across College also have a requirement to improve reporting on attendance monitoring. A solution was required to provide a more integrated and coordinated approach enabling data to be presented in a way that allows for easy access and retrieval. A system that stores the data and allows users to query the attendance profile of a student was required. To this end, the Celcat Attendance Monitoring solution was explored as a possible College-wide solution with a pilot undertaken with the Department of Chemistry in the summer of 2018. The feedback from staff was that the solution provided a less manually intensive and a more seamless monitoring process than the current solution. There were a few issues and support teams are working with business users to ascertain the causes and to help resolve them.
The Establish CELCAT Attendance Monitoring project aims to industrialise the work undertaken for the Chemistry Attendance Monitoring pilot and extend the implementation to three further departments (One in each faculty) and establish a service for use across College.
The project is currently at the end of phase one with training sessions and testing phases in preparation for go-live at the start of the academic year.
For more information about this project please contact Kevin Isen, Project Manager.
Research Equipment Booking
The aim of this project is to identify a 3rd party piece of software which will manage complex rules for Research Equipment Booking, set pricing, track usage and generate information to allow Research project codes to be charged for usage.
The project will consider the feasibility of sunsetting the existing research facilities database and decommission if shown to be feasible.
System interfaces into ICIS are out of scope. The journal cross charges will be manually loaded.
Input feeds for information such as Staff, Student, department, cost centre, P code are in scope whilst recognising that these feeds may not be required on day 1.
For more information about this project please contact Shaun Kent, Project Manager.
Pre-Award Research Management System (PARMS) Replacement
Research Office and ICT are working on replacing the current pre-award system, InfoEd, as it is a legacy system reliant on old platforms and is becoming increasingly difficult to support. This application currently facilitates over £1.6 billion worth of grant and contract applications so ensuring this service is available in its best form going forward is essential. We are moving to a Software as a Service option provided by Worktribe which should provide the College with a future-proofed module to build the future of our research management applications.
For more information about this project please contact Karuna Andrews, Project Manager.