Providing listings of your courses for study profiler websites such as StudyLink.com and StudyLink.co.uk can vastly increase the online exposure your institution receives and serve as an effective way of improving your online prescence. However, the workload required to supply your course data in different formats can prove a burden – often involving preparing spreadsheets of different layouts or manually keying data into an online database.
If your institution has an XCRI feed in place, contact us to provide your course data now.
XCRI-CAP (eXchanging Course Related Information, Course Advertising Profile) represents the solution to this issue in the form of a UK standard for supplying course information for course aggregator and study profiler websites. Establishing an XCRI feed for your institution requires a certain amount of development work and may also require a review of your course data collection processes to make sure you are able to provide the required level of detail. When your XCRI feed is ready to publish you will be in a position where your course data collection processes will be highly rationalised and supplying your course information will be simplified to the extent that it is a largely an automated process.
XCRI-CAP was itself established in 2005, and has been in continuous development since, with the help of over 90 UK institutions, to be able to meet the needs and requirements of UK higher education providers to provide a standardised format for improving the flow of course data. The latest version of XCRI-CAP (2.1) is now at a level of maturity whereby it is described as the ‘UK interpretation of the European standard for courses information – Metadata for Learning Opportunities (MLO)’.
Upon production of your XCRI feed, sites such as StudyLink.com are able to pull your course data feed and use this information to populate your course listings on such sites. Establishing an XCRI feed therefore leads to a great reduction in time and effort required for your participation on third party websites, and the course data standards established through this process lead to a more common experience for the end user, prospective students. Exchanging data with other learning providers and data collectors also becomes a straightforward process, without the need for reformatting or re-collecting your data.
A step by step implementation guide can be found at Alan Paull’s XCRI feed website. To adopt the XCRI feed format you will find it useful to review the standards published by JISC and Alan Paull Services, initially by considering JISC’s Course Information Maturity Model to establish whether your institution has appropriate internal course data and processes to be able to start adopting XCRI. If these processes are already in place, developing your XCRI feed can be a straightforward processes, with support available and several projects and existing feeds available to refer to for guidance.
Several study profiler websites, including StudyLink.com and StudyLink.co.uk, are now ready to accept XCRI feeds as the sole source of course data, with universities across the UK already using the feed to supply these sites with up to data course information. Once established, your XCRI feed can be pulled as if it were an RSS feed on a regular agreed schedule, ensuring your data is accurately reflected on third party sites with the minimum of overheads.
For more information on implementing XCRI-CAP at your institution, please refer to the XCRI website, or contact Alan Paull Services directly for support. If your institution has already established an XCRI feed and you wish to use it to populate the course listings on StudyLink.com, StudyLink.co.uk or Coursefindr.com, please contact us to discuss implementation.