Exeter IT Strategic Project Portfolio 2014/15

High Performance Computing Environment

The University has embarked on a major project to develop a comprehensive High Performance Computing environment. This 3 year project will replace end-of-life on-site facilities, consider cloud-based options and explore enhanced provision through collaborations with external partners. The project is closely linked with the development of the Living Systems Facility and will include a significant upgrade to the University’s Data Centre.


Cloud services (O365)


This project will deliver a cloud hosted desktop solution focused on email and web-based office productivity tools like Word and Excel. The implementation of Microsoft’s Office 365 has already provided all students with cloud based email, and Staff email migrations have now been completed.
Over the summer of 2015 we are rolling out the office applications solution, supporting greater mobility and collaboration in conjunction with the Next Generation Portal project delivering exehub and the staff work environment. 


Next Generation Portal


Linked closely to and building on O365, this project is the replacement of the MyExeter portal with next generation technology and collaborative environments. Exehub is due to be released in the Autumn term,  with the staff work environment development to follow in the new year.


Enterprise Applications Enhancements Programme (annual)

Enhancing current systems and services

It is critical that the business systems of the University are enhanced on an ongoing basis to ensure they continue to be compliant and functionally rich. The programme of projects includes investment in software, development and technical consultancy from suppliers. As this is a programme of activities, rather than an individual project, the enhancement works take place over the year and are prioritised by the business system project governance groups (Academic Systems Group and Corporate Systems Group) which have representatives from business units and colleges.


IEngage - Stakeholder Management System


This project is key in supporting the University’s engagement with third party stakeholders through the Connectivity theme of the IT Vision. IEngage will bring together information from a number of the University’s key stakeholder management systems to manage cross-university interactions support corporate partnership management.


Library Management System


The University is currently exploring the requirements for a new Library Management and resource discovery system in conjunction with FXPlus and the University of Falmouth.


General Infrastructure Refresh

Enhancing current systems and services

It is imperative that the IT servers which support databases, applications and data storage are upgraded and replaced on a rolling cycle. The General Infrastructure Refresh project will ensure that our IT server infrastructure is able to meet the capacity demands placed upon it.


Computer Aided Assessment

Enhancing current systems and services

Colleges are engaging with the development of a wide range of online computer aided assessments. The University received funding from JISC in 2011 to support a range of innovative online assessments and this project will ensure that the outputs of this work are sustainable and become integrated into core practice.

The project will enhance Questionmark Perception (the University’s dedicated online assessment system for summative assessment). The project will explore the cost benefits of cloud hosting for QMP vs. internal infrastructure as well as developing the technical integration of QMP with other core systems such (e.g. LDAP, SITS and ELE). Other areas of work will provide additional training and support for staff in the use of QMP, peer assessment systems PeerMark and PeerWise as well as developing new assessment analysis and learning design tools for use on the surface tables to support curriculum development and planning activities.


Online Coursework Management


The aim of the project is to introduce a paperless end to end electronic solution for submission of coursework, marking and feedback and to provide support for students, academics and administrative staff in the coursework management process.  BART has been re-developed as an eSubmission solution (eBART) and is now being extended to support online marking and feedback. This temporary solution has successfully allowed students to submit assignments on-line with the rest of the process remaining paper-based. This will meet student expectations of paperless submission, save student printing costs and queuing to hand in assignments.  A more comprehensive assessment and feedback ecosystem is being considered as part of an ongoing review into the University’s Virtual Learning Enviroment.


Mobility Programme


The Mobility Programme is a key part of the University IT Vision which consists of 5 themes running over a 3 year period which started in 2012/13, which together enable the implementation of mobile capability at Exeter.

  • Infrastructure. The essential network connectivity required by the rest of the programme: this strand includes expanding capacity of the secure VPN including making this available on mobile devices such as iPads.
  • Content. Providing and enabling mobile specific content and services: this includes expanding what is available on the iExeter app and extending the licence to enable new apps.
  • Devices. A support and delivery model for mobile devices: developing an enterprise approach to use of and support for “bring your own device” whilst safeguarding the security of the University’s network.
  • Delivery. Access to services, applications and data from mobile devices: this will include for example the development of an approach to the use of mobiles in teaching spaces. For example, the Remote Print project has developed the University's printing service to enable students and staff to print from laptops via the wifi network.  Seehttp://www.exeter.ac.uk/campusservices/printservices/studentprint/printingfromyourowndevice
  • Innovation. To explore the potential of mobile innovations.

Find out more about the Mobility Programme.


IT Resilience


This project has already delivered a new resilient network link to the St Luke’s Campus to support the expansion of the University of Exeter Medical School on the site.   Network connections to the University’s Truro and Penryn Campuses are the focus of the project in 14/15.