The Benefits of eXchanging Course Related Information (XCRi)

A Seminar on the ’whys’ and ‘hows’ of managing course marketing information using XCRI – the new UK eProspectus standard

Monday 19 April 2010: 12.00 noon lunch, Seminar 12.30-4.00pm

at: University of Huddersfield, Castle Hill  Suite, Level 4 Central Services Building, off Queensgate, Huddersfield, HD1 3DH

Further information, registration, speakers, programme, map:

Following five years of development and pilot work, XCRi-CAP has now been mandated as the UK eProspectus standard.

This free event is part of the JISC Benefits Realisation programme to raise awareness of the new UK eProspectus Standard, XCRi and the enhanced capabilities it offers beyond more effective course advertising.


There was a need to discuss XCRI with others involved in the project based at various institutions dotted around the country.  8 of us needed to discuss topics outlined in a document. Naturally we saw it as an opportunity to use Elluminate.

It should have been a success.

It wasn’t.

At least 2 participants couldn’t get Elluminate working on their pc’s from within their networks. Probably firewall issues, but using software shouldn’t usually involve getting the network team involved to open a port to make it work.

In the end we switched to Skype, which wasn’t totally without sound quality issues. But we talked for over an hour without anyone dropping out and I didn’t have to spend any time chatting to IT support to make it work.

We’re doing a survey of communication software, particularly those applications that lean towards online collaboration.

If you’ve used applications such as Skype, Elluminate, Webex etc, we’d like to hear your opinions of them.

You can find our survey here.



I’ve got to give mention to an online collaborative process mapping tool called Webspiration. Having spent the morning at a meeting where processes were mapped out using post-it’s on sheets of paper, I was intrigued to find out what digital applications there were that could do the same thing. Webspiration suprised me because it’s free and yet seems to offer most of the funcitonality you’d require, including chat. Charts can be exported to Word or Google Docs, or stored online. It’s perhaps not as fluid as an installed application, but then did I mention it was free?

Below is a link to the brief Elluminate presentation I gave this morning during the Open Educational Resources workshop at the Rose Bowl.

Elluminate Presentation

If you are on a firewalled network and cannot connect to Elluminate, it’s worth watching the following video as a first step in resolving your connection problems. It’s also applicable if you’re trying to connect to a session from a home computer.

This should be classed as a stumbled-upon as I quite literally found this article while researching something else. It’s a short excerpt from the blog of Dr Jo Badge (University of Leicester) who managed to give a presentation at the Learning Futures Festival while collecting her children from school:

I had the weird experience of giving a presentation without actually being present at a conference yesterday. I pre-recorded by session for the Learning Futures Festival back in December and it was broadcast on 14 Jan 2010 whilst I was at home collecting my children from school. I am greatful to my colleagues for stepping in to be online to answer any questions about the project.

It was definitely one of the easier presentations I had to do, elluminate was straightforward to use and I had good support from the conference team. Below is a copy of the slides I used and the presentation will be available with audio and the chat commentary on the learning futures fesitval site until 14 Feb 2010 (registration for the conference is required).

It’s a use I’d not thought of – pre-record your contribution to a meeting and have it played in your absence. It allows for more flexibility in scheduling the meeting and makes sense for meetings where perhaps the only item on the agenda of interest to you is your own.

The Leap Ahead LLN based at Nottingham University have produced a progress report on the work they have done with XCRI. The report highlights the success the team have had in working with their local partner institutions and gives good insight on how an XCRI infrastructure might work from a high level.

…if only there was some way to still hold all those meetings and yet avoid having to travel in to attend them.

The WYLLN Elluminate project is still looking for participants willing to try and hold some of their daily meetings online using the Elluminate software. The software lends itself well to meetings of 6 or less participants, or presentations to much larger audiences.

For a taster of what Elluminate can do and its benefits as a means of sharing knowledge, I highly recommend viewing Brian McCaul’s presentation on the above topic. Hosted in Elluminate by JISC, it is a good example of how the application can be used to present a powerpoint display, while making full use of Elluminate’s many features. The recording allows you to view both the presentation, the webcams and also the IM chat going on in the background. The talk itself is also very informative!

This recording requires sound.