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The Student Enrolment Project at
the University of Durham
Presented by:
Joanne Elliott (Unisys Ltd),
Leigh Sykes (University of Durham)
January 2009
Aims
To provide background information on the project to move Durham to
an online enrolment system from a paper-based process
To describe the work undertaken by Unisys Ltd to meet the
University’s requirements and to make
∂ best use of the OENR
To details learning points from the project so far
To detail future development priorities
Background



Following extensive consultation with stakeholders it was established
that the University’s existing registration process was not fit for
purpose, since it did not provide a positive student experience and did
not meet the University strategic aim to ‘use its resources effectively
and efficiently’
∂
It was therefore agreed that a new enrolment and registration system
was required in order to move away from the process described as
‘paper-based and resource intensive’ and to improve the student
experience of this ‘chaotic’ process
Since the registration process is business critical for the University,
the project was considered very high risk and thus it was decided that
the process should be re-engineered into separate enrolment and
module registration processes
Background Cont’d






It was agreed that this project was the highest priority Pan-University
project taking place at the time
Funding of £1.1 million was approved by the University Executive
Committee in June 2007
A technical specification for a new online enrolment system was
delivered by Unisys Ltd in October∂ 2007
Implementation of this design commenced in November 2007, which
meant that we were able to take advantage of the introduction of the
SSEN (introduced Summer 2007)
Total development, testing and implementation time was approximately
six months
The new online system went live on 12th May 2008. More than 15000
students have used the facility this year.
Project Milestones
Solutions Option Paper
Technical Proposal
Technical Design & Detailed Web Page Design
Development Phase
∂
Testing Phase
Implement Software
February 2007
October 2007
November 2007
November 2007 – February 2008
February 2008 – April 2008
May 2008
Project Requirements
The University outlined the following high-level requirements for the
Student Enrolment System (SES):
•
•
•
Transparency to end-users: The student should be able to access the
enrolment processes by logging into DUO (Durham University Online networked Learning Environment for students, using Blackboard software) and
preferably with no additional sign on from
∂ the point of logging into that facility.
Clear status of the enrolment process: There should be a checklist facility to
clearly indicate to the students which areas of enrolment they have / have not
completed.
Approval/monitoring/reporting:
–
–
–
There should be functionality enabling required data for each student to be collected /
confirmed as having been checked or amended by the student.
A new student’s identification must be verified by a member of staff and this must be
recorded.
There should be a provision of management reporting.
Process Definition
Enrolment - Definition
The process by which a student confirms their intention to join or return to
an institution to follow a programme of study.
∂
Unisys Project Approach
•
The approach taken was to implement the Student Enrolment
system (SES) on to the current Banner infrastructure.
•
SGHE enrolment model: A template for online enrolment, OENR, was
released by SGHE, however a complete bespoke set of pages were
developed using the SSEN and PRGN
∂ toolboxes:
– SGHE web development toolbox: Unisys implemented the Self-Service
Engine (SSEN) as a solution for Enrolment along with bespoke developments
to meet the additional requirements of the University.
– SGHE rule based processing toolbox: Unisys implemented the Process
Rules Engine (PRGN) to process entered data and write it back to the person
and student area of the database. Also to keep an audit and facilitate
reporting.
Unisys Project Approach
The key advantages for using SSEN/PRGN were;
•
•
•
the speed for developing the web pages,
the automatic provision of the checklist facility,
∂
and the direct links to the Banner data.
Unisys Project Approach
The SSEN toolbox was used to generate Banner Self-Service web pages for
displaying and gathering enrolment data .
The series of generic Banner forms were used to configure the web pages
using the Process Rules Engine in Banner to collate data and write it back to
the person and student area of the database.∂
The web pages were built up from a series of elements (fields etc) and were
gathered together under the umbrella of a tick-box menu, which display a
student’s progress through the required elements of online enrolment.
Processes were defined for each student type and stage, for example,
undergraduate enrolment and postgraduate enrolment.
Meeting Project Requirements
Single Sign On
•
A student gains access to the online process at the point they have an
active student record (status code ‘AS’) and when they have been
provided with their ITS logon credentials.
∂
•
A link to the enrolment system is available via DUO and provides a
seamless login process between the DUO and SES systems.
Meeting Project Requirements
Checklist of Stages
A checklist page is displayed to guide students through the web based
processes. This checklist clearly indicates which areas have and which
∂ the student.
areas have not yet been completed by
The checklist items for a student are:



Enrolment
Verification
Module Registration
Meeting Project Requirements
Enrolment Stage
Web pages are available for the student to enter or confirm their personal
details, for example address information and sponsor details. Personal
information data fields are split across∂ several web pages.
This functionality also includes;
• The addition of Quick Address functionality for amendments on UK
Addresses.
• A file upload process to upload photographs
• A process for handling the upload of photographs. Photographs are
stored inside tables in the Student database and these are used to
produce the student’s campus card before they arrive.
Meeting Project Requirements
Confirmation Processes
A new student’s identity is confirmed by the University as part of the
Enrolment process.
∂
Functionality is available to allow the University to record the verification of
a student’s identity against proof of identity documents.
The students is provided with a web page to allow them to view that
this stage of the process is complete.
Meeting Project Requirements
Web for Faculty – Department and College
Web pages are available to confirm the following is complete:
• Student Verification of Identity
∂ to the student.
• Campus Card has been distributed
Meeting Project Requirements
Process Completion
Once a student has completed all stages of the enrolment process they will
be provided with a facility to;
•
•
•
•
∂
View their Personal Details
Update their Permanent Address
Update their Term-Time Address
Update their Emergency Contact Details
Once all the stages are marked as complete on the checklist screen, a student
has the status of RE against his/her student record. Students are granted access to
the Library (via campus card) once they are enrolled and identity verified.
Meeting Project Requirements
Look and Feel
The University style sheet was applied to the SES web pages.
∂
Meeting Project Requirements
Interfaces to Other Systems
The SES interfaces with the following systems:
DUND Interface - ITS application used to maintain user details for all Durham IT users
A process to improve the efficiency of data transfers between Banner and DUND has
been developed.
∂
Interface with the Fees Generation & Invoicing Processes
A bespoke process for calculating an individual’s fees will be developed for full-time
students.
Photograph Interface with the Campus Card System
Photograph are made available to DUND via a database link, then transferred to the
Campus Card System
The New Process
What information needs to be in place in Banner for online enrolment
to take place for new students?
A student record needs to be in place
 This is created when the student
is finally accepted and the
∂
decision code FA / IA is added to their record by UG Admissions or
Graduate School.
 The student’s ITS account is created the following day.
 The student is sent an email with their IT account access
information and is invited to complete online enrolment once the
system is open to them, 56 days before their start date.
The New Process
Handling Different Student Types
The following instances where students are handled in a different way within the SES, are as follows;
Enrolment/Re-Enrolment
The data items to be confirmed and edited vary depending on whether a student is a new or continuing student
Fee Calculation
Depending on whether a student is full or part-time, the fee calculation and displaying of fees differs. For part-time
students, the display of fees is not possible without registration being completed for these students. Instead of
displaying and prompting for fee details, an appropriate message is displayed to indicate that fee cannot be provided
Campus Card Collection
∂
Collection of campus card issued flag is not required for DL students as not all of these students need cards
Verification of Identity
For continuing students this is not required
Dates of Enrolment
Timings of enrolment are different depending on a student’s programme of study. The commencement date is used to
determine timings of enrolment for a new student. All students have the same timings for re-enrolment except for DL
students. DL students have multiple start points and the system is available all year round for enrolment / re-enrolment.
International Office Data
The international office data web page is only be displayed for Overseas students determined by the residency
status of the student for the effective term.
The New Process
Photograph Page
A student is not be permitted to upload a photograph if they have exceeded the
maximum number of upload attempts. This limit is set to 3.
Students are not be permitted to upload photographs if the current date exceeds the cut
off date for submitting photographs. This cut-off date is 12 days prior to the
commencement date.
∂
The ‘Upload Photo’ file browse item allows only valid image file extensions, ie. GIF, JPG,
JPEG, TIF, TIFF, BMP.
On upload of a photograph, the image file will be converted to JPG format and resized
appropriately for the Campus Cards system. Should any errors occur during this
process the student will be asked to upload a valid image file.
Photographs are held as ‘BLOB’ data types within the database.
The New Process
Process Complete – Reminders / Revoking Access
Email reminders will be sent to students to highlight incomplete processes
and to prompt them to complete the process or they may lose their IT
access.
∂
ITS Access will be revoked to Basic if the process is not complete 14 days
after the student’s commencement date.
The New Process
Enrolment Open / Close – Override
In order to work around an instance whereby a student requires to enrol when
enrolment is closed, the Enrolment Closure Override attribute ‘OVER’ is set against
a student. SPA can set this attribute if a student needs to enrol but enrolment has
closed for them.
∂
If this attribute exists for a student the Enrolment System will override the check on
open/close dates and allow the student access to enrol.
Once a student has completed enrolment, the attribute can be manually removed
via the form.
The ‘OVER’ attribute is added/ removed using the Banner form SGASADD.
Supporting the New Process
Staff Enrolment Pages
An on-line facility for staff has been developed to allow for relevant data
checking and confirmation, and is available via DUO. The system audits
∂
the member of staff completing the checking
and confirmation processes.
The staff page will provide a link to the following web pages:

Student Enrolment Details

College / Department Students

Photograph Validation

Enrol on behalf of a Student
Supporting the New Process
Audit Information
A bespoke table to capture audit information was developed.
This stores the following tracking data:
∂ verification etc) of the whole process
 the date that each section (e.g. enrolment,
has been completed,
 dates that e-mails have been sent to individuals,
 flags for incorrect data
This allowed support staff to identify which elements of the process had
been completed by each individual student and when, as well as to confirm whether
e-mails had already been sent.
Supporting the New Process
Supporting Problems
Students who are having problems with the enrolment system or process, are directed to the IT
Service Desk.
Students and Staff can contact the IT Service Desk via the Comments and Questions form link
found at the bottom of all the web pages.
∂
Or, via the email address which is [email protected]
Or, ITS can also be contacted by personal visits.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) are available from the web pages. FAQs are used by students
to obtain answers to any queries they may have relating to the enrolment process.
Developing Online Enrolment
Using the SSEN toolbox
The following items have been configured to meet the University’s Requirements via
the SSEN set-up options.




Labels
Select Lists
Links
Checklist web pages
∂
Configuration has been carried out of the drop down selection lists for fields
such as Ethnicity and Disability codes, as these all need to be selected from the
HESA validated lists.
Developing Online Enrolment
Explanatory Text
On each web page the following text has been added;
•
•
•
•
Page Header Text: this is the text that is displayed at the top of the page
Page Title Text: this is the title that will
∂ appear in the window bar
Text Object: this is the text on the web page. It is possible to enter HTML
tags directly into the value field for the Text property. Text objects are
associated with sections or forms.
Data Item Label: this is the text that will be displayed for the data item on
the web page.
Developing Online Enrolment
Select Lists
Some examples of Select Lists used within the SES;
Marital Status
Country of Nationality
Ethnic Origin
Disability Information
Disability Allowance
Term Time Accommodation Type
Emergency contact relationship
∂
STVMRTL
SKVSSDT
STVETHN
STVMEDI
SKVSSDT
SKBHINS
STVRELT
Developing Online Enrolment
Links
Links have been used extensively throughout the SES.
Link objects are available within the SSEN to use within a web page; these
∂
insert a link on the web page.
Page Set Links
Both SSEN Page Links and Link URLs (using Redirect URLs / Process
Rules) are used within Page Sets to determine which page is displayed.
Developing Online Enrolment
Business Rule Processes - the PRGN toolbox is used to build
business rules:
Business rules are used as follows;
•
•
∂ a student to in the SES
To determine which pages to direct
To determine the status a student should receive after completing each
stage of the SEP process.
Developing Online Enrolment
Student Web Page Mappings
REG
VRFY
PERS1
PERS1
PERS2
PERS2
ADDR
ADDR
EMRG
Student with
holds
New Home
Student ENROL_HOME_
INST_HOLD
OENR
Link
NEW
New
Student
Student not
‘RE’ status
Student
‘RE’
status
∂
MAIN_NEW
‘EN’ status
STU_VIEW
IMAG
ENROL_OVER_
New
NEW
Overseas
FINL
IMAG
INTL
Not ‘EN’ status
INST
INST_COMP
EMRG
FINL
Student
Continuing
Home
Student
MAIN_CONTNot ‘EN’ status
ENROL_HOME_
Continuing
Student
PERS1
CONT
‘EN’ status
PERS2
Continuing
Overseas
Student
STU_UPDATE
ENROL_OVER_
CONT
Enrolled
Data
complete
RULE
Enrolled
REG
ENRL_CONF
Not enrolled
ENRL_CONF
_ERR
Enrolled
Data not
complete
RULE_ERR
PERS1
ADDR
PERS2
EMRG
ADDR
EMRG
INTL
FINL
FINL
Developing Online Enrolment
Staff Web Page Mappings
STF_COLLDEPT
STF_STU
OENR Link
STF_MENU
∂
STF_PERM
STF_BANNER_ID
STF_TT
STF_EM
STF_PHOTO
Developing Online Enrolment
Page Sets within Page Sets
Checklist Page
 Enrolment
 Verification
 Programme & Module Registration
∂
Enrolment
 Personal Details 1
 Personal Details 2
 Address Information
 Emergency Contact
 Photograph
 International Office Data
 Financial Information
 Confirm data, Rules & Regulations
Developing Online Enrolment
Using the PRGN toolbox to display different data according to student
type, e.g. new/continuing
Following techniques have been used;


∂
Variants of a page and use dynamic re-direction (using Process Rules) to
automatically direct students to the appropriate pages
Include additional conditions i.e. student type, in the select statement of the
Data Object or Select Lists
Developing Online Enrolment
Page Updates
Using In-Line Views with the SSEN toolbox;








Page object is created in GKASPAG
Database table is created with a name matching the page name and with columns for
∂
all updateable fields
Database view is created with a name also matching the page name
Trigger (instead of insert/update) is created on the database view
Process Rule Set is created in GKRPRST, to auto populate GKRPWRK
Process Rule is created in GKRRSQL, to select data from GKRPWRK
Map columns in GKRPRCT; define the view columns to insert the data into the view
Code within the trigger on the view for validation and data updates
Developing Online Enrolment
Page Updates
How the processing works;
>Page is complete and submitted by the student
>Data is removed from the underlying table
∂
>Data is inserted into the view
>Trigger is executed
>Validation code is invoked
>If data passes validation then Banner tables are updated
>If data fails validation then populate the table and re-display the data back to the student
N.B. we use a timestamp on the table so only displays data within a certain timeframe
Developing Online Enrolment
Page Updates
Main reason for using In-Line Views;



Updating more than one table from one page with several data items
∂
displayed on it
Retaining data entered when page validation fails
Ability to test updates by inserting data directly into the views rather than via
the front end
The Student Enrolment System
Now lets take a look at some of the key sections of the SES…
∂
The Student Enrolment System
Staff & Students
Login via DUO
∂
The Student Enrolment System
∂
Open the SES
The Student Enrolment System
∂
Students are
logged into the
Student
Enrolment
System and
asked to click on
the link to
continue.
The Student Enrolment System
Process Checklist
items for New
students.
∂
The Student Enrolment System
Process Checklist
items
for Continuing
students.
∂
The Student Enrolment System
Photograph
Page
∂
The Student Enrolment System
Enrolment
Checklist Page
At this stage,
Confirm
Data, Rules &
Regulations
page can be
completed.
Student can
then Confirm
Enrolment
∂
If however all check boxes are not
checked the user will be taken to the
Confirm Data, Rules & Regulations
Error web page and requested to
complete all of the enrolment
sections.
The Student Enrolment System
Confirmation
Enrolment
Complete Page
∂
The Student Enrolment System
Enrolment is
marked as
complete on
the Process
Checklist Page
∂
Learning Points - General






Business processes can never be ‘too defined’ and making sure
that they are accurate and understood is the foundation of any project
of this nature
The impact of different cultures within the project was extensive and
often detrimental
∂ highlighted as problematic
Communication issues were often
between the different stakeholders
Obtaining buy in from all of the disparate stakeholders was often
extremely difficult
The project successfully implemented a new online system despite
this
The University’s method of resourcing the project did not assist the
project in working towards a successful implementation
Learning Points - General Cont’d






The issues that the project team and other staff testers were concerned
about were not the ones that end users were concerned about
Undertaking a project of this size while also addressing the new HESA return
may have been a miscalculation in terms of the resource required for each
Implementation resource was not defined in enough detail, and so some
∂
stakeholders felt un-supported
Success was achieved based on the goodwill and determination of the
project team and some key stakeholders
The benefits of the new process are becoming much more apparent as time
goes on e.g. the student records team has completed many processes relating
to registration 3-4 weeks in advance of in previous years
Students have welcomed the new process and have been very
complimentary about the online functionality
Learning Points - The Development Tools








The specific project requirements of Durham meant that the use of the SSEN
toolbox was adapted to a complex process rather than the process being
adapted to the tool
Using the SSEN toolbox meant that Unisys had a structured approach to
developing web pages when a team of 3 or more developers were involved
The SSEN toolbox had certain advantages including; ability to place different types
of data items on a page, the automatic provision of the checklist facility, and the direct
links to the Banner data
The process rules engine allowed the use
∂ of dynamic links to web pages according to
the defined business rules
The SSEN toolbox met the requirement to have page sets within pages sets, so
Unisys were able to develop an enrolment checklist within the main process checklist
page
The file upload process worked very well for photographs
The use of Quick Address functionality for amending UK Addresses assisted in
improving the quality of address data
Being able to apply the University style sheet meant that the look and feel of the
system fits well with the University’s standards for web page development
Learning Points - The Development Tools
Cont’d





Development time was slightly extended while developers required a
couple of days to familiarize themselves with the SSEN/PRGN toolboxes ,
however this knowledge is now in place for future development projects
The standard tool will only allow updates to one table from within one
page, therefore a work around was required
Data was not retained and displayed
∂ back to the student when validation
failed however, we were able to provide a solution to this
Data items cannot be conditionally updateable or read only, however
we met this requirement by either developing different pages for different
student types, or tailoring the select statements by building in extra
conditions
Radio buttons cannot be used for data updates and are designed for record
selection only, thus, select lists were used as an alternative
Future Development
1. Embedding the current processes must take priority at the moment
2. Communication processes are to be reviewed and updated in advance
of the next enrolment and registration period
∂
3. Further enhancements of the functionality are being developed for May
2009
4. Consultation regarding the Module registration system has been carried
out, and a technical proposal is due to be provided by July 2009
Any Questions?
∂
The Student Enrolment Syste
Other key sections of the SES are as follows:
∂
The Student Enrolment System
Select the
Programme and
click on
‘Continue’.
Comments and
Questions form
∂
The Student Enrolment System
∂
Enrolment checklist
items
for Home NEW
students.
Enrolment
checklist items
for Home
CONTINUING
students.
The Student Enrolment System
∂
Enrolment checklist
items
for Overseas NEW
students.
Enrolment
checklist items
for Overseas
CONTINUING
students.
The Student Enrolment System
Personal Details 1
Page
∂
The Student Enrolment System
Address Page
∂
For both Permanent and Term
time addresses that are in the UK,
the student has the option to use
the QuickAddress buttons
provided to retrieve their address
accurately.
The Student Enrolment System
Emergency
Contact Page
∂
QuickAddress
Button
The Student Enrolment System
Financial
Information
Page
∂
The Student Enrolment System
International
Office Page
∂
The Student Enrolment System
Verification
Page
∂
The Student Enrolment System
Programme &
Module
Registration
Page
∂
The Student Enrolment System
Student
has completed
all stages.
∂
The Student Enrolment System
Once the process is
complete the
student is able
to update their
address
information.
∂
The Student Enrolment System
Staff enrolment
Web pages
∂
The Student Enrolment System
College /
Department
Page
∂
The Student Enrolment System
College /
Department
Page
∂
The Student Enrolment System
Student
Enrolment
Details Page
∂
The Student Enrolment System
Update Student
Enrolment
Details
∂
The Student Enrolment System
Student
Enrolment
Details Page
∂
Identity
Verified &
Card Issued
The Student Enrolment System
Update Student
Permanent
Address
Details
∂
The Student Enrolment System
Enrol on behalf
of a Student
∂
The Student Enrolment System
Enter the
Banner ID and
PIN of the
student you are
enrolling on
behalf of.
∂
The Student Enrolment System
Photo
Validation
∂
The Student Enrolment System
Staff Validate
Photographs
∂
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