Understanding Data

This has a become a big thing for our project, how are changes managed to the core student data and how are those changes communicated to staff who use that data? I had a conversation with a member of lecturing staff who noted that TheSIS (The Student Information System) had gone through some recent changes, and were unsure as to why those changes had taken place, and that the  changes had caused some new issues with data that they put into the system. Usually these “issues” with data are sorted at a local level and may not reach faculty meetings. So how many people hit the same thing? How often do problems arise? What problems are they? In an informal discussion it is easy to pull out some issues, including handling APEL decisions after exam boards have met (in this example TheSIS gives the learner an “R” grade – meaning re-sit!). We have been talking about a flexible and responsive curriculum but now we also need to think about flexible and responsive data sources.