Student Systems News

May 2018

Upgraded SITS: Vision and eVision are now available (Monday 21 May 2018)

SITS: Vision, eVision, Student Self Service, Graduate Application Form, and Graduate Application Self Service are now available again for use following the scheduled SITS:Vision Upgrade which took place over the weekend (19/20 May 2018).

Find out more about the upgrade
SITS: Vision and eVision (including Student Self Service, Graduate Application Form, and Graduate Application Self Service) were upgraded to ensure the University’s student systems continue to be supported and secure. The SITS: Vision and eVision functionality remained the same for users however if you encounter any issues or have any queries regarding the upgrade, please contact the Student Systems Support Centre.

SITS: Vision Upgrade and Planned Downtime

SITS: Vision, the underlying application for eVision, Student Self Service and Graduate Applicant Self Service, will be upgraded from version 9.3 to 9.5 over the weekend of 19/20 May 2018. This routine upgrade will ensure that the University’s student records system remains up to date and continues to be supported. There will be no major changes for users, however the aforementioned systems will be unavailable from 17:00 on Friday 18 May throughout that weekend, and made available again in time for 09:00 on Monday 21 May. If you experience any issues accessing eVision outside of these hours then please contact the Student Systems Support Centre student.systems@admin.ox.ac.uk.

Student Systems Support Centre: Monthly Service Report (Incidents and Response rates) - April 2018

The Service Report is now available for April 2018 on the Support Statistics web page.

Student Systems Support Centre (SSSC): Mailing List Usage Statement

The SSSC's Mailing List Usage Statement is now available on the Student System website. Active eVision users are automatically included in the mailing lists and membership of the mailing lists is mandatory. Information on when and why you may occasionally be contacted via email is on the Mailing List Usage Statement webpage.

April 2018

Student Systems Support Centre: New Monthly Service Report (Incidents and Response rates) now available

The first Student Systems Support Centre (SSSC) monthly service report is now available on the Support Statistics webpage. This month’s service report illustrates the huge improvements which have been made in reducing the number of open incidents since a programme of work began to improve the SSSC’s internal processes from late 2016. We are pleased to announce that the number of incidents open at the end of last month was at a record low of 52 compared to 337 in the same month last year. SSSC aim to resolve over 70% of tickets received within one week and 90% with four weeks – a target that has been achieved almost every month since June 2017. From April 2018, there is a new target to ensure that all tickets are resolved within six weeks. As this is the first report we have published we have included the statistics from the last 19 months. The next service report, covering the last 15 months, will be available in the first half of May and we hope you will continue to follow our progress over the summer.

Dataviews and reports in eVision will be unavailable on Thursday 26 April, 08:00-18:00

Dataviews and reports in eVision will be unavailable from 08:00 on Thursday 26th April until 18:00 the same day in order to apply an essential software upgrade to the reporting infrastructure. We regret that this outage will occur during working hours, however these updates are necessary to ensure that the software remains up to date and supported by the supplier. All other areas of eVision will be unaffected and will remain operational throughout the day.

We are aware that users based in Graduate Admissions and divisional offices will need to access reports in late April in order to decide which graduate programmes to reopen for admission after 1st May. Please allow for the outage when planning this work; we will take steps to ensure that this data could be provided by the Support Centre in the unlikely event of any eVision reporting problems after the upgrade.

For a list of the Dataviews affected, please see this List (11kb). If you experience any issues accessing Dataviews outside of these hours then please contact the Student Systems Support Centre student.systems@admin.ox.ac.uk.

March 2018

Graduate Admissions (departments): Verification of Qualifications Change

In order to improve the quality of data in eVision, a change has been implemented in Graduate Admissions to ensure that qualifications can only be verified by a department where the necessary information has been completed. While previously it has been possible to verify qualifications where important details, such as the Actual/Expected Result and Main Subject, are missing, now Verify Result and Record Result & Verify will only appear if the necessary information has been entered.

  • The option to Verify Result will now only be available if the Actual/Expected Result and Date of expected/actual completion have already been entered.  If this information is missing then Missing result will be shown rather than the Verify Result option (red circles in screenshot below). If the Verify Result option is missing, then choose Record Result & Verify instead.
  • The option to Record Result & Verify will now only be available if the Qualification, Main Subject, and Institution detailshave already been entered. If this information is missing then Missing Details will be shown rather than the Record Result & Verify option (blue circles in screenshot below). If Missing Details is displayed rather than Record Result & Verify, then use the Edit Qualification Details option instead.

 

The Graduate Admissions Manual - UABs training manual has been updated to reflect this change and can be found on the Training Documentation web page. If you have any queries regarding this change then please contact the Student Systems Support Centre.

SITS/eVision User Experience Survey: results and plans for the future

If you were among the 475 users who participated in the eVision/SITS User Experience Survey last year, we would like to thank you for taking part. We would also would like to share feedback from the survey with you, and explain how this is being taken forward.

The overall results show that staff with an administrative role and frequent users are comparatively satisfied with eVision/SITS and the support of the system. Staff in academic roles, and infrequent users, are less satisfied with eVision and the support of the system.

In view of these results, we plan to:

  1. Review the ‘front page’ and structure of eVision in order to improve navigability, in particular for academic staff who use the system less often. We aim to make common tasks and information more intuitive to find and complete;
  2. Undertake a technical review of eVision with input from the supplier, with a particular focus on performance improvements;
  3. Continue to improve support procedures to ensure a fast response and resolution to helpdesk calls. Significant progress was made in this area during 2017 which provides a good basis for further improvement, as follows:
  1. Helpdesk calls: the number of open support tickets was reduced from 739 on 1 January 2017, to 140 tickets on 1 January 2018. For context, we received c6300 tickets during 2017. In January 2017 we resolved 87.5% of calls within four weeks. In January 2018 this had improved to 97.4% resolution within the same period.
  2. Problem management: a new process was introduced to identify and prioritise issues which require more detailed investigation, which will ensure we focus our effort on systems issues with the greatest impact and urgency.
  3. Communication: we will review our communications with users to ensure these are better targeted, appropriately timed, and relevant.

This survey will also serve as a baseline against which to compare our services in future.

For detailed information on the feedback we received and any planned system developments please see the eVision/SITS: Vision User Experience Survey Results web page.

If you have any feedback in the meantime, either regarding the service or systems we provide, then please contact student.systems@admin.ox.ac.uk or follow the guidance on our Improvements page.

Graduate Admissions: Application PDF Bulk Download Surname Range

There is now a surname range search parameter available when using the Application PDF Bulk Download functionality. This enables searches to be run in smaller batches where required. See the Bulk PDF Download QRG for further details.

February 2018

New eVision Graduate Offer and Intake Target report now live

The new eVision Graduate Offer and Intake Target report is now available to all UAB and college staff with access to Graduate Admissions eVision functionality. The report is intended to facilitate closer monitoring of the admissions cycle and will show the number of offers made by a programme against the offer target and student intake target. The student intake target will be available for all programmes, but please note that the offer target will only be available for full-time matriculated programmes (with the exception of those in Medical Sciences).

This report will be found under the Graduate Admission Reports section of Admissions in eVision:

The Graduate Offer and Intake Target report was implemented as part of the Graduate Admissions Improvement project. The existing training manuals for University Admitting Bodies (UABs) and colleges have been updated and can be found on the Training Documentation page.

Reduced System Resiliency of SITS/eVision: Friday 23 February to Monday 26 February

Essential works will be carried out to migrate some of the servers which support SITS to a new data centre over the weekend of the 24th and 25th February in order to improve the long-term stability of Student Systems, as well as other University services. Due to this SITS: Vision, eVision and Student Self-Service should be considered ‘at-risk’ from 10:00am on Friday 23 February and continuing throughout Monday 26 February. Every effort has been made to ensure that any disruption to our services are minimised, but please note that the service will be running at reduced capacity and resiliency during this period. If you encounter any issues outside of this period, please contact the Student Systems Support Centre.

January 2018

Brief outage to eVision and the Graduate Application Form [19 January, 12:30pm]

The Graduate Application form and eVision are now available again after a service outage due around 12pm today. The service is now available again but please contact the Student Systems Support Centre if you continue to encounter any problems. 

The Graduate application deadline has been extended to midnight due to service outages and an unprecedented volume of applications. If you are encountering problems attempting to submit fee payment with your application please could make alternative payment method:

  1.  Please go to www.graduate.ox.ac.uk/applicationfee and make a purchase of the application fee. Click on ‘Add to Basket’ and then proceed to make payment. If you have not used the Online Stores before, you will need to create an account, and provide some personal details and the name of the course to which you are applying.
  2. Once you have paid your application fee, you will receive an email with your application fee order number, which begins with OXF followed by six digits. Please email graduate.admissions@admin.ox.ac.uk with the title OXF NUMBER and provide the six-digit number so that your payment can be located in the system.
  3. When Graduate Admissions has located your payment, they will give you instructions on how to submit your application without paying an additional fee.

If you are having any difficulties making the payment using the above method, please contact Graduate Admissions (graduate.admissions@admin.ox.ac.uk) as soon as possible. Please be aware that although the application deadline has been extended to midnight you need to contact Graduate Admissions by 5pm today.

SITS 9.5 Upgrade: planned for Trinity Term 2018

This routine upgrade in Trinity Term 2018 will ensure that the University’s student records system remains up to date and continues to be supported. This year, as with last year, SITS/eVision will have a double upgrade – taking it from version 9.3 to 9.5. No major changes are expected for users and further details regarding the dates and times of the upgrade will be displayed here shortly.

December 2017

Student Systems Support Centre: Christmas Closure dates

The Student Systems Support Centre will be closed from 16:00pm on Thursday 21 December until 8:30am on Wednesday 3January. During this time, telephones will be diverted to voicemail, and queries should be sent to student.systems@admin.ox.ac.uk. The Support Centre will respond to queries as quickly as possible after opening again on Wednesday 3 January 2018.

November 2017

Graduate Admissions Improvements - for applicants, academic assessors and administrators

The Graduate Admissions Improvements project was set up in response to Council’s goal of achieving faster funded offers in the graduate admissions process. It has implemented a number of system improvements for the 2017/18 admissions round, which are listed on the Graduate Admissions Improvements page on the Education IT website.

Student systems: possible slow-down to services on Monday 20 November and Tuesday 21 November.

Users of eVision, SITS:Vision, GSS and OxCORT may experience a temporary slow-down in service from 16:00pm Monday 20 November until 12pm Tuesday 21 November due to a planned network migration.  If you encounter any unexpected issues on during this period please contact the Student Systems Support Centre Tel: 01865 (2)84848. Apologies for any inconvenience caused. 

Student Systems Improvements Update

Since the start of the Trinity Term improvements have been made to:

  • Undergraduate admissions functionality (see News item under July 2017)
  • Registration, including disabilities, career plans and employability skills
  • Research management; inclusion of students' specialism on a variety of eVision reports
  • Extension to disability codes by making them more usable and informative for applicants and students
  • Degree ceremonies; internal to the Degree Conferrals team
  • Emergency contact details
  • Submissions (see Submissions Item Detail News item below).

New eVision functionality was also developed for departments to record the final outcome decision of factors affecting performance (FAP) (see News items under May and June 2017).

During Michaelmas Term, work will commence on the following functionality in eVision:

  • Suspensions for post graduate research students
  • Factors affecting performance (FAP) enhancements to enable the ability to store multiple outcomes.
  • Usability improvements in eVision

Further details regarding these improvements can be found on the Student Systems Improvements page.

New eVision Functionality: Submission Item Details

The new ‘Submissions Item Details’ functionality has been developed in the Examinations area of eVision in order to facilitate relevant processes relating to submissions deadlines. Department Exam Board Administrators will now able to quickly and easily enter, check, and change submission details directly into the system for any exam boards they are responsible for. Staff in the colleges, ARO, the Proctor’s Office, and Education Policy Support will then be able to view this information on a read-only basis. Users who have already been identified as requiring access to this new functionality will have received an email from Submissions and Research Degrees Team with further details.

The ‘Submission Item Details (Department Exam Board Administrator)’ and ‘Submission Item Details (Read-only)’ Quick Reference Guides can be found on the eVision Training Documentation page.

If you have any eVision queries please contact the Student Systems Support Centre. For queries regarding Submissions, please contact the Submissions and Research Degrees Team .

eVision and SITS Vision User Experience Survey Results

The results of the User Experience Survey have now been analysed and will be used to inform future development plans. The outcome of these results will be displayed on the User Experience Survey webpage shortly. The current Improvements planned for this term can be found on the Student Systems Improvements webpage.

October 2017

Graduate Admissions Automated Emails

Two improvements have been made to Graduate Admissions automated emails from eVision. Details are on the Graduate Admissions Improvements project web page. 

September 2017

Datacentre works on 16/17 September: postponed

Essential works were planned be carried out at the Begbroke datacentre over the weekend of the 16th and 17th September in order to improve the long-term stability of Student Systems, as well as other University services. These works have now been deferred to a later date yet to be agreed. Please check back on the Student Systems homepage for future notices.

August 2017

University Card and Student Registration Reminder: Hints and Tips

This item is to remind administrators involved in admissions and on-course registration of the importance of marking the University Card Form as Sent/Release to Card Office and to provide a few hints and tips on helping to make the issue of students’ University Card and their subsequent registration happen smoothly. Marking the Card Form as sent in eVision is an important step in completing the undergraduate (‘Release to Card Office’) and graduate admissions (‘Send Card Form’) process and should be carried out when the Card Form is sent to the Card Office.

Why is it important to mark the Card Form as sent in eVision?

If the Card Form is not marked as sent in eVision, this will delay the creation of the student’s on-course record (Applicant Transfer). Applicant Transfer must be completed before the University Card and single sign-on details for registration can be generated. It already takes a minimum of three nights from when a student’s University Card form is processed in eVision to their Single Sign On (SSO) being issued in order to enable them to log on to IT facilities. By making sure that you have marked the card form as sent in eVision you are ensuring that this process doesn’t take longer than it needs to.

When should I mark the Card Form as sent?

The option to carry out this step will be available once the applicant has an unconditional offer. As soon as an applicant meets the conditions of his or her offer, you should record their unconditional offer in eVision. This will put the application in the correct state to generate an on-course student record, once the University Card form has been processed. This step is carried out by colleges for undergraduate applications and by departments for graduate applications; please see the links below for further guidance on how to mark the Card Form as sent.

Is there anything else I can do to make the process as smooth as possible?

In addition to promptly marking conditions as having been met, it is also important that any issues are dealt with quickly and that email addresses are updated.

  • Issues: If the application record is not in the correct state, SITS: Vision cannot generate an on-course student record once the Card Office has processed the Card form.  If you receive an email telling you there is a problem with the record, please fix the issue promptly. The issue may be that an admissions condition has not been closed off in eVision. If your level of eVision access does not allow you to fix the issues, or you cannot see what is wrong, contact the Student Systems Support Centre.
  • No school or University email addresses: If an applicant has one of these types of email address, or if their SSO activation email bounces back, IT Services will contact their college department to ask for a different email address. Applicants should therefore be encouraged to update their email addresses before they return their Card Form. For undergraduates and PGCE applicants, they should update their email addresses at UCAS. Graduates who applied through the main application form can update their email directly via Applicant Self Service. For applicants who applied via another method (e.g. Apply Yourself) then the department will be able to update the email address in eVision (see section 7 ‘Edit Contact Details’ in the Graduate Admissions Manual – UABs).

Where can I find further guidance?

For further guidance on managing undergraduate or graduate admissions as a college or department, please see the relevant training manual on the eVision training documentation page. For further information on the how the University Card process works, please see the Where's my University Card? (1,719kb) presentation.

July 2017

Undergraduate Admissions: Enhancements now live

The enhancements (pdf) which have been developed for eVision early this year are now live. These include the ability for colleges to confirm grades-met applicants in bulk, improvements to the Confirmation Checking Report, and a more streamlined view for departments.

The Confirmation section of the Admissions Handbook has been fully updated following the discussions at the AdEx Confirmation Working Group. In particular, there are:

  • Updated eVision Quick Reference Guides for both colleges and departments
  • More detailed outlines of responsibilities and timings during A-level week
  • Details on how the science practical grades will be presented

Undergraduate Admissions: embargo during July and August

Examination results for undergraduate admissions are under embargo during July and August. Results and decisions must not be communicated outside of the university before the embargo periods end (Tuesday 8 August, for Scottish Qualifications Authority results, and Thursday 17 August for everything else). Please see the Undergraduate Admissions Handbook for further information, or contact Admissions Operations if you have any queries.

New for this year, UCAS has developed an online embargo training course. This provides practical guidance on how to avoid inadvertently breaching the embargo. The link is available on the A-level tab in the Confirmation section.

eVision Progression Process for Michaelmas Term 2017/18

The Data Quality Team (DQT) and the Academic Records Office (ARO) will run the progression process within eVision and SITS:Vision in the week commencing Monday 21st August 2017 in preparation for Michaelmas Term 2017/18. This message is to advise you of the process so you can prepare for any changes which may affect your own systems, and to ensure you are aware that aspects of student records may change.

What is the progression process?

The progression process for this term will roll forward students who are classed as Michaelmas Term students and whose anniversary of registration is in September onto their next year of study (e.g. first year students will become second year students). This will then allow students to re-register for the Michaelmas Term 2017/18 registration period. Returning students will be able to register online via Student Self Service from 1st September 2017.

What changes might I notice?

This is an important part of the system functionality and as such you will notice some changes to student data affected by the progression process, including:

 Most of your returning students will have been rolled forward onto the next year of their study.

  • The Student Status will change from ‘Enrolled’ to ‘Ready to Enrol – Returner’ until the student has re-registered in Self Service.
  • As students begin to register there are likely to be frequent updates to personal details.

When is it happening and what will be the impact?

Progression will be undertaken by ARO and DQT, primarily between Tuesday 22nd and Friday 25th August 2017, during which time the student records and the system will rollover from the 2016/17 to 2017/18 academic year. The main impact of this will be noticeable within eVision and Dataviews where the default academic year will begin to show as 2017/18.

Who do I contact for further information and advice?

If you require any further information in regard to progression please do not hesitate to contact the Academic Records Office (aro@admin.ox.ac.uk) for all matters concerning Undergraduates and Visiting/Recognised Students and the Data Quality Team (dqt@admin.ox.ac.uk) for queries regarding Postgraduate Taught and Research Students. If you have any further questions regarding rollover activities please contact the Student Systems Support Centre (student.systems@admin.ox.ac.uk).

Planned System Unavailability: 16:00 to 18:00 on Monday 10 July - Postponed

The planned downtime for SITS: Vision, eVision, Student Self Service, Graduate Application Form, and Graduate Application Self Service on Monday 10 July has been postponed. As soon as a working patch is available then a new date for deployment will be communicated. 

eVision Dataviews and Reports: Phased improvements w/c 3rd July

A series of phased improvements are being implemented this week in order to address the intermittent performance issues with dataviews and reports being encountered by users of eVision.

What dataviews and reports will see improvements?

The improvements will initially focus on the ‘Examination Results (print-friendly)’ and the ‘Examination Results (data-export)’ dataviews and will be implemented on Tuesday 4th July. Further dataviews and reports will be focussed on throughout the rest of this week and beyond to ensure that the performance and reliability of service is sustained more broadly. You will receive further email messages as these improvements are made in order to keep you informed of our progress.

What changes will I see?

The main change will be that the data contained in the ‘Examination Results (print-friendly)’ and the ‘Examination Results (data-export)’ dataviews will not be in ‘real-time’. Instead the data returned will be refreshed on an hourly basis for data for the 2016/17, 2015/16 and 2014/15 academic years and on a monthly basis for other previous academic years. This will mean that any changes made in eVision may take up to one hour to appear in these dataviews for 2016/17, 2015/16 and 2014/15 data and up to one month for data from other previous academic years.

What can I do to ensure my reports run smoothly and I can find the information I require?

If you wish to run a report for an individual student it is recommended that you use the ‘View Student’ report on the Student Records tab or the ‘Individual Student Search’ now available on the dataviews tab. While it is possible to search for individual students on other dataviews these purpose built reports provide both real-time data and generally run faster.

If your dataview or report is timing out, please make sure that the minimum recommended parameters have been entered and that you allow at least two minutes for the process to be run. Please be aware that refreshing and re-running any dataview or report more frequently than this also leads to performance issues.

Thank you for your patience and please accept our apologies for any inconvenience that may have been caused by last Friday’s outage (Friday 30 June). The combination of these system improvements and by everyone following a few best practice steps should mean that the dataviews and reports will run much faster and will be more stable for all users of eVision.  However, if you encounter any difficulties running dataviews or reports please contact the Student Systems Support Centre.

 

June 2017

Factors Affecting Performance on eVision: New report

Colleges can now use the Factors Affecting Performance report to view outcomes. The new report can be found under the Examinations and Assessments section under the Dataviews menu. The Factors Affecting Performance Outcomes Quick Reference Guide for departments can be found on the eVision Training Documentation page.

SITS: Vision Upgrade on Monday 26 June: Completed successfully

SITS:Vision, eVision, Student Self Service, Graduate Application Form, and Graduate Application Self Service are now available again for use following the scheduled SITS:Vision Upgrade which took place over the weekend. SITS:Vision and eVision (including Student Self Service, Graduate Application Form, and Graduate Application Self Service) were upgraded on 26 June to ensure the University’s student systems continue to be supported and  secure. This included the delivery of functionality and fixes to resolve previously identified issues for the Student & ITT HESA return 2016/17.

However, the SITS:Vision and eVision functionality remained the same for users however if you encounter any issues or have any queries regarding the upgrade, please contact the Student Systems Support Centre.

OxCORT: Planned downtime and 'At Risk' period

Please note that OxCORT will be unavailable on Tuesday 4th July 8am to 9am due to essential maintenance work. OxCort should be considered ‘at-risk’ from the afternoon on Friday 14 July until the afternoon on Monday 17 July due to essential maintenance work on the Shared Data Centre. Apologies for any inconvenience this may cause. 

Student Systems Improvements: New webpage launched

Student Systems performs a continuous programme of improvement work, funded and approved through the Education IT Board. This includes minor scale changes, either to existing student systems functionality or creating new functionality. For further information please see the new Student Systems Improvements webpage.

SITS: Vision Upgrade on Monday 26 June: Keeping Student Systems Supported and Secure

On Monday 26 June SITS:Vision, the underlying application for eVision, Student Self Service and Graduate Applicant Self Service, will be upgraded from version 9.2 to 9.3. This routine upgrade will ensure that the University’s student records system remains up to date and continues to be supported. There will be no major changes for users, however the aforementioned systems will be unavailable from 17:00 on Friday 23 June throughout that weekend, and made available again in time for 09:00 on Monday 26 June. If you experience any issues accessing eVision outside of these hours then please contact the Student Systems Support Centre student.systems@admin.ox.ac.uk. Further information can be found on the SITS: Vision upgrade webpage.

Planned Unavailability: 17:00, Friday 23 June until 09:00, Monday 26 June 2017

SITS: Vision, eVision, Student Self Service and Graduate Applicant Self Service will be unavailable from 17:00 on Friday 23 June until 09:00 on Monday 26 June in order to carry out the SITS: Vision upgrade. See ‘SITS:Vision Upgrade on Monday 26 June: Keeping Student Systems Supported and Secure’ news item above.

May 2017

Factors Affecting Performance on eVision

As of Tuesday 23 May, all Departments must input factors affecting performance (FAP) outcomes directly into eVision.  Any actions taken by the exam boards should be recorded in eVision after the relevant examination board has met and before the results are due to be released. When results have been published, Colleges and students will be able to see the outcome of the factors affecting performance application via eVision and on the results page on Students Self Service.   Further information for staff is available on the AAD website, and the Oxford Students website. Examiners should continue to complete Factors of Performance report, which must be retained with the examination board minutes. The Factors Affecting Performance Outcomes Quick Reference Guide can be found on the eVision Training Documentation page.

SITS:Vision Upgrade- keeping Student Systems supported and secure

In June 2017 SITS:Vision, the underlying application for eVision, Student Self Service and Graduate Applicant Self Service, will be upgraded from version 9.2 to 9.3. Regular upgrades help to ensure that the University’s student records system remains supported and secure. There will be no major changes for users, however the aforementioned systems will be unavailable for the duration of one weekend in June, the timing of which will confirmed via the usual channels closer to the time. This project aims to establish an annual window in Trinity term to upgrade SITS:Vision in line with the supplier’s software releases.

Student Systems eVision/SITS:Vision User Experience Survey: Now closed

On Friday 12 May the survey closed for responses. Student Systems would like to thank those of you who participated. Around 20% of eVision users responded to the eVision/SITS:Vision User Experience Survey. This included a variety of staff types, e.g. academic and administrative, from all parts of the collegiate University. The results will be analysed and published on the Student Systems website. Feedback will inform future development plans for Student Systems. The winners of the ten £50 Amazon vouchers will be informed in early June.

April 2017

Student Systems eVision/SITS:Vision User Experience Survey: Have your say!

eVision/SITS:Vision users will how have received an email from Future Thinking (eVisionUserSurvey@futurethinking.com) asking them to participate. The survey will remain open for responses from until Friday 12 May 2017. We would be very grateful for your feedback, which will be used to to assess the effectiveness of recent activities and to inform future plans.

For further information regarding the survey, please visit the Student Systems eVision/SITS:Vision User Experience Survey page.

March 2017

Student Systems eVision/SITS:Vision User Experience Survey: Opens this week!

Since the major implementation of eVision/SITS: Vision in January 2015, there have been subsequent improvement initiatives for the system and also the support of it. It is hoped that the outcome of these initiatives has had, and will have, a noticeable improvement in the user experience, with more usable systems and more effective support operations. Student Systems has therefore asked an external company, Future Thinking, to conduct an ‘eVision/SITS:Vision User Experience Survey’ to gather comprehensive user feedback from eVision/SITS:Vision users in order to assess the effectiveness of recent activities and to inform future plans.

eVision/SITS:Vision users will receive an email from Future Thinking (eVisionUserSurvey@futurethinking.com) this week asking them to participate. The survey is planned to be open for responses from Wednesday 29 March until Friday 12 May 2017. We would be very grateful for your feedback, which will be used to make service improvements.

For further information regarding the survey, please visit the Student Systems eVision/SITS:Vision User Experience Survey page.

Planned interruption to service: Tuesday 4 April and Thursday 6 April, 07:30-08:00am.

Emergency work is planned which may affect your ability to log into eVision on Tuesday 4 April, at 07:30am, and will last 10-15 minutes. Also, following on from previously works, Dataviews will briefly be unavailable on Thursday 6 April, 07:30-08:00am. Please accept our apologies for any inconvenience these interruptions may cause. If you experience any issues outside this time, please contact the Student Systems Support Centre.

Improvements to Information Custodian (IC) Functionality: Wednesday 29 March 2017

Improvements have now been made to the Information Custodian (IC) functionality following feedback the Student System Support Centre (SSSC) received from eVision users. ICs can now search and add a role/permission for anyone in the collegiate University and at different levels in the case of divisions or departments with sub-departments. Various screens now also contain key information in order to help identify the correct staff member and permissions, for example by showing a ‘preferred name’ and ‘permission code’.  For further information on the changes to the IC functionality please see the Information Custodian webpages.

Undergraduate Admissions: New Functionality for IELTS and TOEFL verification: Tuesday 28 March 2017

New functionality has now been released for English Language Qualification (EQL) verification for IELTS and TOEFL (internet based). The process of verification has been simplified to allow eVision Undergraduate Admissions users to record scores for multiple components on one screen. The Undergraduate Admissions Manual has been updated to reflect the change and provides step by step guidance on the verification of IELTS and TOEFL (internet based) English Language Qualifications. Please note that the process of verifying certificates for all other English Language Qualifications remains the same.

eVision College Records: eleven reports are now live

The College Advisors/Personal Tutors Report is now available and completes the suite of the first eleven eVision College Reports to be released. For a complete list of available eVision College Reports and how to run them, please see the ‘College Records Run Reports’ manual on the eVision User Guides and Documentation page.

eVision Dataviews: Planned Downtime, 8:00-9:00am Thursday 2 March

eVision Dataviews will be unavailable from 8:00am to 9:00am on Thursday 2 March. Following this essential work eVision should no longer be considered 'at risk'. However, if you encounter any issues with dataviews outside these times then please contact the Student Systems Support Centre.

February 2017

SITS/eVision considered 'at risk' : update on current status

SITS:Vision and eVision are still considered to be at risk following the electrical undertaken at the weekend (see 'SITS/eVision considered ‘at risk’ from 12:00pm, Friday 10 February until 13:00pm, Monday 13 February' item below) . However the main issue related to the data centres has now been resolved and services are being gradually restored to normal. As part of this work there will be a brief 5 minute interruption to the SITS/eVision service between 7am and 8am on Thursday 16 February in order to complete the restoration of service. If you encounter any issues please wait for approximately 5 minutes before restarting your session and trying again.

Graduate Admissions: update on merged references and reminder regarding the upload of UAB offer letters.

See updates to 'Graduate Admissions: Message for departments taking the early/late January deadline' items below.

SITS/eVision considered ‘at risk’ from 12:00pm, Friday 10 February until 13:00pm, Monday 13 February.

SITS/eVision should be considered ‘at risk’ from 12:00pm on Friday 10 February until 13:00pm on Monday 13 February due to essential electrical work being undertaken at the data centre where the live system resides. SITS/eVision can continued to be used but please be aware that there is reduced resiliency and capacity during this period so systems may be slightly slower than usual. If you encounter any issues during this period then please contact the Student Systems Support Centre. Details of student systems unavailability is always available from the System Availability area of the Student Systems Support Centre website.

Online examination timetables: available on Student Self Service from Weeks 4 and 5 of Hilary Term. 

Following a successful pilot with a number of MBA students at the Saïd Business School in Michaelmas term 2016 and early Hilary term 2017, examination timetables will be added to Student Self Service from Weeks 4 and 5 this Hilary term, replacing paper copies of personal timetables for all students.

Students will be able to access their personal timetables in a print-friendly format, along with any alternative arrangements that they may have been granted through Student Self Service. They will be notified of their timetables by automated emails and receive a reminder prior to the examination as well as a notification of any changes. Printed timetables will no longer be sent.

Through a new eVision screen, college administrators will have access to their students’ latest exam information. The changes for staff and students should reduce delays in correcting any issues with examinations entries or alternative arrangements, and staff should receive fewer enquiries from students about their examination timetables.

Guidance is available on the eVision Training Documentation webpage of the Training documentation page:

  • The Quick Reference Guide, Examinations including Alternative Arrangements, replaces the Alternative Arrangements and includes new information on the College composite timetable view.
  • The Student Self Service Manual includes a new section, 4.4 Online Exams Timetable.

January 2017

Graduate Admissions: Message for departments taking the early January deadline (6 January 2017)- Updated 13 February 2017

Email to departments on 13 February 2017:

  • Merged references

 As promised, this is an update on the reference issue which caused some references to be displayed without their cover sheet. This issue is now solved. The Support Centre have confirmed that a technical fix has been successfully implemented, and that all affected references have now been corrected. No further references should be affected.

  •  Upload of UAB offer letters

 UABs are reminded to upload copies of offer letters promptly to eVision. This is because this year we have introduced new reports for the use of colleges to populate fee and cost information in financial declaration forms, and colleges are only able to view offer-holder information in their report if a UAB offer letter has been uploaded.

 Additionally, could departments make sure that, if they record offer decisions in eVision before contacting applicants that there is no substantial delay between the two activities because several post-UAB offer processes will occur quite quickly once the offer is recorded (e.g. emailing candidates who have been rejected by their preferred college, initial contact email from the Disability Advisory Service, etc.).

Email to department on 18 January 2017:

"I am writing to give you a progress update on the reference issue which causes some reference files to be displayed without the cover sheet containing the referee’s contact details and responses to the three referees’ questions. The Student Systems Support Centre are still working with Tribal (suppliers of SITS:vision) on a permanent solution. In the meantime, any affected reference files are being regenerated at regular times.

All reference files received up to and including 10 January have already been regenerated, and relevant departments were informed earlier in the week that all their complete applications for the deadline were ready to be downloaded. Any references submitted after 10 January and affected by the cover sheet issue will be regenerated as part of the remedial work undertaken for the 20 January deadline (please see below).

If you have any questions, do contact Nadia Pollini or Charlie Greenhill, charles.greenhill@admin.ox.ac.uk."

 Email to departments on 16 January 2017:

"Further to our messages from last week, I am writing to confirm that all reference files without a cover sheet which were received in time for the 6 January deadline (up to and including 10 January) have now been rectified. Departments can now start (re-)downloading their complete application files for the deadline. Please note that any affected reference files received after 10 January for complete or incomplete applications may not have been regenerated yet. The Support Centre will continue to regenerate those files at regular times until a permanent solution has been applied. A progress update on the reference issue will be circulated on Wednesday (18 January). Any updates are also posted on the Known issues section of the Student Systems website."

Email to departments on 13 January 2017:

"Further to our communication earlier in the week, I would like to inform you that the application files which included references without cover sheets are currently being successfully re-generated. After the re-generation has completed, all affected references submitted up to Tuesday 10 January (final deadline by which references were accepted for the 6 January deadline) will have been rectified.    

It is expected that the re-generation of the affected files will be completed by the end of the weekend, and that departments will therefore be able to (re-)download their complete application files thereafter.  Please note that we will shortly be undertaking final checks on all incomplete applications to ensure that any documents or references submitted separately from the application or referee online forms have been added to the records. We are still on track to complete the processing of the deadline by Tuesday 17 January.

A further update will be circulated on Monday (16 January) in the morning once we have received confirmation from the Student Systems Support Centre that all affected files (up to and including Tuesday 10 January) have been re-generated."

Email to departments on 9 January 2017:

A significant proportion of graduate references are currently missing the cover page which includes the referees’ details and answers to the three questions about the applicant’s standing compared to peers. This means that, in these cases, only the letter part of the reference is included in the application file (although please note that the referees’ details are also available from the application form which is the first document in the application file). This issue appears to be related to the SITS:eVision upgrade which took place on 3-4 December, so is only relevant for applications submitted thereafter.

The issue is currently being investigated by the Support Centre as a matter of urgency. It is planned that the affected application files will be regenerated on Thursday (12 January) and Friday (13 January) this week (still within the agreed processing deadline which is Tuesday 17 January).

To ensure that assessment is conducted on the basis of all available data, we would recommend that course administrators do not continue to download applications until all affected applications have been fixed. Alternatively, they should notify assessors that this information may be absent due to a software error and will be provided by the 17 January. It is expected that departments will be able to start (re-)downloading their complete applications from Monday 16 January. A further update will be provided on Friday 13 January. Please also note that, at this point in time, it is still expected that all applications and documents received in time for the 6 January deadline will be processed by the processing deadline of 17 January.

Alternatively, if certain departments would find it useful, we could provide a spreadsheet showing the referees’ missing responses for each applicant, but please note that this information would then need to be circulated to assessors separately from the application files. If you wish to obtain  this spreadsheet for your course, please contact Charlie Greenhill at charles.greenhill@admin.ox.ac.uk.

Graduate Admissions: Message for departments taking the late January deadline (20 January 2017)- Updated 13 February 2017

Email to departments on 13 February 2017:

  • Merged references

 As promised, this is an update on the reference issue which caused some references to be displayed without their cover sheet. This issue is now solved. The Support Centre have confirmed that a technical fix has been successfully implemented, and that all affected references have now been corrected. No further references should be affected.

  •  Upload of UAB offer letters

 UABs are reminded to upload copies of offer letters promptly to eVision. This is because this year we have introduced new reports for the use of colleges to populate fee and cost information in financial declaration forms, and colleges are only able to view offer-holder information in their report if a UAB offer letter has been uploaded.

 Additionally, could departments make sure that, if they record offer decisions in eVision before contacting applicants that there is no substantial delay between the two activities because several post-UAB offer processes will occur quite quickly once the offer is recorded (e.g. emailing candidates who have been rejected by their preferred college, initial contact email from the Disability Advisory Service, etc.).

Email to departments on 18 January 2017:

"I am writing to give you a progress update on the reference issue which causes some reference files to be displayed without the cover sheet containing the referee’s contact details and responses to the three referees’ questions. The Student Systems Support Centre are still working with Tribal (suppliers of SITS:vision) on a permanent solution. In the meantime, any affected reference files are being regenerated at regular times.

As references will be accepted up to and including Tuesday 24 January, it is expected that all affected files received by 24 January inclusive will be rectified by Monday 30 January. Could I therefore please ask departments to wait for confirmation that affected reference files will have been regenerated before downloading application files for the deadline. An update will be provided on Monday 30 January in the morning. Please note that at the moment we are on track to complete the processing of the 20 January deadline by the agreed processing deadline of Sunday 5 February.

If you have any questions, do contact Nadia Pollini or Charlie Greenhill, charles.greenhill@admin.ox.ac.uk."

Email to departments on 13 January 2017:

"Further to my message circulated earlier in the week, I would like to inform you that the Support Centre are still working with Tribal (the company owning SITS:eVision) as a matter of urgency to resolve the issue that leads to some references missing cover sheets. In the meantime, the Support Centre will be re-generating affected application files at regular times. This process is currently progressing successfully.

However, as the deadline has not passed, and we are therefore still receiving references that are being affected, we would ask departments to continue NOT to download application files. A further update will be provided on Wednesday 18 January."

Email to departments on 9 January 2017:

"A significant proportion of graduate references are currently missing the cover page which includes the referees’ details and answers to the three questions about the applicant’s standing compared to peers. This means that, in these cases, only the letter part of the reference is included in the application file (although please note that the referees’ details are also available from the application form which is the first document in the application file). This issue appears to be related to the SITS:eVision upgrade which took place on 3-4 December, so is only relevant for applications submitted thereafter.

The issue is currently being investigated by the Support Centre as a matter of urgency, and it is hoped that a permanent solution will be implemented soon. If this were to be delayed, as a fallback position, all affected applications files would be regenerated on Wednesday 25 and Thursday 26 January (after all references have been received as we accept references up to and including Tuesday 24 January).

To ensure that assessment is conducted on the basis of all available data, we would ask that course administrators do not download complete applications until further notice. A progress update will be provided on Friday 13 January. Please also note that, at this point in time, it is still expected that all applications and documents received in time for the 20 January deadline will be processed by the processing deadline of 3 February.

Alternatively, if certain departments would find it useful, we could provide a spreadsheet showing the referees’ missing responses for each applicant, but please note that this information would then need to be circulated to assessors separately from the application files. If you wish to obtain  this spreadsheet for your course, please contact Charlie Greenhill at charles.greenhill@admin.ox.ac.uk."

Student Systems Improvements (Stabilisation Project and Enhancements Project)

A number of significant student systems improvements were completed in Michaelmas term 2016. Stabilisation work addressed the high-priority issues in specific areas raised by users of student systems. Enhancements included the annual changes to the graduate application form, as well as improvements to eVision ‘on course’ functionality including annual registration, and college advisor and supervisor functionality. These changes have contributed to two consecutive monthly net reductions in the backlog of unresolved support calls for the first time since SITS:Vision was implemented at Oxford. The Student Systems Support Centre also received almost 20% fewer support calls during the months October to December 2016 than during the same period in 2015 (1839 vs 2264); a reduction which occurred over a period in which major new functionality was introduced for admissions. Reporting improvements delivered since September, which focussed primarily on Graduate Admissions reports, included a number of ‘look and feel’ usability improvements. For example, the most-used columns in reports were moved to the left of the screen, so that it is no longer necessary to scroll right to see them. Further stabilisation, enhancements and reporting improvements work will take place in 2017.

News items Pre-January 2017

To see older news items please see the Archived News section.