Canterbury Christ Church University (CCCU) required a detailed review of its assessment and examinations administrative processes, together with practical recommendations on how these processes can be re-engineered where they are found to be unfit for purpose.
In October 2010 Canterbury Christ Church University (CCCU) issued a tender to provide the university with a detailed review of its assessment and examinations administrative processes, together with practical recommendations on how these processes can be re-engineered where they are found to be unfit for purpose. The project involved conducting a full Business Process Reengineering (BPR) of examinations / assessment and progression administration including the management of student assignments (submission and return).
Goals and challenges
Through this review the university wished to:
- Improve efficiency and effectiveness of examination and assessment procedures
- Enhance the stakeholder experience for both students and staff
- Enhance institutional resilience and sustainability
- Enable the provision of accurate, up to date information which will be captured or created once only
- Improve quality of planning and decision making using a single primary source for corporate information.
Capita used a small team consisting of a skilled educationalist and an experienced business process reviewer to undertake the work.
Following agreement at the outset of the parameters of the review, the process start point was the assignment schedule and the finish point the issue of the invitation to the graduation ceremony to the student. Capita defined and agreed five process components around which the methodology was structured, namely:
- Exam Board management and administration
- Examinations administration
- Results administration
- Assignments administration
- Data management.
The ‘as is’ state was then defined through a series of 37 meetings with key stakeholders involved in the examinations and assessments, both from registry and supporting departments. Process and sub-process maps were developed and sent to relevant staff for verification, following which amendments were made to produce the final ‘as is’ process maps and descriptions.
The ‘as is’ state was analysed and a range of issues leading to recommendations for action were identified around the five themes of two:
- Data management
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In total, the report contained 23 practical areas for action, with multiple recommendations attached, to provide a range of solutions to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the processes in examinations and assessments. These recommendations ranged from short term ‘quick fix’ actions delivering benefits at little or no cost to large scale, longer term recommendations aimed at improving the student experience overall and aligning various university administrative functions. The report concluded with a high level review of the benefit, impact and cost of each recommendation, the timescale required to achieve it, any dependencies upon which it rested and likely level of cost.