Practical Management of CamCORS: Advice for College Offices
(updated for CamCORS IV)
This is primarily a non-technical document drawing together some practical issues of CamCORS management for those responsible for running the system in each College. Other ideas about good practice for incorporation into later versions will be welcome: email email@example.com.
CamCORS is hosted and maintained by the University Information Services (UIS), who have responsibility for the server on which it runs, and for backing up the data. College Offices are asked to contact the helpdesk at UIS if it becomes apparent that there is a technical problem (e.g. if the server is not responding, or performance is very slow). Note that the UIS Service Desk will deal only with technical problems, and that each College has its own designated UIS contacts, who are the people authorised to report such problems to UIS either by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or by telephone: 01223 (3)32999. UIS has a list of these authorised College contacts, and from time to time will circulate messages to the list, e.g. about disruption to the service for essential maintenance of CamCORS.
The UIS contacts list is updated annually by the Senior Tutors' Committee through the CamCORS Management Committee, but it is primarily the responsibility of each College to ensure that any change in contact details is communicated as soon as possible to the UIS Service Desk.
The CamCORS test site (https://camcors.cam.ac.uk/test) provides a useful facility for training and for testing of data. Each College has access to its own part of the test site and should ensure that the `office' password is safely filed so that it will be available for use from year to year. As on the live site, it is possible to create several College Office accounts on the test site, and this will reduce the possibility of the College locking itself out by losing all its College Office passwords. If this does happen a request must be made to UIS in writing to have the College's `office' password for the test site reset.
Supervision reports on this site are fictional. There are a number of supervisor ids in the range supervisor100 to about supervisor 300 many of which still have the original password `fishfish' (keep trying until you find one that does). Note that if, as is likely, you import your own College's data into your area of the test site you will be working with the names of real students and real Directors of Studies etc., and that they should not be used in inappropriate ways.
It is an essential part of CamCORS management that every College has a working address `supervisions@[college].cam.ac.uk' pointing to the person (or persons) in the College with primary responsibility for dealing with queries or other messages coming through the system, e.g. from supervisors concerned about a student or about payment. This is also the basis of the email list email@example.com to which all general communications about CamCORS are sent. Please be particularly careful to ensure that the address points to the appropriate person if you have a change of office personnel, and that the person who receives these messages is aware of the need to forward them as necessary.
College offices are responsible for setting up director of studies, tutors, College officers and student accounts on CamCORS, but will no longer be responsible for issuing or resetting passwords as those will be done via their Raven accounts (http://www.cam.ac.uk/cs/docs/faq/n5.html).
It is important that data in CamCORS is kept up to date as exam entries in CamSIS will be using data from CamCORS.
It is assumed that students who have graduated will not normally continue to have direct access to their reports in CamCORS after having left Cambridge. Their accounts will normally be disabled automatically when the next Bulk User Account data is imported for the start of the following academic year. Students should therefore be advised, before the end of the Easter Term in which they are to complete their course, to print or save to disk all the supervision reports available to them. (The information can of course always be retrieved on request to the College Office, and Colleges may decide to be more active in providing copies of the reports, in some format, as their contribution to the new Progress Files).