IT Projects Digest Hilary term 2023

As we described in our Michaelmas term 2022 digest, several new projects are now underway across Education, Infrastructure and Research. Ongoing big steps are being taken in the way assessments and exams are done at Oxford and essential security systems, such as our VPN (Virtual Private Network) are being upgraded to ensure ongoing protection from cyber threats. We have also started work to add another content management platform, which will eventually replace Mosaic, our website content management system, and work is underway to improve aspects of the University card system - more information will be available shortly on these.

VPN upgrade

We are upgrading the University’s Virtual Private Network (VPN) service in Spring 2023. This will mean that for many of us the way we sign-in to ensure access to certain services, networks and systems while out of reach of the University network (for example, when working from home) will change. We are currently exploring the specifics of what you will need to do differently. We will be working closely with the central IT support team and the wider IT support community in colleges, divisions and departments. Further information will be shared as it becomes available.

Enhancing Canvas and inclusive teaching 

As part of the University’s Digital Transformation programme, a new project is planning to make further changes and 'get the basics right' in the Canvas Virtual Learning Environment, to maintain engagement of current users and meet the evolving needs of departments, academics, and students. It will also build on the achievements of the phase one Inclusive Teaching Enhancements Project, doing more to help deliver a consistent and accessible learning environment for all Oxford students. 

  • Delivering incrementally throughout 2023 and 2024 – for more information email the team at  

Assessment Programme

The Assessment Programme continues apace this term as we see a number of projects reaching the delivery phase, while some others are starting up.

The in-person typed exams project will be taking delivery of laptops in the next few weeks and getting them set up ready for student orientation sessions and mock exams later in the term. The team are producing guidance for students that can be shared before exam day and they are also looking at the information that needs to be provided on the day.

The Assessment End to End Process review is underway. This project is taking forward the process mapping work done last year. Key interested parties in each process have been identified and workshops are underway.

Coursework Extensions and Assessment Entry Improvements are two projects which are the result of the process mapping work done last year. They were identified in that project as two areas where there is significant scope for refinement of the process. These two projects have been approved and are now starting and will deliver improvements to the systems and processes around these two complex functions. 

Finally, the Marks Management project has now identified departments who will assist in the development of the new system and then pilot it in academic year 2023/24. Initial meetings have been scheduled. 


Collections Online and the GLAM Museums Collections Management System (CMS) and Digital Asset Management Systems (DAMS) are both moving ahead as planned, with new systems due to go live this term.

New research data service launched 

Launched in Humanities, the Sustainable Digital Scholarship (SDS) service is now available to all academic divisions of the University. Alongside advice and guidance on digital sustainability, the SDS service offers researchers and their projects a long-term solution for the storage, publication, and preservation of research data.  

IT Services is working with Humanities to facilitate expansion of the SDS service, and explain how it complements the other research data solutions at Oxford.