Introduction to the Quercus Lifecycle Modules<>

Quercus and the student lifecycle

Quercus services

The Quercus Lifecycle modules allow you to set up online services which manage many of the interactions summarised in Stages in the student lifecycle. These are services are accessed via the Services button and appear on the Services tab in the user interface.

A typical service presents students with sequence of web pages linked by Next and Previous buttons which guide them through the interaction. Each service can be configured to gather just the information you need and can be styled to match your institution’s branding.

You can set up a new service in minutes. When you understand how to set up and configure one service you understand how to set them all up — because all services work in the same way. This minimises the need to involve scarce IT personnel when deploying new services.

Screens from the Confirm Place service

Modules and services

Each Lifecycle module supports a specific service which is related to a particular stage in the student lifecycle. So, for example, the Apply Online module supports the application process and the Plan Curriculum allows enrolled students to plan which courses they will take in the future. Each service covers one particular process and can be deployed stand-alone or can work in conjunction with services provided by other Lifecycle modules. By connecting services together you can support all of a student’s administrative interactions over the student’s whole time at college.

Requests — information received from Quercus services

The incoming data resulting from an online service is known as a request. Requests are stored in the Quercus database and are fully integrated with the Quercus data-model. This makes it easy to retrieve any requests associated (for example) with a particular student, particular course or an organisation.

Information returned from the online services can be accessed via the Interaction option or, in some cases, directly from a student’s record.

Requests from online services shown on the Interactions tab

Processing requests

Requests must be processed appropriately. For example if an individual applies for a degree course the application must be scrutinised and a suitable response returned.

The processing of requests may be a multi-stage process involving many individuals. For example, a course application may be assessed by the admissions office, the fees office and the relevant department. We refer to this multi-stage process as an interaction.

Workflow

To support the correct processing of complex interactions you can a define a workflow. A workflow is a pre-defined processing sequence which routes the Interaction from one office to the next at the appropriate points in its lifecycle.

Defining the workflow sequence in Apply Online

Other Quercus options

Some lifecycle interactions are supported by Quercus functionality which is not an online service as described above. For example:

the requirement to provide dynamic links from a college’s web portal to supporting online services is handled by the Quercus LiveLink integration module

UK admissions (which include UCAS admissions) are handled by a separate Admissions module

examination results are entered through the Online Results Entry functionality which is accessed through the Courses or Modules options

New functionality which addresses the student lifecycle will follow the Quercus service model described under Quercus servicesabove. If an existing module is replaced, its replacement will — if possible — follow the Quercus service model standards. Thus the new Admissions FastTrack module, which can be used to replace the existing Admissions module will follow the new standards.