HEAR 1.1 Specification

About

Status

This is the now agreed HEAR 1.1

Changes from 1.0c:

Patents

This specification is subject to a royalty free patent policy.

There are no known patents covering any of this work. If you think that part of this work may be subject to an existing or pending patent, please email the editors.

CC BY 4.0

Inspiration and acknowledgements

The authors wish to acknowledge the work of the HEAR Technical Specification Working Group and others, in particular:

Introduction

The Higher Education Achievement Report (HEAR) technical specification defines an XML format for the content of the HEAR. It is intended to enable the interoperability of descriptions of the Higher Education achievement of learners between Higher Education providers, employers, brokers and other relevant organisations. With a few minor alterations, it is compliant with the Diploma Supplement Annex of [EN 15981], “EuroLMAI”, European Learner Mobility Achievement Information. (For openly available information see CEN Workshop Agreement [CWA 16132])

A HEAR XML instance document typically consists of a top-level <achievementReport> element, including:

The following diagram illustrates the main elements of the specification.

[Image:HEAROutlineInformationModel2011-02-17.png]

Normative References

[XCRI-CAP 1.2] eXchanging Course Related Information Course Advertising Profile. See http://cetis.github.io/xcri/xcri/

[EN 15982] EN 15982: Metadata For Learning Opportunities (Advertising)

[ISO 15836] ISO 15836: Dublin Core Element Set

[ISO 8601] ISO 8601:Data elements and interchange formats – Information interchange – Representation of dates and times

[W3C DTF] W3C Date and Time Formats. See https://www.w3.org/TR/NOTE-datetime

[W3C XML Schema] W3C XML Schema. See https://www.w3.org/XML/Schema

[CWA 16077] CWA 16077: Educational Credit Information Model. See ftp://ftp.cen.eu/CEN/Sectors/TCandWorkshops/Workshops/CWA16077.pdf

Informative References

[CWA 16132] European Learner Mobility Achievement Information (EuroLMAI). See ftp://ftp.cen.eu/CEN/Sectors/List/ICT/CWAs/CWA16132_2010_EuroLMI.pdf

[EN 15981] European Learner Mobility — Achievement information (EuroLMAI). Available from BSI and other CEN Member Bodies.

[HEAR Reference Pack]. See http://www.hear.ac.uk/guidance/HEAR-reference-pack

Conformance

There are two classes of application that can conform to this specification:

A product MAY belong to both classes.

A strictly conforming instance is a set of structured information constituted only of elements and attributes defined by this specification and fully qualified refinements of the elements defined in this specification.

A fully qualified refinement is defined for the purpose of conformance as an element that explicitly extends an element defined by this specification. A fully qualified refinement must be capable of being processed according to the semantics of the element it extends.

A conforming instance MAY contain additional elements and attributes not defined by this specification.

A conforming producer MUST be capable of generating and sharing strictly conforming instances.

A conforming consumer MUST be capable of processing strictly conforming instances.

HEAR Documents

A producer MUST create HEAR documents that are valid XML documents.

A producer MUST create HEAR documents with the achievementReport element as its top-level element.

A consumer MUST be able to process a valid HEAR XML document.

Guidelines This section is not normative

Multilingual HEAR data sets: Producers should create multiple XML instances for HEAR data sets required entirely in more than one language, for example English and Welsh.

The HEAR Template

This section is not normative

This specification covers the structure of the XML representation of the HEAR data; it does not define the structure of the HEAR document per se. The following information is provided to give context to the specification of the data elements. Readers are asked to refer to the [HEAR Reference Pack] for more details.

A HEAR must adhere to the prescribed template described in the [HEAR Reference Pack] The guidance in the Reference Pack defines the sections of the HEAR and requires that sections are numbered and follow the sequence and explanatory guidance given in the document.

The structure of the template for a HEAR is as follows:

On output for printing or for viewing electronically a HEAR should contain section numbering and standard statements as described in the [HEAR Reference Pack].

Contextual Information

This section is not normative

The [HEAR Reference Pack] gives details of statements that should be included in the HEAR at specified points, for example a standard statement at the start of the HEAR should be included in order to meet the requirements of the Europass Diploma Supplement (DS). Information about these statements is included in the Guidance sections of this specification.

Guidelines

This section is not normative

In the Contextual Information of the HEAR, institutions are advised to include the following statements:

This Higher Education Achievement Report follows the model developed by the European Commission, Council of Europe and UNESCO/CEPES for the Diploma Supplement.

The purpose of the Supplement is to provide sufficient recognition of qualifications (diplomas, degrees, certificates, etc.). It is designed to provide a description of the nature, level, context and status of the studies that were pursued and successfully completed by the individual named on the original qualifications to which this Supplement is appended. It should be free from any value judgements, equivalence statements or suggestions about recognition. Information in all eight sections should be provided. Where information is not provided, an explanation should give the reason why.

Producers are not required to include these statements or any other statements recommended by the HEAR Implementation Steering Group within the HEAR XML Data Set. Inclusion of these statements within HEAR documents can be implemented using a variety of methods. This specification makes provision for inclusion of of these statements in the HEAR XML Data Set if desired by systems designers.

XML Document Structure

This section defines the root achievementReport element and relates the main information elements of the HEAR XML document structure to this root element. Definitions of the other elements are given in Definition of Common Elements and Definition of Other Elements sections.

A HEAR XML document includes information drawn from Student Records Systems, Course Information Systems and supporting systems that will be created and maintained by various different administrative processes and academic practices within academic institutions. The XML document specification builds upon information about learners, descriptions of programmes and other learning opportunity structures, information about modules and other educational components enrolled on by learners, assessment results and other accredited achievements for each completed learning opportunity, and information about the awarding and providing organisations themselves.

Constraints

  1. A valid HEAR MUST contain exactly one issuer element.
  2. A valid HEAR MUST contain exactly one learner element.
  3. A valid HEAR MUST contain one or more provider elements.
  4. A valid HEAR MUST contain exactly one qualification element.
  5. A valid HEAR MUST contain exactly one top level course element.
  6. A valid HEAR MUST contain exactly one additionalInformation element. Guidance on its contents is given in the [HEAR Reference Pack].
  7. A valid HEAR MUST contain exactly one certificationOfTheHEAR element.
  8. A valid HEAR MUST contain exactly one identifier element for the following elements: assessment, certificationOfTheHEAR, course, presentation, qualification.
  9. A valid HEAR MUST contain at least one identifier element for the following elements: issuer, learner, provider.
  10. A valid exit HEAR <achievementReport @status=”1”> MUST contain an assessment element for the programme and for each module or course component that the learner took as part of the programme or that is an additional academic credit-bearing student achievement detailed in the HEAR.
  11. A valid exit HEAR <achievementReport @status=”1”> MUST contain exactly one assessment element for the presentation of the top-level course instance, and this assessment element MUST contain at least one result element.
  12. A certificationOfTheHEAR element MUST contain exactly one issueDateHear element.
  13. A certificationOfTheHEAR element MUST contain exactly one fullNameOfficial element.
  14. A certificationOfTheHEAR element MUST contain exactly one capacity element.
  15. Each assessment element MUST relate only to the learner and the specific version of the presentation on which the learner was assessed.
  16. An assessment element MUST contain exactly one assessmentType element.
  17. An assessment element MUST contain exactly one gradingScheme element.
  18. The qualification instance MUST relate to the learner specified in the learner element.
  19. The qualification MUST have been achieved as a result of completion of exactly one top level course instance.
  20. Producers MUST ensure that the qualification instance of the HEAR relates directly to the top level course instance in a one-to-one relationship.
  21. Producers MUST ensure that provider elements contain information only about providers of courses undertaken by the learner in the context of the qualification awarded.
  22. The level element MUST contain the numerical position of the qualification in the relevant national qualifications framework.
  23. Where an element has more than one identifier, it MUST NOT contain more than one identifier without an explicitly-defined encoding scheme, and this MUST be A Uniform Resource Identifier (URI) conforming to the URL scheme as specified by IETF RFC 3986.
  24. The top level course instance SHOULD define the Programme Level learning opportunity undertaken by the learner.
  25. Course instances at levels lower than programme level SHOULD be related to the top level course instance using the isPartOf element, either directly through inclusion of the identifier of the top level course, or indirectly through inclusion of the identifier of another course element. See below, [Additional elements used in the element at other levels](https://github.com/Cetis/hear/blob/master/HEAR_1.1_Specification.md#additional-elements-used-in-the-course-element-at-other-levels).
  26. Instances of associate qualifications or other achievements not forming part of the learner’s academic achievements as a result of following the indicated programme of study MAY be recorded in the Additional Information element.
  27. Further course elements MAY be included to reflect the institution’s programme component structures.
  28. A valid HEAR MAY contain zero or one referenceData elements containing ‘boilerplate’ text.
  29. If there are two or more provider elements, the first provider element SHOULD be the institution awarding the qualification.
  30. An assessment element MUST NOT contain more than one result element for any given resultType.

the <achievementReport> element

Definition

The default root element for a HEAR.

Main elements used within the achievementReport element

These main elements are listed here, so that the major components of a HEAR are clearly indicated. Some of these elements are sub-elements of top level elements, as noted in this guidance.

awardedBy: A component of qualification (see [XCRI-CAP 1.2]).

qualification: A component of course (see [XCRI-CAP 1.2]).

course: A component of provider (see [XCRI-CAP 1.2]).

presentation: A component of course (see [XCRI-CAP 1.2]).

assessment: A component of presentation (see [XCRI-CAP 1.2]).

Elements used in the <achievementReport> element

Guidelines

This section is not normative

If there are two or more provider elements, the first provider element SHOULD be the institution awarding the qualification.

Attributes used in the <achievementReport> element

Definition of Common Elements

Many of the elements in the HEAR use the following common elements. Also see Definition of Other Elements. For elements re-used from other origins (for example Dublin Core, XCRI) refer to documentation for those specifications.

the <identifier> element

Definition

An unambiguous reference to the resource within a given context. See [EN 15982] and [ISO 15836].

Origin

Dublin Core: http://dublincore.org/documents/dcmi-terms/#terms-identifier

Example:

 http://www.bolton.ac.uk
 23424341414
 1234

the <title> element

Definition

The name of the resource.

Origin

Dublin Core: http://dublincore.org/documents/dcmi-terms/#terms-title

See also [EN 15982] and [ISO 15836].

Definition of Other Elements

the <accessRequirements> element

Definition

Details of the nature and length of qualifications or periods of study required before starting the programme.

Origin

An extension of [XCRI-CAP 1.2] descriptionDType.

the <additionalAwards> element

Definition

Information about academic (credit-based) and non-academic awards made to the learner.

Origin

An extension of [XCRI-CAP 1.2] descriptionDType.

the <additionalInformation> element

Definition

Details of the richer picture of verified student achievement, including additional awards (with or without academic credit), additional recognised activities, and university, professional and departmental prizes.

Origin

European Learner Mobility Achievement Information (EuroLMAI) [EN 15981] or [CWA 16132].

Elements used in the <additionalInformation> element

the <aim> element

Definition

Describes the aim(s) of the programme.

Origin

See the mlo:objective element from [EN 15982]: Metadata For Learning Opportunities (Advertising)

Guidelines

This section is not normative

...
     
          
               
    To provide flexible teaching and learning programmes of high quality, in which students can develop their own interests.
    To provide a stimulating and supportive environment for all students to work in.
    To provide an education that will enable graduates to follow a variety of careers, including higher degrees and research.
    To enable all students to have a broad appreciation of Biological Sciences and advanced knowledge of one or more areas.
    To enable all students to develop subject-specific knowledge with practical and transferable skills.
    To enable all students to experience, within the 4 year options, work in an external research laboratory or European University.

the <assessment> element

Definition

The details of the way in which the learner’s performance in the presentation of the course was judged.

Origin

European Learner Mobility Achievement Information (EuroLMAI) [EN 15981] or [CWA 16132].

Elements used in the <assessment> element

Guidelines

This section is not normative

result: Required in an exit HEAR, at least one per assessment.

title: the intention of this element is to hold the local name that the institution gives to this assessment. This is needed to help students to recognise and make sense of the HEAR assessment information.

gradingScheme: where there is a URI identifying the calculation scheme for any specific result, that should be placed in the @calculationSchemeRef attribute of the result element, rather than here.

Examples:

the <assessmentType> element

Definition

Description of the style of the assessment.

Guidelines

This section is not normative

assessmentType: It is recommended that producers use an encoding scheme or controlled vocabulary for this item.

the <assessmentWeight> element

Definition

Weighting of the assessment result as a proportion of the overall assessment for the presentation.

the <attempts> element

Definition

Number of times the learner has made at the assessment.

the <awardedBy> element

Definition

This element identifies and names the recognised organisation (Awarding Body) that confers the qualification upon the learner.

Attributes

Note Where the Awarding Body is not the provider, a second provider element should be created that contains the relevant details of the awarding body. The identifier in the awardedBy element identifies this organisation, and the provider element for the awarding body must contain <providerStatus> and a course element that identifies the programme, the qualification and confirms the awarding body through the <qualification> and <awardedBy> structure. This structure enables compliance with XCRI-CAP and EuroLMI.

the <capacity> element

Definition

The official post of the certifying individual.

the <certificationOfTheHEAR> element

Definition

Provides evidence that the HEAR is a genuine document produced by the authorised organisation.

Elements used in the <certificationOfTheHEAR> element

the <course> element

Definition

A course element provides details of a learning opportunity offered by a learning provider.

Origin

[EN 15982]: Metadata For Learning Opportunities (Advertising)

Common elements used in the <course> element at all levels

Additional elements used in the <course> element at Programme Level

Note At least one of <aim> or <learningOutcome> must be supplied.

Additional elements used in the <course> element at other levels

Guidelines

This section is not normative

Programme and course component linkage example, in relation to constraint ‘Course instances at levels lower than programme level should be related to the top level course instance using the isPartOf element, either directly through inclusion of the identifier of the top level course, or indirectly through inclusion of the identifier of another course element’:

        1234
        Information and Communications Undergraduate Programme
        
        1234-01
        Digital Media and Communications - Stage 1
        1234
        
        M223
        Information Literacies for the Digital Age
        1234-01

credit: credit values should contain credits achieved by the learner. If this is not possible, display required credits.

the <dateOfBirth> element

Definition

Date when the learner was born. This value MUST be in ISO 8601 date format as refined by W3C DTF ‘Complete Date’: yyyy-mm-dd (example: “1985-05-16”).

Origin

See the SEMIC-EU Core Person Specification https://joinup.ec.europa.eu/asset/core_person/description which is compatible with [EN 15981] (EuroLMAI, see also [CWA 16132]).

the <dualAward> element

Definition

Gives details if the qualification is a dual award, for example between two UK institutions or between a UK and European institution.

Origin

See the descriptionDType of XCRI.

the <duration> element

Definition

The length of the programme.

The content of this element MUST be human readable text of the form ‘value’ followed by ‘unit of time’, for example ‘Three years’. The duration SHOULD be expressed in years, unless the course is shorter than two years, in which case an expression in months or weeks is acceptable.

Producers MAY include a machine-readable attribute ‘interval’ that follows the ISO 8601 standard.

Guidelines

This section is not normative

Example

    Three years

the <ePortfolioUrl> element

Definition

A hypertext link to the learner’s ePortfolio.

the <familyName> element

Definition

Full family or surname, as included on official documents, such as a passport.

Origin

European Learner Mobility Achievement Information (EuroLMAI), for which see [EN 15981] or [CWA 16132].

the <fullName> element

Definition

The complete name of the learner; components should be those included on official documents, such as a passport.

Origin

European Learner Mobility Achievement Information (EuroLMAI) [EN 15981] or [CWA 16132].

the <fullNameOfficial>

Definition

Full name of the official certifying the HEAR.

the <furtherInformation> element

Definition

Information within the Additional Information element not covered elsewhere.

Origin

An extension of [XCRI-CAP 1.2] descriptionDType.

the <furtherStudy> element

Definition

Indicates if, within the country of origin, the qualification normally provides access (not admission) to further academic and/or professional study, especially leading to any specific qualifications, or levels of study.

Origin

An extension of [XCRI-CAP 1.2] descriptionDType.

Guidelines

This section is not normative

furtherStudy: Include the grades or standards normally necessary to allow progression within the EHEA.

Example:

Access to postgraduate study: Bologna FQ-EHEA 3rd cycle PhD or MD.

Access to postgraduate study: Bologna FQ-EHEA 2nd cycle degree or diploma.

the <givenNames> element

Definition

All given or first names in the order specified by the learner, as included on official documents, such as a passport.

Origin

European Learner Mobility Achievement Information (EuroLMAI) [EN 15981] or [CWA 16132].

the <gradingScheme> element

Definition

Information about the grading scheme used for the assessment of a presentation.

the <identifierDescription> element

Definition

Used to indicate the provenance of the identifier or identifiers. Required text for the HUSID is as follows:

“HUSID (HESA Unique Student Identifier) is the unique national identifying number for students registered at a UK university. It is defined by HESA, the UK’s Higher Education Statistics Agency.”

Origin

An extension of [XCRI-CAP 1.2] descriptionDType.

the <informationSources> element

Definition

Further information sources and references where more details on the qualification could be sought.

Origin

An extension of [XCRI-CAP 1.2] descriptionDType.

the <isPartOf> element

Definition

Indicates the parent course element.

The isPartOf element MUST contain only the identifier of the parent course element.

the <issueDateHear> element

Definition

Date and time of the production of this HEAR.

Origin

See [XCRI-CAP 1.2] xcri:dateOrDateTimeDType.

the <issueDateQualification> element

Definition

Date on which the qualification was awarded.

Origin

European Learner Mobility Achievement Information (EuroLMAI) [EN 15981] or [CWA 16132].

the <issuer> element

Definition

The organisation that is responsible for producing the HEAR.

Elements used in the <issuer> element

Guidelines

This section is not normative

identifier: This element identifiers the issuing organisation, which may be a different organisation from the provider or the awarding body, for example a broker.

issuer: This element must not contain any other elements. Further elements describing the organisation(s) offering the course or awarding the qualification must be contained in the provider element.

issuerDescription: This element is included for compliance with the normative Europass Diploma Supplement Application Profile of [EN 15981], EuroLMAI.

the <issuerDescription> element

Definition

A short description of the issuer.

the <learner> element

Definition

Information identifying the holder of the qualification.

Origin

European Learner Mobility Achievement Information (EuroLMAI) [EN 15981] or [CWA 16132].

Elements used in the <learner> element

Guidelines

This section is not normative

identifier: Alternatives recommended in this specification include the Unique Learner Number (ULN) and the Scottish Candidate Number (SCN). An internal identifier from an issuer, provider or awarding body can also be included.

dateOfBirth: Note that this specification does not prescribe the final form output for date (for example in a PDF or paper document); implementers may wish to present the date to end users in an alternative format. Additionally there may be applications, such as outputs for employers, in which the inclusion of the learner’s birthday is not required.

the <learningOutcome> element

Definition

Describes the overall learning outcome(s) of the programme.

Origin

An extension of [XCRI-CAP 1.2] descriptionDType.

the <level> element

Definition

Numerical position of the qualification in the relevant national qualifications framework.

The level element MUST contain the numerical position of the qualification in the relevant national qualifications framework.

the <minimumStandards> element

Definition

Details of the regulations covering the minimum standards required to secure the qualification; therefore applies to the Programme only.

Origin

An extension of [XCRI-CAP 1.2] descriptionDType.

the <presentation> element

Definition

Details of the instance or version of the course enrolled on.

Origin

[EN 15982]: Metadata For Learning Opportunities (Advertising)

Common elements used in the <presentation> element at all levels

Elements used in the <presentation> element at Programme Level only

Guidelines

This section is not normative

There are no additional elements only used in the <presentation> element at other levels.

title: Producers should draw the title from the course element, not the presentation element.

accessRequirements: Producers may implement this content using ‘boilerplate’ text and a hyperlink to specific documents held elsewhere; in this case, implementers should have regard to the persistence of the hyperlinks and the associated content, for example: “Detailed information regarding admission to the programme is available in the University’s on-line Prospectus at: www.easthampton.ac.uk/admissions/ugprospectus/06” See [HEAR Reference Pack], section 3.3.

minimumStandards: See [HEAR Reference Pack], section 4.2.

studyMode: This specification does not prescribe a vocabulary for studyMode.

Output of languageOfInstruction and languageOfAssessment: Consumers should present final form output of these elements as human readable text.

Absence of languageOfInstruction and languageOfAssessment: Where these elements are missing, consumers should interpret this as meaning that the language of instruction and assessment was English (en-GB).

the <prizes> element

Definition

Information about university, professional and departmental prizes awarded to the learner.

Origin

An extension of [XCRI-CAP 1.2] descriptionDType.

the <professionalStatus> element

Definition

Details of any rights to practise or other professional standing accorded to holders of the award.

Origin

An extension of [XCRI-CAP 1.2] descriptionDType.

Guidelines

This section is not normative

The institution may use a generic statement from a professional body or one of its own devising (see [HEAR Reference Pack].

the <provider> element

Definition

An organisation that offers one or more courses.

Note Where the provider is also the awarding body, the provider identifier MUST match the awardedBy identifier.

Origin

[XCRI-CAP 1.2]

Elements used in the <provider> element

the <providerStatus> element

Definition

Describes the legal status of the provider, for example as either a ‘recognised body’ or a ‘listed body’.

the <qualification> element

Definition

A status awarded to or conferred on a learner by an awarding body.

Origin

European Learner Mobility Achievement Information (EuroLMAI) [EN 15981] or [CWA 16132].

Elements used in the <qualification> element

the <qualificationHolderTitle> element

Definition

Nationally accepted title conferred by the award, for example Bachelor of Science (Honours).

the <recognisedActivities> element

Definition

Information about other recognised non-credit-bearing activities undertaken by the learner.

Origin

An extension of [XCRI-CAP 1.2] descriptionDType.

the <referenceData> element

Definition

Container for standard, repeated or generic text used in the HEAR.

Origin

[XCRI-CAP 1.2]

Elements used in the <referenceData> element

the <referenceDataItem> element

Definition

Holds standard, repeated or generic text (‘boilerplate’ text). This text will typically be recommended text from the [HEAR Reference Pack]. It can also be used for generic assessment grading schemes that might be repeated for a large number of modules, or for standardised learning outcomes, so that these pieces of text can be referenced rather than repeated.

Origin

An extension of [XCRI-CAP 1.2] descriptionDType.

the <regulations> element

Definition

Describes the regulations concerning degree-awarding powers in the UK.

Guidelines

This section is not normative

The recommended text is: “The power to award degrees is regulated by law in the UK.”

Origin

An extension of [XCRI-CAP 1.2] descriptionDType.

the <result> element

Definition

The actual outcome of an assessment of a presentation for a learner as stated by a provider or issuer.

Origin

European Learner Mobility Achievement Information (EuroLMAI) [EN 15981] or [CWA 16132].

Attributes used in the <result> element

Guidelines

This section is not normative

the <signature> element

Definition

A reference to an image of a signature of the responsible official.

Origin

See [XCRI-CAP 1.2] imageDType.

Guidelines

This section is not normative

Producers should implement specific security measures to protect the image. This element is concerned with the graphical image of the signature, not with the digital signature. The actual graphical image should be external to the XML.

It is recommended that producers protect any HEAR document with an appropriate digital signature to ensure document authenticity and integrity.

the <specialFeature> element

Definition

Any particular features that help define the programme that are not covered elsewhere.

Origin

An extension of [XCRI-CAP 1.2] descriptionDType.

the <subject> element

Definition

Main field(s) of study for the qualification.

Origin

Dublin Core: http://dublincore.org/documents/dcmi-terms/#terms-subject

Guidelines

This section is not normative

subject: Producers should put each main field of study in a separate element. On output, the elements should be concatenated to form one string. There is no nationally approved vocabulary for the subject in a HEAR. Use the institution’s own terminology. If subjects or fields of study are not held in respect of qualifications, use the subjects in respect of the top level course (programme) element.

the <terminalAward> element

Definition

Specifies if the qualification is a terminal (end) award or part of a hierarchy of awards.

Origin

An extension of [XCRI-CAP 1.2] descriptionDType.

the <type> element

Definition

Indicates the position of the course in a hierarchy with Programme at the top and Module or Unit at the bottom; for example programme, a module-level component or a grouping component such as semester, programme year, level or subject of a programme.

Origin

Dublin Core: http://dublincore.org/documents/dcmi-terms/#terms-type

XML Schema and Instance

This section is not normative

A W3C XML Schema is available at https://github.com/Cetis/hear/blob/master/schemas/HEAR_1.1.xsd .

A sample XML instance file is available alongside the schema

XCRI-CAP 1.2 schema and supporting schemas are available from the XCRI website