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Monday, 26 July 2004

SVQs accredited

The Accreditation Unit formally approved the new SVQs in Using Information Technology today. These new awards will be available to centres from 1 August.

They're based on the new National Occupational Standards, defined by the E-Skills Sector Skills Council, which are more flexible than the previous Standards.

We're also working on revising the Practitioner Standards and these will be available to centres from 1 January 2005.

You can keep up-to-date with developments by subscribing to the SVQ online community. We're working on a dedicated website within the SQA website to support these new awards. Watch this space.

Monday, 19 July 2004

Blogs in education

Web logs ("blogs") are really taking off. They've been popular among Net-heads for some time but they're now going mainstream. They were originally used as online diaries (and they still are) but they're now finding all sorts of alternative uses. Blogs are becoming particularly popular as a sort of alternative news medium - and some stories are breaking on the blogosphere before they appear on TV or in print. Lots of famous people have a blog. There's a blog search engine. Even business is trying to get in on the act. 
 
Education is also finding uses for them. Blogs are appearing on all sorts of educational topics - such as plagiarism and e-learning. Teachers are using them for project work. Students are using them as online log-books. They're particularly good for online collaboration between students. 
 
Once you've found a few interesting blogs, it can be a pain to check them one at a time. However there are online services that will do this for you. These "aggregators" allow you to watch various blogs and tell you when there are new posts. Bloglines is one of them. You simply tell Bloglines which "feeds" you want to "watch" and you'll be told whenever there are new messages. Newsgator provides a plug-in for Outlook which allows you to read blogs within that program. You can even use Bloglines and Newsgator for your e-group subscriptions. 
 
More information here.

Wednesday, 14 July 2004

E-Qualifications

The validation of the new suite of awards relating to e-learning and e-assessment was delayed to give the development team more time to finalise the new awards. The validation was scheduled to take place in June but will now take place in September.

The suite of awards is called E-Qualifications and includes specialist qualifications in e-learning (such as the Advanced Certificate in E-Learning: Production) and e-assessment (such as the Advanced Certificate in E-Assessment).

You can find out more by subscribing to the E-Qualifications online community or contact Caroline Douglas.

Friday, 9 July 2004

Online resources to support IT core skills

Learning & Teaching Scotland has recently launched a suite of resources to support core skills. The resources to support IT look very good and are available in PC and Mac formats. You can use them interactively (online) or download them.

Wednesday, 7 July 2004

8th International CAA Conference


I attended the 8th International CAA Conference this week which was held at Loughborough University. Almost 200 people from all over the world attended and the event covered a wide range of issues relating to e-assessment.

This is my second visit to the Conference and the standard was as high as last year. There was an excellent keynote lecture from Randy Bennett of ETS which is responsible for the SAT tests in the States. His talk focussed on the operational issues involved in introducing online assessment into American schools. There were also lots of interesting workshops on various issues such as technical standards, CAA in Mathematics and student perceptions of CAA. I would highly recommend this two event to anyone with an interest in online assessment. I plan to update my FAQ with the new information I gained through attending this event.