Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Survey is closed

I closed the e-learning survey this morning. One thousand and twenty people had completed it - which probably represents the largest response to any survey that SQA has carried out. Thanks very much to everyone who took the time to complete it. The huge response means that SQA can have confidence in the results. I'll post a summary of the findings once the responses have been analysed.

Friday, January 19, 2007

800 and counting...

There has been a huge response to the survey on e-learning and e-assessment. So far, over 800 teachers and lecturers (and other educationalists) have completed the survey - meaning that SQA can have a lot of confidence in the results.

And the results make interesting reading. The highlights include:
  • 43% have "fast" or "very fast" Internet access
  • 31% are "very positive" about e-learning
  • 36% are "very positive" about online assessment
  • 43% have used a VLE
  • 40% have used online testing
  • 33% have used a blog - but only 10% have contributed to one
  • 22% have used a wiki - but only 7% have contributed to one
  • 75% report that security inhibits their use "somewhat" or "a great deal"
The top five barriers to e-learning are (in order):
  1. time to develop materials
  2. knowledge and skills of teachers/lecturers
  3. lack of training
  4. IT infrastructure
  5. IT support.
It's interesting to see the traditional reasons (lack of hardware and support) slipping down the table.

The survey is still open so the results are not finalised. I'll post a summary of the results later this month but in the meantime please encourage your colleagues to complete the survey.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

The syllabus in your hands

One of the objectives of the Internet Safety project was to trial innovative technologies and one of the ways we planned to do this was to allow ordinary teachers and lecturers to change the contents of the course using a wiki.

The original version of the unit [PDF] was created in the traditional way i.e. SQA officer (me) appoints a lead developer (Ted) who writes a draft unit and then consults on its contents, finally creating an initial version of the unit. Inevitably, some people like it and some don't.

The idea of putting the current unit on a wiki and encouraging practitioners to contribute to it effectively gives control of the unit's contents to ordinary teachers and lecturers. Well, that's the theory. I am aware that good ideas like this often don't work due to several reasons - time constraints on busy teachers being the most common. But it will be interesting to see if this small experiment works. If it does, maybe SQA would develop all of their qualifications this way?

The wiki is here - and since it's based on Mediawiki it can be changed in the same way as Wikipedia. Although anyone can change the contents of the unit, I would ask you to create an account and log into the wiki so that your individual contribution can be tracked.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Project update

There's been a lot happening since my last update.

The pilot has now ended. It commenced in August and finished in December. I'm currently evaluating it right now - mainly through an online survey (which is still open so please complete it).

My next task it to write a report (for internal use) on the whole project - and especially lessons learned and how we can develop similar qualifications in the future.

I've just finished writing a letter to centres, which updates them on developments and provides information on the proposed launch event that will take place between April and June of this year.

I'm also about to arrange the next meeting of the Steering Group which will take place in February.

I'm still in discussions with Strathclyde Police about the possibility of them adopting the qualification for all of their cadets - and although nothing has been finalised, the signs are very positive.

Finally, don't forget about the EU's Safer Internet Day, which takes place on 6 February.