Openquals is now NDAQ

24 January 2007

QCA’s website of accredited qualifications, Openquals, is now known as the National Database of Approved Qualifications (NDAQ). It carries the logos of three of the UK’s qualifications’ authorities – QCA (England), CEA (Northern Ireland) and ACAC (Wales/Cymru). The SQA in Scotland is notable by its absence.

NDAQ is easier to ‘pronounce’, harder to find on Google and is easier on the eye – slightly. The myriad options available at school levels in ICT * are still bewildering. Maybe they will help with ‘personalisation’ but will they help to more validly represent learner’s abilities, achievements, capabilities?

* NDAQ has ICT, Openquals had IT… the nomenclature confusion continues…


BBC: Testing times for school assessment

24 January 2007

The BBC’s Education correspondent Mike Baker gives a very readable account of the changes ahead in the assessment system in his report of 6 January 2007 – Testing times for school assessment.

His main thrust is that changes to the system are coming in. Some of these are reflected in subsequent events that I have written about like the revamping of league tables and possible scrapping of the online ICT test… although the latter of these presumably would have helped personalisation if it was an on-demand test.

The changes, concludes Baker, are due to the growing clamour for that most voguish of educational shibboleths – personalisation.

In the article, he reflects on the Gilbert report from the HM Chief Inspector into personalisation and on how the recommendations of the report might necessarily lead to a greater role for teacher assessment. He ties this in with an IPPR study into the tensions between the dimensions of validity and accountability of assessment. Again teacher assessment is recommended by the authors as a way of enhancing both dimensions. Finally he cites Dylan Wiliam’s research into the ‘shockingly’ (Baker’s word) inaccurate methods of formal assessment.

A very useful summary.

Miles Berry also summarises the Gilbert Report in his blog, again very useful.