Skills for Work ePortfolios (DeskSpace)





Europe and Scotland social fund logo

DeskSpace e-portfolio Case Studies

The DeskSpace e-portfolio is available to all SQA Skills for Work candidates and is currently available to centres free of charge.

Feedback on the system has been very positive and more and more centres are offering this support to their candidates.

The following three Case Studies were carried out in centres that piloted the DeskSpace e-portfolio.


DeskSpace multi-media Case Study

In 2010, SQA worked with CCEA in Northern Ireland to produce a Case Study of our practices and experiences in response to the Regulatory Principles for e-Assessment. A multi-media version of this Case Study was produced.

A PDF of the Case Study, featuring the SQA e-portfolio DeskSpace, can be downloaded using the following link: DeskSpace PDF Case Study (116 KB).

Quotes from Skills for Work teachers/tutors

The main benefit at the moment is students being able to do the assessments online and knowing they’re not losing anything and everything is in the one place. Pupils feel they have ownership of their achievements, and an easy way to hold all relevant SQA data!
For students who are struggling to do coursework this will give them a benefit because they’ll be able to go onto the computer to get either ideas from their friends, speak to their friends for support, or there’s material that I can put on the system for them too. So it’s going to benefit their learning.

Training and Support

SFW-ds.jpgTraining is available for all tutors wishing to offer DeskSpace to their candidates.  An online course is available on SQA Academy which tells you all you need to know to get started, while there are also face-to-face training sessions held throughout the year by an SQA Learning Technologist.  

We are also happy to run a training session in your centre for ten or more tutors.  Online training will soon be available for support staff such as administrators, learning technologists or IT staff who may support tutors using the system.

For more information on training, to book a space or to register for the online course please see Training and Support.

Quote from IT support staff

I took to it straight away and I could see after just one class with the students – I went in and supported the lecturer with them, and there were lots of little excited squeals!

Materials available

Sfw-sg.jpgMaterials are available for all Skills for Work courses, including the assessor and candidate checklists associated with the Course, which can be accessed and completed from within DeskSpace.

There is also a Guide to Storage Options for Creative Digital Media available to assist teachers/tutors in this area to find a suitable storage mechanism for evidence that can be associated with the e-portfolio.


Template webfolios have been created for all Skills for Work courses as an extra resource to help candidates keep all assessment evidence together in one place. These are currently being introduced in phases for the different subject areas. The webfolio template consists of a number of pages - one for each unit in the course - and every unit page contains the embedded NAB checklists.

Additional pages can be added and edits can be made as with a normal webfolio - the template just aims to provide a basis for the candidate's completed folio. The templates can be copied from your course gateway once they have been uploaded by SQA. You can then share these with your candidates. Full instructions on copying and sharing the template will also be available in the gateway.

If you have any questions or comments on the webfolios please contact

Deskspace Mobile

The Deskspace Mobile approach has now been trialled and tested and is available for download from the Add Ons section in your Deskspace Tools menu. The application is a simplified version of the e-portfolio with ability to send pictures and record evidence straight into your e-portfolio account. We hope this will help overcome difficulty in accessing suitable ICT equipment and time available to upload material to the e-portfolio. There are three formats available to suit a range of mobile phones.

Deskspace Mobile -  Basic: A basic WAP enabled interface which is visible on all web enabled phones including an upload function.

Deskspace Mobile - PDA: This includes the functionality above but is designed to operate on Windows Mobile PDAs and Smartphones.

Pebblepad iPhone app: This is an approved app by Apple. However, this version is currently only available under the Pebblepad branding and costs £1.79 to download, but may be customised for Deskspace at a later stage.

The report on the Deskspace Mobile pilot is available here (294 KB).


Quotes from Skills for Work students

I think this is a great idea and is brilliant because you can talk to friends and also do work at the same time.
I enjoyed using deskspace and I think I will definitely use it at home to add things into it.


As a result of the end of the funding through which it was made available the SQA Deskspace pilot concluded in July 2013 and the service is no longer available. General guidance on use of e-portfolios continues to be available from SQA's website at Centres will have the opportunity to export documents until 20 September 2013 in a variety of formats. For any advice or support on export, please contact