SQA introduces Ushare - a new online community and learning resource

Ushare user on computerSQA has launched Ushare; a free-to-use online community that allows users to comment on, rate and share links to open-source learning and teaching materials.

Ushare allows students, teachers, lecturers and other education professionals to share links to relevant resources, such as articles and videos, presentations and research that assist with the delivery and study of a number of SQA qualifications and awards.

Users can create a profile, share a link to a resource they think is useful, or rate or comment on links that other users have shared.

Ushare is currently available for a number of SQA’s Higher National Certificate and Higher National Diploma courses but work is ongoing to roll it out to include National Qualifications; including Advanced Highers, Highers and Nationals.

Speaking ahead of the Association of Learning Technologists conference at the University of Manchester, Steve Borley, Head of Marketing at SQA, said: “Ushare provides users with a fantastic platform upon which they can establish and build subject-based community groups which can share useful, open-source materials with other members. The communities can then comment and rate the shared resources, enabling everyone to find good quality information that supports the study of SQA qualifications.”

Steve added, “It’s important to state that Ushare is not just for learners. It also gives lecturers and other education professionals a fantastic outlet for distributing many of the excellent resources they use daily with students in the delivery of SQA courses and awards.  Lecturers often have a huge amount of great content at their fingertips, but now they’ll have the ability to share their insights and ideas far wider than ever before.”

Ushare users can create and manage their own account or sign-in via an existing Facebook, Twitter or Linked-In profile.

Stuart McLaren, Ushare Project Manager at SQA, said: “What we’re aiming for is to develop an engaged community of users that support one another and the ambitions for the service.  We have added Ushare to a number of our HNC and HND subject pages as well as those for our Awards. The next phase will be opening it up to other qualification types including SQA Nationals, Highers and Advanced Highers.”

Speaking ahead of the launch of Ushare, Sharon Gardiner, Head of Social Science, Science, Mathematics and Sport at West College Scotland, said: “Both students and lecturers have always shared resources within their classes or study groups, but now Ushare allows them to share useful materials more widely than ever before.   Ushare also offers the benefit of users seeing how others have rated resources, helping them to quickly identify materials that will best support their studies.”

Roberta Brown, Managing Director of Training Matters, said: “As a private training provider, having access to Ushare will provide us with extra support to offer our learners. We all want to help our learners as much as possible and Ushare gives us that additional resource, pointing learners in the direction useful materials that can help them as they work towards their qualifications."

Simon Ashpool, Learning Manager at Crisis Skylight Edinburgh, said: “Ushare is going to be really valuable tool for me because it will allow me to be able to filter through what resources I can use to enable my students to learn more effectively.”

Erin Stenson, a Modern Apprentice working towards a HNC in Administration and Information Technology, said: “When I clicked on a link to a resource before, I didn’t know if it would be useful. Now with Ushare, I’ll know that other people have commented on it to say that this information was really useful, which should help me with my studies.”

Ushare is available now at www.Ushare.education.