In this archive you an find resources which are no longer live but which may still be of interest, including news items, research findings, evaluation reports and case studies.  

Skills for Scotland (S4S)

The S4S project secured European Social Fund (ESF) grant income to develop support materials for Skills for Work courses until 31 May 2011, through the Priority 3 initiative.  The resources were used to provide an SQA customised e-portfolio, for all candidates undertaking Skills for Work Courses, and to create Games Based Assessment (GamesSpace) for selected Skills for Work Courses.


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."

Materials created

Materials were created 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.

Guidance to Storage Options for Creative Digital Media was also created 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 were also created for all Skills for Work courses as an extra resource to help candidates keep all assessment evidence together in one place.

Deskspace Mobile

SQA also trialled and tested the use of a Deskspace Mobile approach. The application was a simplified version of the e-portfolio with ability to send pictures and record evidence straight into the e-portfolio account. We created this to help overcome difficulties in accessing suitable ICT equipment and time available to upload material to the e-portfolio. Three formats were created 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 was an approved app by Apple and available under the Pebblepad branding.

  • 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."

DeskSpace e-portfolio Case Studies

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).

Funding for the DeskSpace pilot concluded in July 2013 and the service is no longer available. Guidance on e-portfolios is available at  (link to e-portfolio?

Using European Social Funds SQA also developed Games Based Assessment (GamesSpace) in selected Skills for Work Courses. This allowed candidates to enter a simulated workplace environment and perform tasks to demonstrate the key competences required. Games Based Assessment in Retailing Intermediate 2 and Health Sector Intermediate 1 were part of the development.

Quote from Skills for Work tutor

  • "The game is really good for pupils, they enjoy it thoroughly. It taps into their interest in games. It’s also enjoyable for myself as a teacher. It enables me to use different methods with the pupils to teach them employability skills."

Materials created

GamesSpace selected units in the following Skills for Work courses:

  • Health Sector  - Intermediate 1 and 2
  • Retailing - Intermediate 2
  • Energy - Intermediate 1
  • Uniformed and Emergency Services - Intermediate 2

 GamesSpace screen shot - player in virtual environment GamesSpace screen shot - player in virtual environment

Quote from Skills for Work candidate

  • "I like it… it’s a lot better than doing a written exam. You don’t feel as pressurised."

2011 BETT Awards Winner

BETT 2011 Winner

GameSpace was a winner at the Link opens in new window2011 BETT Awards. under the ICT Education Partnership category.

The annual BETT Awards represent a partnership between BESA, the trade association representing the educational supply industry and Emap Connect, the organisers of BETT – the largest educational technology show in the world. The awards encourage and recognise outstanding education sector resources and learning solutions. The judges, who are all educational professionals, focus on what works in the classroom or school in terms of design, cost-effectiveness, support of higher order thinking skills and effective learning and teaching styles.

For more information visit the BETT website: Link opens in new window (Please note that this link will take you out of the SQA site) 

Funding for GameSpace ceased in 2013.

Piloting e-verification

From 2008-2010, SQA worked with centres and External Verifiers to pilot e-verification. This project was initiated because we were aware that centres and candidates were increasingly using e-portfolios and other electronic means to manage assessment evidence and we wanted to explore how SQA could make use of e-verification as part of its quality enhancement process.

SOLAR white paper

The Solar Project is an important e-assessment development project for the Scottish Qualifications Authority and Scotland's colleges. This White Paper gives information on how the project has developed so far and how we see it moving forward.

Social Software Evaluation Report

In 2007, SQA undertook a pilot project to investigate the use of social software, such as wikis and blogs, in group work in the Intermediate 2 course in Health and Safety in Care Settings. 

An evaluation of the pilot project was undertaken in June of 2008 with the objectives of:

  • Establishing whether the pilot of the social software project should be continued or expanded in future years
  • Establishing the extent to which the use of social software in group projects made it possible to more accurately assess the contribution of individual candidates.

The report can be viewed using the following link: Social Software Evaluation Report 

Assessment 2.0

There's been a lot of buzz around 'Web 2.0' - the 'second version' of the World Wide Web - and SQA has been exploring the potential of Web 2.0 for student assessment. Web services such as Flickr, Blogger and Wikipedia have great potential as sources of candidate evidence and Futurelab recently published a paper entitled 'Assessment 2.0' which describes our findings.

Research Bulletin 32: Delivering and Assessing Learning on Mobile Devices

Findings of a small-scale pilot project undertaken by the Scottish Qualifications Authority to take a preliminary look at the prospects for using mobile devices, such as mobile phones and smartphones, for the delivery and assessment of learning.

E-scape Scotland Project

SQA was been a partner in the e-scape Scotland Project. E-scape stands for ‘e-solutions for creative assessment in portfolio environments’, and the aims of e-scape Scotland were to:

  • develop and extend an adaptation of the e-scape project which captures pupil performance, thinking and creativity

  • encompass formative assessment strategies as learners work on design challenges

  • provide a range of evidence of assessment through various modes of expression.

The main thrust of e-scape Scotland project was to explore the potential of the e-scape methodology in classrooms where learning and ‘Assessment is for Learning’ (AifL) was the primary concern.

Under the e-scape Scotland approach, learners captured digital images of work in progress in areas such as Product Design. These were uploaded to what is in effect an e-portfolio, allowing peers and teachers to provide feedback on the work as it progresses. The approach has been trialled in summative contexts in England. The focus of the two-year trial in Scotland was to see how effective it was in a formative setting. The work was led by Susan McLaren at Edinburgh University with input from LTS and SQA.

The E-scape Summary Handout is available by using the following link: E-scape summary handout (249 KB)
The E-scape Summary Research and Development Report is available by using the following link: E-scape summary research and development report (272 KB)

Case Studies

Here are some previous case studies on e-assessment.