Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Results, results, results - part one

So, the exam results are now out in Scotland, though I've yet to see any mention of pass rates etc in mathematics. But the papers are covering two "stories": one, the online results service offered by SQA; two, the decrease in the numbers of students studying Advanced Highers.

So, the first one then: yes, indeed, for the first time ever across Scotland, students were given the opportunity a while back to sign up for an online (or text) results service, which meant that they could log on a day early and find out their results (that would be yesterday) before the actual envelope containing the results dropped through the letterbox (that would be today).


First up, it's amusing to see that apparently a large number of students couldn't access the results because they had forgotten their passwords, and apparently some parents are complaining about this, like it's the SQA's fault. Ah, parents, how we love thee...

But taking a more serious look at this: this must have cost some money, right? And no university or employer or whatever is ever going to accept a printout of a web-page as evidence of exam results, right? So we can never get rid of the need for the paper copy - the exam transcripts, as I believe they are referred to - right?

(You see where I'm headed?)

So basically this expensive (I'm guessing) results service is pretty bloody pointless and a waste of money - right? I mean I admit it's nice for the students to find out a day early, but it's hardly life or death, is it? Is it honestly worth spending a lot of money on? Is it cynical of me to think that SQA are doing this just because it's a (supposedly) funky sort of use of technology, which must therefore be A Good Thing?

Just how much money has it cost, I wonder?

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