Skills Builder upgrades – making your life easier

Our eLearning software is under constant review and the Skills Forward team is continually adding new features, reporting tools and resources to ensure that our software delivers what your organisation and your learners need. Here are just some of the exciting Skills Builder developments that are live or coming soon that you should know about ahead of September.

Our new initial assessment for Essential Digital Skills is now live

The Government has recognised that to ensure that the UK is a competitive digital force, everyone needs to have at least a basic level of digital skills that will support them to enter, re-enter or progress in the workplace. Not only this, digital inclusion will be essential for our economic recovery in a post COVID-19 world as we find new ways of working, quite often using remote methods which are conducted online.

From September 2020, providers are encouraged to support adult learners funding to develop their digital competency using the new Essential Digital Skills qualifications. These qualifications are eligible for Adult Education Budget (AEB) funding.

The funding rules also requires that providers undertake an initial assessment of learners’ digital skills to establish their current working at level and identify their individual strengths weakness. Providers should then use the results of the initial assessment this to create a programme of learning which is aligned to the new Essential Digital Skills qualifications.

On the Skills Builder dashboard, providers will now have the option to direct learners to an initial assessment of their essential digital skills, which has been mapped to the national framework. The new initial assessment is live and available now for your learners to undertake.

Ready with resources when you need them

Our forthcoming resources have been mapped to the essential digital skills standards to ensure that your learners get the best possible experience with high-quality support.

Our software has been tested rigorously to ensure that we are ready to support you as you make essential digital skills a cornerstone of your delivery and your learners’ skills development.

Enhanced results data for GCSE learners

We’re delighted to announce that our initial assessment results for GCSE now benefit from industry-leading accuracy and can give your learners a working at level from grades 1-9. Going beyond ‘higher’ or ‘foundation’ categorisation, this new rich data source will allow providers to support individual learners from a detailed starting point.

Supporting teaching process post-COVID

Our enhanced results data for GCSE learners can also help providers as learners begin to return to education. During lockdown, many learners have fallen behind without the support of their teachers and as many return on a part-time basis, this attainment gap could be widened further still. Skills Builder can help schools to support learner from home and keep them on track with their English and maths progress even when they are unable to be in the classroom.

Additionally, thousands of learners have been in receipt of grades which were based on their teacher’s or tutor’s own judgement and there will be instances of learners who wish to appeal these decisions. Using the enhanced GCSE results data from Skills Builder can help you build a clear picture of a learners working at level and support you to provide the evidence that may be required during an appeals process.

New quality assurance dashboard  

One of the key benefits of having your maths, English and ICT/digital skills initial assessment and learning in one place is the ability to create dynamic, efficient and effective reports. Our reporting dashboard is under constant review as it flexes to the needs to the sector and the data you need to provide to understand your learners and their progress and also data you need for funding and regulatory bodies.

Skills Builder users will soon benefit from a new reporting feature which will support the information that you need to evidence your compliance with the Education Inspection Framework (EIF) to regulators.

You’ll be able to demonstrate your data depending on your organisation’s needs including in percentage or graph format, to show information about large or small cohorts of learners or to illustrate anomalies.

Your reporting dashboard will also allow you to evidence not only those learners who have completed their programme but also will show the percentage of knowledge acquired by those who have not yet completed their learning, giving you a more accurate description of distanced travelled and your delivery efforts so far any point in the year.

To ensure it is able to support providers with their compliance requirements, the reporting dashboard has been as developed in partnership with quality improvement specialists.

Updates to ESOL initial assessment and resources

For providers who undertake teaching for ESOL learners, we have improved our interface and initial assessment and we will soon deploy new resources to align to the latest guidance for the delivery of ESOL curriculum.

This will support learners who are often most disengaged or harder to reach due to language barriers and will allow them to quickly improve and progress in their education or into the workplace.

Speak to us about ensuring you’re making the most of these improvements

If you’re an existing Skills Forward customer, speak to our dedicated team about ensuring you have the right resources and support available ready for September. If you aren’t yet working with us, we’re ready to support you in using Skills Builder. We can support you with free one to one demonstrations of Skills Builder and training. You can arrange this through our webform or by emailing skillsbuilder@skillsforward.co.uk.

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