Wednesday 19 May 2010

National Standards in MUSAC Software

Been so busy here at MUSAC with all the new cool developments ... forgot to tell you about some of them! Today's lesson - National Standards.

Big political topic is National Standards. We're steering clear of the politics as best we can. Our job is to make it as easy as possible and to give schools the necessary flexibility, features and functions to meet the requirements in accordance with the individual schools plans and trying to avoid any political pot holes.

In April, MUSAC released an update (for our customer to grab off the downloads section of the MUSAC website) which contains the necessary data structures and functionality to capture national standards information across reading, writing and mathematics. This includes the capture of a comment or two. We've also included a number of report templates and an ability to set some rudimentary goals and progress against these - if this is useful to you.

In the usual MUSAC way, National Standard information can automatically be incorporated onto reports for parents (if you want to, because you do not have to report student progress against the standard to parents). We've also added a couple of handy little utilities (see the release notes) which help manage the process.

The contents of this release are referred to as "Work Package 1". We are now working on "Work Package 2" which will include some moderation tools, ensure we have full support across all the Ministry documented assessment tools (99% sure we have it already) and some additional functions to assist with slice and dicing for reporting against NAG 2a.

Like any assessment in MUSAC, longitudinal reporting against standards will be quite straight forward and we'll slip a few preconfigured templates in to get you started. Of course, one must record National Standard information for several years before this becomes useful.

All in all, not been too much of a drama for us - we do know that it is not so easy for you. Your job is much bigger and harder. Again, in the MUSAC way, our agents (Edtech, Solutions and Services and New Era IT) will be able to help out. Whether it be just to show you what's there or for some specific customisation you would like because of the special needs and nature of your school.

And what about MUSAC's new web product ... ditto for work package 1. Starting to get stuck into the list of Ministry assessments for work package 2 and by term 4 should have broken the back of it. Works a bit different to Classic.

Therein ends today's lesson in National Standards. With MUSAC, ready to go right now.