What does the QIA excellence gateway offer the FE system?

by | Sep 13, 2007 | Articles

The QIA Excellence Gateway offers the further education system a number of key features to encourage self-improvement for all those involved in further education. The Towards Maturity Project supports the service by sharing good practice to ensure success of e-learning in the work place.(More )

It is worth visiting the QIA Excellence Gateway if you are:

  • A college or work based learning provider – looking for one place to gather the resources you need for continuous improvement
  • A Sector Skills Council looking for a route to support FE within your sector
  • Commercial learning organsiations or employers looking to get more involved with the FE Sector

What can the QIA Excellence Gateway offer?

The QIA Excellence Gateway is a free service and offers:

  • Examples of effective practice
    The Excellence Gateway is packed with more than 14,000 good practice guides and support documents to help further education staff develop their knowledge and skills. And this number is growing all the time.
    The Gateway has sophisticated yet easy-to-use search functionality which allows users to get straight to the information most relevant to their work.
  • A directory of suppliers of improvement services
    The Excellence Gateway is the starting point for access to a comprehensive directory of QIA-approved suppliers of quality improvement services. What’s more, users can for the first time rate the level of service they receive and share this with others.
  • Tools and materials to support teaching and learning
    Along with access to the QIA’s existing programmes and services, the Excellence Gateway provides thousands of materials from both learning and skills organisations (like NIACE and UKOLN), as well as from leading online resources such as Ferl and ACLearn.
  • … plus a range of additional useful functionality

Registering free of charge provides further education staff with access to a range of additional features on the Excellence Gateway, designed to further help them develop their skills and professional knowledge.

These features include:

  • Ability to rate all Excellence Gateway resources
    Any user can rate the quality and relevance of resources found on the site, using a five star system.
    As more resources are rated, users will be able to see and search for those which are deemed the best quality and most relevant by the community.
    Users can also flag information they don’t find helpful. It will be obvious which resources have rated poorly and this will encourage the authors to amend or remove them.
  • Facility to upload their own content
    The QIA Excellence Gateway is run by the further education system for the system.
    The site contains a great deal of existing information about effective practice but to make the content as fresh, lively and useful as possible staff are encouraged to submit new material and resources.
    Any member of staff can contribute items to the site and these will be freely accessible to and rateable by all other users.
  • Build a personal profile
    By creating a profile, users of the Gateway can select their interests, save any searches they run, bookmark resources that are of interest, and receive personalised news feeds.
    In the future, users will also be able to create their own sections of the site and promote themselves as experts in a particular field.
  • Take part in discussions forums
    Any user can become part of the Excellence Gateway community by taking part in its online forums which cover a range of topics from subject-specific discussions to more general dialogue about the further education system.
    Set up and get involved in interest groups
    Any user can establish their own special interest group on the Gateway to attract fellow practitioners and share ideas about effective practice and guidance among a focused group.

Getting started on QIA Excellence Gateway

Search – Browse – Interact! Using the Excellence Gateway is easy.

Firstly, point your web browser to http://excellence.qia.org.uk/ to access the website homepage.

You can then search and browse for information and get direct access to the site’s other key content areas.

  • Search – Users can search for relevant articles using the search bar at the top of every page.
  • Browse – Users can browse for articles by either subject area (eg Languages, History, ICT), or topic (eg Leadership and Management, Training)
  • Access to key content areas:
  1. Improvement Services Directory – This allows suppliers and providers to share information about improvement services on offer to the further education system. New suppliers can also sign up to be included in the Directory.
  2. Communities – The Excellence Gateway communities are discussion forums that provide a place where those involved in learning and skills provision can get together to exchange advice, information and support.
  3. QIA Areas of Work -The online home of the QIA-funded programmes and services, which are designed to help improve quality in the further education system.
  4. News -The latest news of relevance to the further education system.
  5. Good Practice Database -The place to go for the entire Excalibur Good Practice Database –hundreds of examples of effective practice drawn from inspections in colleges, workplaces and adult learning centres throughout England.
  6. My Excellence Gateway – Where users can develop their QIA Excellence Gateway personal profile.

This article was originally created by the Work based e-learning project at e-skills UK and is reproduced with kind permission.

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