Scholar is a hit online

27th January 2006 at 00:00
Senior students south of the border can lift their sub A-level results by a full grade when they regularly key into the interactive Scholar programme devised by Heriot Watt University.

The programme is now used widely in all Scottish secondaries at Higher and Advanced Higher levels after successful trials over the past eight years, and it has now spread to England.

A Learning and Skills Council study has shown it can improve results in maths, science and computing at AS and A2 levels. The more students used Scholar, the more likely they were to improve their grade. The study was spread over 56 schools and 1,974 students.

Malcolm Payton, head of foundation programmes at the Interactive University (which markets Scholar) and former head of education in Shetland, said: "We are really pleased, but not surprised, that this report has highlighted the great benefits of Scholar in terms of individual exam achievement and the ability to access interactive curriculum material 24 hours a day.

"This further supports the independent evaluation in Scotland, where Scholar has gained universal support and approval," he said.

The evaluation confirmed that students accessed the Scholar programme throughout the day and it was used equally by males and females.

While Scholar's versatility and accessibility have proved successful, the skills council notes a mismatch to syllabuses other than that of the OCR exam board. It adds that the maths materials were a "real turn-off" for the majority of students and teachers.

Scholar's reach compares favourably with that of the BBC. Gerry Toner, the director of the programme, said: "The BBC recently celebrated a hit rate of 1.4 million per term at its online revision site.

"Our users, in a more limited subject range, represent only about half of all pupils in Scotland. Yet, despite that, the Scholar site is getting over a million hits per term, a far higher level in real terms."

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number


The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now