MOE creates SMS user groups

The Ministry of Education recently set up a number of egroups for the different SMSs (Student Management Systems) that they accredited for use in NZ. In addition there is another egroup for the data sharing approval framework. MOE has also announced there are not going to be any more accreditation rounds for SMSs. Instead there will be an annual process based on data sharing approval for producing an annual checkup of SMS vendors.

Data Sharing in general is an initiative that includes the possibility of schools being able to transfer SMS data rather than paper records when pupils move between schools. To get the full benefit of such a system, the SMS should be used to record as much data as possible, including all assessment results. Other possible applications for data sharing might include exchanging data between an SMS and a library system, or a Learning Management System.

Over time, the use of an LMS could replace the need for paper reporting. The LMS would give parents the ability to log in and obtain assessment results at any time. Since the SMS could store data from all assessment results rather than just a summary, a more detailed picture of assessment progress can be obtained. When the pupil changes to a new school, these more detailed records can be transferred fully giving the school a good picture of the new entrant as well.

Another advantage an LMS has is where assessment data comes from more than one school. Suppose that a pupil is enrolled at School A but takes several classes a week at School B which are not available at School A. In this case School B can also enter assessment data into the LMS which is available immediately rather than School A having to gather that data from School B and enter it themselves, saving on time and resources.

In the case of RM Integris, I understand an LMS is being promoted with the G2 web based product currently in development. It is unclear when NZ Integris users are likely to see the G2 product become available for use.