DISCUSS: Is Ultilearn fit for purpose?


#1

I’ve obviously used Ultilearn myself and heard accounts of others who also have done so. I’m asking you - on account of easy cheating through Google (which I know exists and is quite common) and the week long wait - which is quite irritating as it means you have to do the exam first half of the night on the first try so it’s available second half the next week in case of a failure. I know various cadets who have passed exams simply by trial and error with a small bit of common sene. They didn’t even learn the spec.
Opinions??
Any way to solve these issues or a new classification examination system??


#2

You are mixing up different questions.

1. Is Ultilearn fit for purpose?
It serves the purpose that it has been decided to use it for. It is barely fit for that but it does work. It could be better with investment in time and resources.

The re-try timing is set by HQAC and can be changed, but they have decided that is what they want

2. Is the current classification system fit for purpose
Again, what purpose? It isn’t exactly important anyway, is it?
There are external agencies invested in the system and pulling some of the strings, but exactly how far those strings reach is unknown to me.


#3

The issue of how easy it is to pass with no learning taking place (compared to the old written exams) means that personally I find the BTEC to be worthless. That being said I still push for the cadets to get it along with the TPD one because it ticks boxes for the Contingent and the school and makes them feel like they’ve achieved something, even it it really means that I would always ignore a level 2 BTEC in any subject when hiring people.


#4

Well we first need to specify what Ultilearn’s purpose is.
I see it as doing two things:
1. Provide a platform that can provide access to training material.
Ultilearn does provide this functionality, and allows sqn staff to control what cadets have access to.
2. Provide a platform for online exams to be undertaken on.
Ultilearn also does this, and the exams system itself isn’t bad.

The biggest issue with Ultilearn is the content itself.

Sure the UI isn’t nice, and I would love to see a system where all the training material is interactive browser based material. But Ultilearn is still functional.

As for how exams are done as open book, well that’s just policy from HQAC and could be changed, nothing to do with Ultilearn.


#5

However worthless you may find it, it is a recognised qualification whereas previously a cadet got nothing tangible.


#6

I certainly got my BTEC in the days before computer and open book exams. That was tangible and I still know the subjects far too many years later…


#7

this is my biggest gripe with it.

having taught a subject based on my own personal experience and then referred to the provided slides as a summary and revision sessions i felt we had fully covered the subject and extended knowledge with my own personal knowledge, experience and understanding to offer a well rounded classroom experience that was’t simply death by powerpoint of a topic “i could get by with”

when the exams came, one student had a question which stumped us both. its as if the content of the teaching material is unknown to the person writing the questions, but both authors have the “learning objectives” to work off…each with a personal idea of what or how that is covered.

i am not suggesting we teach to pass the exam, but there should be a better link between material taught and how the questions are worded if nothing else, but ideally have a clear link in the material of when the topic was covered…


#8

Remember that the exams are meant to be open book, using the cadets notes ans research of the study…this opens a can of worms of what the point? I understand open book exams for things like drill theory where we dont expect you to know everything but know how to use the book to find the answer.

But for classification surely we should expect that cadets have a thorough understanding od the key learnings? Like a school exam


#9

We might; TG1 doesn’t and it is his ball.
It has no bearing on whether Ultilearn is fit for purpose though, but as I am unclear as to what the OP is actually asking in this thread I cannot say whether it is off topic.


#10

I’ve been saying for a long time now that the cadets of today do not have the knowledge of the subjects like we had as cadets.

We actually had to learn the material for a sit down exam on squadron. It isn’t uncommon to see MACs now that have little to no knowledge that their brassard shows that they are supposed to have.


#11

To get around the issue of Ultilearn locking you out if you fail, we’ve started using old paper exams as mocks, requiring cadets to attempt a paper that way before sitting the ‘real’ thing.

It doesn’t hold any water, and all parties are aware it doesn’t officially mean anything, but when we’re short on computer resources to allow them to sit the exams, it’s a good way of seeing if they actually know the topics.


#12

might start doing that. Cheers!


#13

I suggested that on my unit but was told we weren’t allowed to do that.


#14

Easier to ask for forgiveness than permission…


#15

I like it.


#16

The old exam papers don’t exactly align with the current syllabus and LOs, but the material on Ultilearn is so out of date that it is closer than you’d perhaps hope.

Every unit was given a generic login that could be used to run mock/practice exams. I thought hat facility was still there, though I’d be surprised if most units remembered the details.


#17

Didnt know it even exsisted!


#18

Need to me


#19

it was just squadron number if i recall correctly, so easy enough to get a new password set.


#20

Yup. Just did a password reset on mine.