International Grades Open Technologies
INGOTsare qualifications designed to motivate students and reduce administration through innovative use of the internet.
Ingots are accredited in England, Wales and Northern Ireland but they are in use in South Africa, Serbia, Spain, USA and several other countries.
The awarding Body for the INGOTs is The Learning Machine Ltd accredited by the UK Regulators and endorsed by the Sector Skills Council for IT and Telecommunications.
INGOTs provide a focus for generic functional skills in IT that are not tied to proprietary closed source software. They enable learners to find out about open source communities and how to participate collaboratively in producing shared content. They give government accredited recognition for this knowledge and the associated skills.
The INGOT web site has three key elements. A certification site used by accredited assessors and The Learning Machine in the quality assurance process (requires subscription). A community site built on Drupal providing a place for learners to Blog projects, create e-portfolios and discuss their work (free to anyone). An on-line courses site built on Moodle providing course support for the qualifications (free to anyone). All materials are licensed Creative Commons Share a like and learners have to make a declaration to license their INGOT project work openly for others to share. This helps them learn about licensing in a practical context. The only cost involved is for formal certification and this is considerably less expensive than many traditional qualifications. The income from certification will be used to support a learning community by organising and developing free on-line courses and supporting the learning community.