- May 26, 2011
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That's a prime example of how the website could be better organised. There is a tab heading "Learn" with sub topics "Getting started" and "Bees for Kids" as well as the "Education and Assessment" and "Past Papers", the latter two being clearly Exam Board responsibility. "Distance Learning" too because it has only one entry (what's a menu with one entry for?), "Correspondence Courses". But there's also a "Kids" tab with different information and the "Members" tab has "Education and Training". The tab headings have been arranged as "themes" without a clear reflection in the underlying organisation. The thinking appears to be corporate gloss over serving the membership who pay for the site. The result is overlaps and repetition, vague headings without clear signposts as to what's where.... the Exam Board. Few know that they are a separate body to the BBKA, to maintain a degree of distance and impartiality, however their funding is essentially controlled by the BBKA. Despite styling itself as an "educational charity" in recent years*, the BBKA has never been overly generous to the Exam Board, so as a result the paltry sum gained by the sale of past papers to members has been an important part of the Exam Board's funding. I was very loathe to pull this rug from under the Exam Board, as much as I think it distasteful that they should charge members for past papers. Earlier this year the matter of charging/funding was addressed and the papers are now free downloads. * although I hear that's now changing
If the Exam Board operate largely independently (and they should) then their section should be independent too. They are responsible for all the syllabus, papers, exam schedules, contacts and exam related courses and (most importantly) have direct access to the content to keep them all up to date. There's also a whole area of local study groups for the exams which appears to be ignored. This ought to be the place where local groups can post what they have running or they are thinking of and members can check neighbouring associations, the sort of contacts that make study groups viable but at present appears to be left largely to the chance effects of local circulation. The large majority of visitors to the area will be members either already taking the exams route or seriously thinking about it; functionality for these users must always take precedence.