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Shaping the Future of Digital Tests

Published 15 April 2020

SS12000 (“SS-twelve-thousand”) is a standard developed in Sweden to define how to exchange information between different actors in the school’s ecosystem. IST was first among suppliers to support the standard and are involved in driving the standardization work – for example by supporting the Swedish National Agency for Education in the process of transitioning to digital national tests. We asked Svante Erwing, Product Manager, why SS12000 is so important for the future of learning. 

“SS12000 is a standard that defines what properties you can expect from information, in what format you retrieve it and what amount of information you will work with. It simplifies the process if everyone knows what you mean when you say a student. In version two, which is now coming out, we further improve and simplify the exchange of information.”

“It will be easier for schools to reach all the great services” 

By implementing SS12000 as a standard, it will be easier to integrate new systems and support tools into the school’s daily operations, as each system does not have to be adapted to local versions. 

“If we can get a standard, then we know that everyone will be able to offer their smart services to all municipalities, pupils and teachers. Therefore, we need a standard – to make it easier for schools to reach all the great services.”

Svante Erwing, Product Manager

IST is a member of the committee that works to develop and define the standard, and is among the first to implement it in, among other things, EduCloud. 

“Thanks to the work in the technical group, we can always be at the forefront of seeing what the needs are and trying to support the various actors who need information from the schools. We have at least one full-time resource that works exclusively with this standard, whom is included in all forums, all contexts. We are always where it happens.”

The Right Information in the Right Format in the Right Place 

At IST, we often associate EduCloud with SS12000 and think of them as one unit, but these are really two very separate functions. The SS12000 ensures that the information is delivered in the right format, while EduCloud ensures that it is communicated securely to the right person or system. Access to the information can be managed on a platform that is easy for municipalities to manage themselves and where you can easily get an overview of with whom you share the information. 

“For us, these are two very important building blocks for delivering SS12000. We want to deliver data in a standardized format and in a secure way. The ultimate goal would be that every school principal has their information exposed in SS12000 format so that it is available to be consumed for all services that contribute to a better school.”

The Swedish National Agency for Education Implements SS12000 

A practical example of where SS12000 has been used is our pilot together with the Swedish National Agency for Education, where we are introducing digital national tests that will start in 2022. We have connected a couple of pilot municipalities to the system which gives the Swedish National Agency for Education the opportunity to consume the student information in SS12000 format. We create a secure connection via EduCloud, mediate the school units that will be part of the pilot test and ensure that continuous synchronization works. 

“This is also linked to our work with SchoolID, where we make sure we have secure digital identities for students. If we can provide those who host the platform for national tests with all the supporting documents and identities of the test takers and allow the person who takes the test to identify himself, we have a very good basis for supporting the future of digital tests.”