The Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) is enabling as many students as possible to continue with their learning during the current COVID-19 crisis by introducing online exams for two of its most popular courses.
Online exams for English language Level 1 Awards in Wines, Spirits and Sake and Level 2 Awards in Wines and Spirits will go live online from 1st June as the WSET pushes its digital agenda.
Until now most WSET courses have been available online but for study only, with students having to sit an offline exam to complete a WSET qualification. Now they can sit the exams online too adding flexibility for students during a time when social distancing guidelines are in place across most of the world.
‘I am really excited that, with these latest developments, we can now offer our course providers and students a 360° digital learning experience at a time when traditional classroom education is very challenging or impossible,’ says WSET CEO Ian Harris.
‘The integrity of our exams is of the utmost importance to us and we are confident that the award-winning remote invigilation system we have in place meets our stringent standards. At a time when many people in the industry have much more time at their disposal, it’s great that they can choose to upgrade their drinks knowledge, studying and qualifying for a WSET qualification without leaving home.’
While Harris acknowledges that online programmes will never completely replace the classroom environment he hopes that this new development for the WSET will add ‘global reach’ to the organisation now and in the post-COVID era.
‘Online programmes give us another very important string to our bow in the short-term, and will be a valuable add-on for us to offer in the longer term,’ adds Harris.
The online exams will be carried out using remote invigilation so students can sit the tests on a computer at home while being monitored via webcam, screen sharing technology and a secondary recording device such as a smartphone. The system has been successfully trialled in can now be rolled out across WSET’s network of over 800 course providers globally.