Tuesday, 23 November 2004

Sector Panels

I attended a meeting last week about Sector Panels.

SQA is looking at the possibility of creating Sector Panels to provide advice and support to Qualifications Managers. The Panels would advise QMs about external trends and also identify priorities for development. The QM would then decide if these developments were feasible and, if so, ask the Qualifications Support Teams to assist him to produce the required awards.

New Panels will be created in four subject areas - and Computing is one of them. Members will be drawn from a variety of backgrounds and will include employers, IT companies, representatives of the Sector Skills Council, representatives of national organisations (such as the Scottish Executive and SFEU), college representatives, training providers and individuals with key knowledge and experience.

It's hoped to have the first meeting of the Computing Sector Panel next Spring so I'm busy trying to identify suitable members. Don't hesitate to contact me if you would like to be considered for membership.

Friday, 19 November 2004

Computer games qualifications

Originally uploaded by bobbyelliott.

Joe Wilson and I went with a group of Scottish lecturers to Doncaster today to discuss games software. There were representatives of Cardonald College, Stow College, Fife College, Telford College and Motherwell College.

We visited Doncaster College and Sheffield Hallam University. Doncaster College has recently invested in state-of-the-art hardware and software to permit the college to offer games development courses and Sheffield Hallam offer degree and post-graduate qualification in games development.

It was a fascinating day and it gave us lots of ideas about how to incorporate computer gaming into Scottish qualifications. Watch out for news.

Tuesday, 16 November 2004

E-Qualifications units are now available

The units within the E-Qualifications suite of awards were uploaded to the SQA website this morning. You can find them via the HN search facility. We'll also upload them to the E-Qualifications e-group later this week.

The availability of the unit specifications means that the awards are now fully developed. The group awards have been available to centres for a couple of weeks. The full Arrangements can be downloded here.

We're still working on an approval procedure for these new awards but contact Jim Ballantyne if you're interested in offering these new awards.

This is a big day for the development team! We're delighted to see the awards finally become available to centres. We're particularly excited about the Diploma in E-Assessment which we think is the first national qualification in this area in the world.

Saturday, 13 November 2004

Moderators meeting

The moderators responsible for HN and SVQ qualifications met this morning. Unlike the previous moderators meeting, this one was subject specific. The meeting was led by Hugh McDiamid, the full-time Computing moderator.

The purpose of the meeting was to update moderators on the developments relating to HN and SVQ awards - and there have been lots. We discussed the new HNC Computing award, the current HND Computing revision, links with vendor qualifications, PC Passport, the new SVQs for IT Users, and e-moderation.

You can find out more about becoming a moderator by contacting Marion Weir.

Thursday, 11 November 2004

E-Qualifications Arrangements are now available

The final version of the E-Qualifications Arrangements were uploaded to the E-Qualifications e-group today.

Armenian delegation

Armenian delegation
Originally uploaded by bobbyelliott.

A delegation of from Armenia visited SQA this week to look at the Scottish qualification system.

This morning I gave a presentation on PC Passport. They seemed genuinely interested (the translator asked how she can take PC Passport!) and they are considering offering PC Passport in Armenian schools and colleges.

Monday, 8 November 2004

HN annual update letter

I sent an update letter to centres last week. I send a general letter once every year which covers a wide range of developments and issues relating to Computing and Information Technology

This one contains important information about run-out periods (for the HNC/D Computing), news about the HND Computing review, information about the recently validated HN awards in Networking, Multimedia and IT, and news about proposed Professional Development Awards. The letter also contains details about a forthcoming consultation event for HND Computing which is currently being revised.

The letter was sent to College Principals, SQA Co-ordinators and Heads of Computing Departments so please ask one of them if you haven't yet seen a copy.

Monday, 1 November 2004

Awarding Bodies meeting

A number of UK awarding bodies met on Saturday to agree common evidence requirements for the new S/NVQs for Practitioners. The meeting took place in Birmingham. Participants included OCR, EdExcel and SQA.

Although some work still needs to be done, the outcome will be that most UK awarding bodies will have common requirements with respect to the amount and type of assessment material expected from candidates.