Wednesday, 21 December 2005

PC Passport hits second top spot

LearnDirect published their top 10 courses of 2005 in terms of public interest - and PC Passport was number 2 (behind ECDL) beating well established courses such as Higher English.

Contact Joan Morris for more information about PC Passport or join the online community.

Monday, 19 December 2005

Multimedia Consultant required

Today I posted a message on the Multimedia Online Forum requesting a volunteer to assist in the next stage in the Multimedia review. The remit consists of carrying out a core skills audit, an audit on teaching and learning materials and assisting in the production of assessment exemplars. The secondment is based on one day a week starting 9th January until 31st March, a total of 12 weeks.

If you are interested in this project please contact me on my usual email address

Friday, 16 December 2005

NC review

Angela and I met with Walter Patterson this morning to discuss the review of National Certificate provision. Many of you will know Walter from his HMI days. Walter is leading the recently announced review of the National Certificate awards in Computing/IT.

The purpose of the meeting was to agree what needs to be done during the current financial year. We agreed a lot of tasks - but the key one is the creation of a development plan.

I intend to consult widely during this review - using this blog, the dedicated online community, occasional letters and some face-to-face meetings - the first one of which will take place in March next year when we can discuss the various options that Walter comes up with.

Don't forget to subscribe to the National Certificate online community if you want to keep up to date with developments.

Tuesday, 13 December 2005

Library Launch Lucky Winners

Today five lucky winners were independently chosen to receive a free license for the software tool course genie. The prizes were very kindly donated by Horizon Wimba at the recent Library launch.

The lucky winners are:

Stephen Grant
Sandra Macdougall
Janice Weir
Robert Ruthven
Margaret Cairns

Well done!

For more information on support materials available for the new library awards please visit

Friday, 2 December 2005

Launch of Diploma and Advanced Diploma: Applications of ICT in Libraries

Today we launched the Diploma and Advanced Diploma: Applications of ICT in Libraries. The launch event [MP4] was held in the Menzies Hotel, Glasgow and was a great success.

These awards are joint partnership between the Scottish Library Information Council (SLIC) and SQA, funded by the Big Lottery. Around 50 people attended and the presentations were well received. For more information on the online learning/teaching materials available, please visit

Thursday, 1 December 2005

NC Computing Review

Today we received confirmation that Walter Patterson will lead the NC Computing Review. This initial scoping exercise will allow Walter to create a Qualification map, consult on options and produce a development plan. We will need a Qualification design team (QDT) set up by mid January. If you are interested in this development please subscribe to the online forum, more information will follow in the New Year.

Tuesday, 29 November 2005

E-Learning Qualification Support Team

We held the first meeting of the Qualification Support Team (QST) for the E-Learning suite of awards this morning.

QSTs are responsible for supporting and maintaining awards. A crucial part of the Team's remit is to ensure that there are adequate support materials for the awards. We had a lively discussion about the support materials needed for the E-Learning suite of awards.

The membership of the QST reflects its remit - mostly people involved in the delivery of the qualifications and includes representatives from FE, HE and the private sector.

Contact Caroline for more information about the E-Learning QST or subscribe to the public forum for this group of awards.

Monday, 28 November 2005

New Scottish education blog

There is a new blog with news and links related to Scottish education. Both myself and Nick Morgan (of LT Scotland) contribute in a personal capacity. But we're looking for more contributers.

Monday, 21 November 2005

NC review announced at Computing Network meeting

SFEU organises regular Computing Network meetings which provide an opportunity for Computing lecturers to get together to discuss current developments. I attended a Network meeting today which was held in Cumbernauld. There was a full agenda with a particular focus on vendor links.

I gave a short presentation on the National Certificate review which is about to commence. This was the first time that details about this new development have been made public and I think that the audience were interested in our plans. Everyone agreed that a review of NC was overdue. I encouraged people to subscribe to the NC Computing online community.

Contact Gerry Dougan for more information on SFEU's subject network meetings. Contact Angela Lees for more information on the NC review. I'll write to centres in the near future to formally announce this important development.

Multimedia Assessment Exemplars

Today I uploaded two Assessment Exemplar tracking proformas for the Multimedia Awards. Each proforma contains the proposed exemplars (mandatory units only). If you are interested in writing Exemplar material for this project please join the Multimedia on-line forum

NQ Units

Today I uploaded five NQ units at levels Intermediate 1 and Intermediate 2. The units are available to view at the NC online forum. Please note all units are in draft format and will be subject to minor change, the units are going for validation on 6th December 2005. The new NQ units are:

Basic ICT Skills Int 1
Internet Safety Int 2
Social Software Int 2
Computer Games Int 1
Computer Games Int 2

Thursday, 17 November 2005

Awarding Body Forum

E-Skills Sector Skills Council regularly convenes meetings of all the awarding bodies which offer S/NVQs in IT to discuss national developments and debate issues. The meetings are held across the UK.

There was an Awarding Body Forum this morning in Glasgow and hosted by SQA. Caroline and I attended on behalf of SQA and there were also representatives from City & Guilds, EdExel and BCS. A wide range of issues were discussed including changes to the qualification frameworks and the Sector Qualification Strategy.

Contact Caroline for more information about SVQ or visit the public forum.

Tuesday, 15 November 2005

Unit writing online forum

Some time ago, I created an online forum for people who were involved with writing units for SQA. The group is a public forum that anyone can join.

The e-group includes a wide range of useful resources for unit writers - such as the latest guide to unit writing [PDF] and information on core skills. The forum is not just for Computing teachers and lecturers - the resources are generic and can be used by anyone for any subject (and any level including NC and HN).

It's straight-forward to subscribe to the group. Simply send an e-mail or visit the group's home page.

Monday, 14 November 2005

Letter to centres re. HNC/D IT

I wrote a letter to centres today regarding HNC/D IT developments. It should arrive in centres later this week. Please note the reference to the public e-group which is used to support this development. Contact Angela for more information.

Friday, 11 November 2005

Computer games

I met with Ron Dillin of Stow College this morning. Ron was behind the new HNC Computer Games Development award and is now considering the development of a corresponding HND qualification. We discussed the support that SQA could provide to Ron and his team if he took this forward as a specialist development.

A couple of members of Ron's team are presently writing National Units on computer games (titled Computer Games at SCQF levels 4 and 5). These units will be available to centres by January.

Please contact Angela for more information on this area.

Tuesday, 8 November 2005

Diploma and Adv Diploma: Applications of ICT in Libraries

An update letter regarding the new Library Awards should be arriving on a desk near you. The letter has information on Validation and Approval, Support Materials and the forthcoming Launch Event. The event will take place on Friday 2nd December, in the Menzies Hotel, Glasgow, starting at 12.30pm with Lunch. Please book you place at the following There is also a public smartgroup set up to help support the new awards, where you can view and share information.

SQA E-Zine

The first edition of SQA's new electronic magazine is now available. The 'e-zine' is a good way to keep up-to-date with developments and the Computing team will be regular contributors to it. This month's edition includes a link to this blog (see Hot off the press).

You can register for future editions here.

Monday, 7 November 2005

Digital inclusion

The Scottish Executive is currently carrying out a review of digital inclusion within Scotland with a view to coming up with a sustainable strategy to tackle the digital divide. The Executive recently wrote to centres to seek their comments. I recently attended a focus group meeting to provide comments from a qualification perspective.

The consultation ends 27 January 2006.

Friday, 4 November 2005

Team meeting

The Computing team meet once per month to discuss internal and external developments.

This afternoon's meeting looked at SQA's portfolio review, our new Corporate Business Plan, and the Executive's Curriculum for Excellence. We also discussed the team's responsibilities which were updated to include Webwise which has been assigned to Angela.

Quality Network (QN) meetings are normally the preserve of SVQs but a recent change meant that we can arrange QNs for any type of qualification. We agreed to arrange a QN to support HN Computing sometime in January/February next year. Caroline is taking this forward.

New guidance on core skills

SQA has recently published updated advice [PDF] on including core skills within HN awards.

HNC Computing Graded Unit - Additional Exemplars

We held a Training Session last night in the Millennium Hotel, led by Mike Jannetta, for the writers/vetters who are producing 3 additional exemplars (versions 4, 5 & 6) for the HNC Computing Graded Unit Exam (DH36 34).

The team found the session extremely interesting and informative and are now ready to start on the first stage of the writing process.

We hope to have the packs available to centres by mid March 2006.

Thursday, 3 November 2005

New Library awards

A letter has recently been sent to centres regarding two new Professional Development Awards relating to librarians.

There will be a launch event in Glasgow on 2 December. You can register here.

E-learning poster

A poster [PDF] promoting the suite of E-Learning awards has been sent to centres today. You can get additional copies by e-mailing the Customer Contact Centre.

The information on the poster is out-of date.

Friday, 28 October 2005

1st meeting of Qualification Support Team (QST)

Today we had the first meeting of the Computing and IT Qualification Support Team (QST). The key aim of QST should be to effect on-going improvements to associated HN group awards and to exemplify national standards. The meeting was held in the Jury's Inn Hotel, Glasgow. The team consists of ten members including SQA staff. We discussed the remit and had an in-depth conversation on support materials, overall the meeting was really positive.

Wednesday, 26 October 2005

DIVA event

A new initiative was launched today at the Raddison Hotel in Glasgow. DIVA is the name of the programme to promote links between SQA and vendors. Anton Collela opened the event and expressed his enthusiasm for the development. This event marks the beginning of an exciting new development in Scottish education.

Friday, 21 October 2005

SVQ credit and levelling

I spent yesterday and today in the Jury's Inn Hotel in Glasgow. The Scottish Executive has provided funding to try to "credit rate" and "level" SVQs. Credit rating means assigning a duration to SVQs. SVQs were designed to accredit existing skills (in the workplace) so were never given a duration. Neither were they assigned a level on SCQF. So this project is an experiment to see if you can time and level SVQs.

A number of awarding bodies were involved and each invited a couple of External Verifiers to participate in the project. The purpose of these two days was to carry out training to ensure that the raters can go away from the meeting and consistently rate the SVQ units. We worked through several IT User units and before we left all of the units were assigned to EVs who are going to work in teams to rate and level the units.

Tuesday, 18 October 2005

Quality Network event - SVQ IT

The Quality Network for IT SVQs was held today at the Hilton Hotel in Glasgow. The event went well and was attended by 25 people from a mixture of private training providers, employers, colleges and unversities. Bobby commenced the meeting with a short presentation (powerpoint) giving a general update on the awards.

Moderators were also given a chance to feedback any issues arising from recent visits. The workshop session proved invaluable with many useful ideas on how SQA can help support these awards in the future.

This picture shows the SVQ team (left to right): me, Derek, Bobby, John and Jack.

Monday, 17 October 2005

New guide to unit writing

SQA has produced an updated guide for unit writers. The publication - Writing Higher National Units using the revised format - provides detailed advice on how to write HN unit specifications to SQA standards.

The document will be available from the SQA website and it's also available on the unit writing e-group [PDF]. This e-group was created to provide a forum for unit writers to exchange ideas and resolve problems relating to unit writing so prospective and practicing unit writers are encouraged to subscribe.

Friday, 7 October 2005

Multimedia meeting

We met with representatives from various colleges today to discuss HN Multimedia awards. The awards were launched in 2003, during a period when the HN design principles were being developed, and I had received lots of comments about such things are core skills and vendor compatibility.

I gave a short presentation [PPT] on the background to the meeting. The rest of the morning was spent discussing the changes that people wanted. We agreed some short-term actions (such as developing assessment exemplars and carrying out a core skill audit) and some longer term actions (such as reviewing the qualifications frameworks). We're hoping to complete the short term changes by August 2006 and the long term changes by August 2007.

Contact Angela for more information and subscribe to the public e-group to keep up-to-date with developments.

Wednesday, 5 October 2005

10,000 hits

The blog reached 10,000 hits today - small beer by Microsoft standards but a milestone for a website like this. So what started as a short-term experiment has become a permanent facility. We've used it to tell you what fills our working day - and also to record some personal experiences.

The team wouldn't bother to post messages if no-one read them so thanks for taking the time to visit the blog.

Tuesday, 4 October 2005

Team planning day

The Computing team had a planning day today. It was an opportunity for me, Vannessa, Caroline, Angela and Tony to think about our goals for next year.

We discussed a major update to the National Certificate provision, on-going HN developments (such as HNC/D IT), new HN developments (such as a review of HN Multimedia and the possibility of a new HND Computer Games Development award), additions to the E-Qualifications framework (an e-moderation qualification is a possibility), and some new Professional Development Awards (including one linked to Macromedia). We also discussed ways of promoting the new SVQs in Information Technology.

So, it looks like we'll be busy for another year.

Monday, 3 October 2005

SVQ IT Quality Network

This year's SVQ IT Quality Network will take place at the Hilton Hotel on the morning of Tuesday 18th October.

Invitations went out to all centres approximately three weeks ago so hopefully by now many of you will have signed up to attend the event.

For those who have not yet booked your place, there is still time !

To register your attendance and find out more information either e-mail or phone 0141 242 2294.

Friday, 30 September 2005

Sector Panel

The Sector Panel for Computing & Call Centres met this afternoon in Glasgow. Computing is one of three panels that have been created as part of a pilot project to evaluate the effectiveness of these groups to provide advice to SQA.

The meeting went well. Chris Morrow of E-Skills UK gave a presentation on recent research and also explained the Sector Skills Agreement. Bob McGonigle gave a presentation on SQA's work with vendors. I commenced the meeting with a short presentation on current developments such as the current review of the HNC/D IT and the planned reviews of National Certificate and HN Multimedia.

You can find out more about the Sector Panel from Caroline.

Thursday, 29 September 2005

Oracle Academy seminar

I gave a short presentation [PPT] at an Oracle Academy seminar today, which was held at the Lighthouse in Glasgow.

The purpose of the event was to provide information on the Oracle Academy programme. About 60 teachers and lecturers attended either the morning or afternoon events. The highlight was the presentation from a group of pupils from Royal High School who are currently undertaking the Oracle programme.

More information about Oracle Academy from Jane Richardson.

Tuesday, 27 September 2005

Operational guides

I received an e-mail this morning informing me that SQA has recently published new operational guids for colleges and employers and training providers.

Thursday, 22 September 2005

SETT 2005

This year's SETT conference was held yesterday and today at the SECC in Glasgow. The event was called The Scottish Learning Festival 2005. The conference had its own blog.

I didn't manage to attend yesterday but went along today. The event was very busy. There were lots of visitors and exhibitors. SQA was promoting our full range of awards but particularly e-assessment, e-learning and PC Passport.

The photos (from top down) show: Angela explaining the features of PC Passport to a couple of interested teachers, Tony showing his relief that Celtic beat Falkirk last night, and Brendan giving a demo of the Understanding Standards website.

Monday, 19 September 2005

E-Qualification letter has been sent

An E-Qualifications update letter has been sent to centres today. Check with your SQA Co-ordinator for a copy.

HNC/D IT survey

June McCamlie has created a new online survey relating to the proposed HNC/D IT frameworks. Some important questions are posed about the structure, contents and features of the awards.

Friday, 16 September 2005

Updated E-Qualification FAQ

I updated the E-Qualification FAQ today. Version 3.1 incorporates several corrections and a couple of additions. It's also available in PDF format. Note that the suite of qualifications is no longer called E-Qualifications (see question 1).

Thursday, 15 September 2005

HNC/D IT meeting

Angela and I met with June McCamlie and George Johnson this afternoon to discuss how the HNC/D IT review was going. June is the lead developer for the project and George is the convenor of the Qualification Design Team.

It's a little behind schedule so instead of aiming to hold the validation in December, it's more likely to be end-January. Progress is being made, it's just that it's taken us longer than planned to write the new units.

Subscribe to the (public) e-group is you want to keep up-to-date with developments or contact Angela if you want to contact an individual.

Friday, 9 September 2005

HND Computing launch event

Today's launch event was held in the Menzies Hotel in Glasgow. It went well. Around 40 people attended. People were particularly interested in the links with vendor qualifications which Vanessa Ranaldi described. The presentations are available here.

Tuesday, 6 September 2005

E-Mentoring qualification

I met with Grainne Hamilton of the University of Strathclyde at lunchtime today with a view to developing a new unit on online mentoring. Grainne has a lot of hands-on experience of e-moderation. The unit would be the first qualification that SQA has offered that is explicitly linked to this crucial aspect of online learning.

The unit would be available stand-alone but will probably feature within one of the existing E-Qualification awards too. I'm hoping to have it available by the end of next month.

More information from Caroline.

Monday, 5 September 2005

We did it!

We all managed to complete the Great Scottish Run yesterday - in spite of the heat. It was a fantastic day. Thanks to everyone who sponsored me or donated money. My family are amazed at the huge amount of money that has been donated. We're very grateful.

Friday, 2 September 2005

Fall in A-Level Computing entries

The Joint Council for Qualifications has recently published information on the number of A-Level entries in 2005 [PDF] for various subjects. Computing had the largest fall in uptake [PDF] over 2004. A-Level ICT also fell.

Wednesday, 31 August 2005

Out of the Office

I stop tonight for a 2 week break where I head off into the Hollywood Hills to soak up some sun.

In my absence, Angela will deal with any urgent enquiries and I shall pick up all other enquiries on my return to the office.

Have a nice day !

People wanted!

I posted a message on the SQA mailing list this morning appealing for people to assist with a number of new projects that the team are about to commence.

We're looking for unit writers/vetters, assessment writers/vetters, teaching material writers and other roles. I asked anyone who may be interested in helping to contact Angela. The work is interesting -- and paid.

Tuesday, 30 August 2005

Some SQA history for you

SQA is celebrating the 80th anniversary of HN qualifications this year. Ted Hastings recently sent me an interesting history of HNC/D Computing which he wrote in the 1990s. It brought back many (happy) memories to me since I taught these awards at both Clydebank and Cardonald colleges.

Monday, 29 August 2005

Welcome to Tony

Tony Hamilton has joined the SQA team as administrator. We've also re-shuffled some of the responsibilities within the team. You can download the current organisation chart here.

Thursday, 25 August 2005

DIVA website is now up-and-running

The SQA website now has some pages dedicated to DIVA - the Digital media and ICT Vendor Alliance. DIVA is intended to improve the vocational relevance of SQA awards - and provide learning material to centres.

Wednesday, 24 August 2005

Computer games

Angela and I visited Stow College this morning to discuss computer games. Stow recently developed an HNC Computer Games Development which they are offering this year for the first time. I was there to discuss how SQA could support the new award. We agreed to develop a number of assessment exemplars.

We also discussed the possibility of devising one or two National Units in this area - specifically units (probably called Computer Games) at Intermediate 1 (SCQF 4) and Intermediate 2 (SCQF 5). These new units would be part of the on-going modernisation of National Certificate provision.

You can get more information about the HNC award from Angela Lees.

Tuesday, 16 August 2005

HND Computing launch event

Angela is currently organising a launch event for the new HND Computing award.

The event takes place on Friday 9 September in Glasgow and provides an opportunity for SQA and staff from centres to discuss the unique features of this new award such as its strong links with vendor certification.

You can register online by clicking on this button:

Register Online at

Sunday, 14 August 2005

Great Scottish Run

Sorry for using the blog for a personal reason but it's for charity so I thought it would be OK.

I'm running in this year's Great Scottish Run on behalf of Cancer Research and I'm looking for sponsorship. All donations go straight to Cancer Research.

Thursday, 11 August 2005

E-group FAQ

I updated the e-group FAQ this morning. Groups come and go so it's worth checking the FAQ to find out what groups are available.

Tuesday, 9 August 2005

Online assessments for HNC/D Computing

I met with Graeme Clark this afternoon to discuss online assessments. Graeme is working with SQA to develop a number of online assessments as part of the SOLAR project. He updated me on progress and developments.

The purpose of the SOLAR project is to develop a large number of online assessments for a range of HN subjects - including Computing. In fact, the project will produce 160 complete assessments for units within HNC/D Computing. These assessments should be available to centres from early next year.

We agreed to extend the project to include Multimedia and Computer Games (and possibly Networking) so some assessments within these subjects will be covered too.

Big day for Scottish students

Almost 150,000 Scottish students received their exam results today. The results continued the improvement of recent years.

Friday, 5 August 2005

HN toolit

SQA provides a toolkit for centres that wish to develop their own ("centre-devised") awards. It contains lots of useful procedures and forms. The toolkit has recently been updated.

Wednesday, 3 August 2005

New National Certificate community

I've created a new community for people interested in National Certificate provision in Computing/IT.

We are currently developing a number of new units in this area and a review of the whole NC portfolio will take place later this year so it seemed a good idea to create a dedicated forum.

You can subscribe by visiting the home page or sending an e-mail.

Tuesday, 2 August 2005

£100 grant for IT training

Today's Herald has a front page story about Individual Learning Accounts. Every adult in Scotland is now entitled to a £100 grant towards certificated IT training up to SCQF level 5 (Intermediate 2).

A wide range of Computing awards can be used -- but PC Passport (at Intermediate 1/2 levels) is particularly suitable. The low cost of PC Passport should mean that centres can effectively offer this qualification for £10 (the minimum charge) - which will make it hugely attractive to prospective students.

Centres should expect a big increase in interest when they are enrolling.

Friday, 15 July 2005

Vendor PDAs

I am pleased to let you know that we have five new PDAs linked to Vendor qualifications now available. The awards are:

G7WM 15 Certificate in Computer Support (ComptTIA A+, Network+ and Server+)
G7W4 15 Certificate in Desktop Support (Microsoft Certified Desktop Support Technician)
G7W5 17 Advanced Cert. in Systems Administration (Microsoft Certified Systems Administrator)
G7WP 18 Advanced Diploma in Network Technology (CISCO Certified Network Associate)
G7W6 18 Advanced Diploma in Systems Engineering (Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer)
G7WN 17 Advanced Cert. in Database Programming (Oracle Certified Associate)

Please get in touch with myself should you require a copy of the framework for any of these awards. The Unit Specifications are available for download via the SQA website.

Thursday, 14 July 2005

E-assessment survey results

Some time ago, I asked people to complete a short questionnaire about e-assessment. I promised to share the results. They are here.

Thanks very much to the 534 people who took the time to complete the survey (which is probably the biggest response we've ever had to a survey). We're currently deciding what we should do in response to the findings.

Friday, 8 July 2005

Library awards are now validated

The PDAs for librarians were validated this morning. The recent validation event placed several conditions on the proposals but these have now been satisfied and the awards are now approved. Contact Angela for more information.

Thursday, 7 July 2005

Safe Internet Use and Social Software units

The Web Log unit was the first in a series of new National Certificate units being produced by SQA to update our non-advanced portfolio of units. We're also working on a new unit on social software and another new unit on Internet safety.

The Internet safety unit is called Safe & Legal Use of the Internet and will be of interest to a wide range of people, ranging from school pupils to teachers who want to know more about this important aspect of online activity. There is a draft version available and I'm looking for feedback (please post a comment on this blog).

The other new unit is called Social Software and deals with the emerging area of group/community software. There is a unit outline available and, again, I'm looking for feedback (via this blog).

Blogging, social software and Internet safety may be particularly attractive to female students who appear to be losing interest in the more traditional aspects of computing/IT.

Contact Angela for more information about these developments.

Monday, 4 July 2005

HNC Computer Games Development is now validated

The conditions imposed at the recent validation event have been addressed and the qualification is now validated. The qualification will be on SQA's system in a couple of weeks. Congratulations to the Qualification Design Team at Stow College.

More information is available from Angela.

Friday, 1 July 2005

Support material for the Blog unit

I just commissioned support material for the new Blog unit. There will be sample assessments and learning material to support the unit.

I'm not sure about dates yet but I expect the assessments to be available for September and the teaching material to be available around October.

We're taking an unusual approach to the development of learning material. In the spirit of the new Social Software unit that we're working on, we're planning on producing the material collaboratively using a wiki. We'll use WikiBooks to develop and distribute it. So we're hoping that lots of people will contribute (but SQA will pay someone to develop most of the material). More information will follow.

Thursday, 30 June 2005

Blog traffic increases

June was the best ever month for the blog, with almost 1500 hits during the month. That's almost twice as high as the previous best month. It's good to see people begin to visit the site regularly.

Wednesday, 22 June 2005

Vendor validation - Part 2

We validated three more Professional Development Awards today. Last month we validated three PDAs linked to Microsoft certification. Today's awards are linked to different vendors:
  • Certificate in Computer Concepts (linked to CompTIA)
  • Advanced Certificate in Database Programming (linked to Oracle)
  • Advanced Diploma in Network Technology (linked to Cisco).

The validation went well. The Validation Panel (led by Sarah Lennox of CompTIA) placed two conditions and two recommendations on the proposals. We're hoping to have the awards validated by the beginning of July.

More information from Caroline.

Monday, 20 June 2005

Visit to Abertay regarding computer games

I attended a meeting at Abertay University today to discuss a local development relating to computer games. The Dundee-based Access to Industry programme wants to offer games-based curriculum to its students (mostly disadvantaged young people) and I was there to suggest suitable courses.

The meeting was interested in Stow College's recent award. But I couldn't offer many specific units relating to computer games (at NC or HN level). So it was agreed to take this forward with a view to creating specific interactive units at National and Higher National levels. This development has the support of SkillSet which has standards relating to interactive media.

It will also link with the updating of the National Certificate portfolio which is about to be revised to include more up-to-date provision.

Sunday, 19 June 2005

Walter Patterson retires

Walter Patterson retired last week. I attended Walter's retirement celebration on Friday evening. It was held in the Glasgow Metropolitan College.

Walter has been an HMI for nearly 20 years and during that time he has been instrumental in shaping Computing/IT education within Scotland. His knowledge, experience and unique character will be sorely missed.

I've served on numerous committees with him - many of which were difficult meetings but Walter always handled them well. I remember one in particular when Walter was trying to introduce the Internet only to be angrily told that "The Internet's a fad! It won't be here next year!". Walter, thankfully, persevered.

I've known Walter for more than 10 years but I didn't know that he was a comedian - but he held the floor for the last 30 minutes of the evening and his talk was hilarious.

Thursday, 16 June 2005

HND blog

I created a blog to record the development of the new HND Computing award. It didn't really work. It received 667 hits - which is a lot less than I expected. So it can't be considered a success.

Which is a little surprising since the basic blog format (a chronological journal) seems a good way to record the developments that take place when creating a new qualification.

I guess we'll have to reflect on the HND Computing blog and try to figure out why it didn't work and how we can improve the next one.

HND Computing Arrangements updated

The HND Computing Arrangements have been updated to remove some typos. The new version (v1.1) [PDF] was uploaded to the HN Computing e-group this morning.

Monday, 13 June 2005

HND Computing letter

I arranged for a letter to be sent to centres this morning. The letter contains important information about the new HND (such as the run-out dates of the existing awards).

The letter (and enclosures) should arrive in centres next week.

Sunday, 12 June 2005

Angela's wedding

Angela got married yesterday. So she's now Angela Lees - not Angela Orr. She looked beautiful and we all had a great day.

Friday, 10 June 2005

Blog unit is now available

The National Unit on blogging is now finalised. Weblogs [DOC] is an Intermediate 2 unit which covers the basics of finding, creating and tracking blogs. It shows how to locate blogs, what blogs can be used for, how to create and use a blog, and how to track blogs using aggregation tools (such as RSS). It's not entirely hands-on since students are exposed to the history of blogs, shown how to evaluate a blog, and introduced to the theory of aggregation. The unit also places blogs in the wider context of social software.

It's an interesting and straight-forward unit that should appeal to students. The resource requirements are low; students simply require access to the Internet and can use a free blogging service such as Blogger. The unit can be used as part of a National Certificate programme within colleges or free-standing within schools.

Although the unit is finalised, is it not available to centres until 2 August.

Monday, 6 June 2005

Connected journal

The Summer 2005 edition of Learning & Teaching Scotland's Connected journal has a feature on blogging - including an article on this blog. A paper copy of the journal should be arriving in (school) staffrooms now and a digital version is available on the LTS website.

Saturday, 4 June 2005

Moderators' meeting

The Computing Moderators' responsible for HNs and SVQs met today to discuss developments in these areas. The meeting was led by Deryck Nutley. The focus of this full day meeting was SVQs. Jack Robertson and Jack Coleman provides training on the new IT User and IT Professional SVQs. Also in attendance was Caroline Douglas who is the SQA Officer responsible for these awards.

Friday, 3 June 2005

Computer games qualification

Stow College has been developing a new award entitled HNC Computer Games Development during the last 18 months -- and today was the culmination of those efforts when the college hosted the validation event.

After serving on the Qualification Design Team during the HND Computing validation event, it was a pleasure being on the other side of the table today! The photo below shows the QDT for this award, led by David Hughes.

The validation event went very smoothly -- mainly due to the high quality of the documentation which was created by Mike Docherty (seen speaking here).

Although the award was not validated until certain conditions were met, the conditions were minor and the team hope to have the award validated by the end of this month.

Thursday, 2 June 2005

Unit writers' training

The HNC/D IT award is developing at pace and there was a training event for unit writers today at the Menzies Hotel in Glasgow. Me, June McCamlie and Angela Orr provides guidance to the prospective unit writers. I also encouraged them to subscribe to the (public) unit writers forum.

I was keen to get this training done before the summer holiday since I am hoping that most of the writing will get done during the holiday so that we have well developed units available by the autumn, when I will post them on the public forum for feedback.

Angela Orr is the SQA officer with specific responsibility for this award.

Tuesday, 31 May 2005

New librarian qualifications

My team are responsible for Computing/IT, E-Qualifications and Library awards -- but we don't develop many qualifications for librarians. So it was a particular pleasure to go forward for validation this morning for two new library awards: the Certificate in Applications of ICT in Libraries and the Advanced Certificate in Applications of ICT in Libraries. These new Professional Development Awards are designed for practicing librarians - of which there are 4000 in Scotland alone - although we're hoping that these awards will have international appeal.

This development has been led by Rhona Arthur of SLIC. The funding was provided by the Big Lottery Fund. Cleo Jones (Edinburgh Council) chaired the Validation Panel.

The validation event went well. The Panel felt that the level of the awards should be increased and it was agreed to re-title the awards: Diploma in Applications of ICT in Libraries and Advanced Diploma in Applications of ICT in Libraries. Although a number of conditions were placed on the proposals, we're confident that the awards can be approved by the end of June.

Angela Orr is the SQA contact for these awards.

Monday, 30 May 2005

HND Computing Arrangements

Today is a milestone. Caroline uploaded the definitive HND Computing Arrangements to the HN e-group! The Arrangements will also be uploaded to the SQA website later this week.

I'm currently working on an update letter that will be sent to centres in the near future. This letter will contain information about a launch event (for HND Computing) that will take place in August or September.

Thursday, 26 May 2005

Central moderation

Central moderation takes place today and tomorrow. This involves the HN moderation team reviewing exam papers and student scripts [ASF]. Each centre is required to submit a sample of scripts which the moderators go over to check that standards are consistent from centre to centre.

This year's event takes place in the Marriott Hotel (Glasgow). The moderators enjoy the opportunity to discuss standards; a face-to-face meeting means that they have the opportunity to debate problems that arise as they review scripts.

Sometimes you just need to get away from the crowd.

Monday, 23 May 2005

New HNC/D IT forum

A new e-group was created today to support the review of the HNC/D IT award. The group is public and is designed to keep lecturers up-to-date with developments and also to provide feedback to the Qualification Design Team.

You can subscribe to the group by visiting the home page or sending an e-mail.

Wednesday, 18 May 2005

HND Computing is validated!

The convenor of the Validation Panel today confirmed that the validation conditions had been met and that the new awards are now approved.

This is great news. The HND development has taken a couple of years and this is the culmination of a greal deal of work by the Qualification Design Team, led by Mike Jannetta. I'll arrange for the Arrangements documentation to be uploaded to the HN e-group and also the SQA website so look out for this. I'll also write to centres to formally announce the validation of the new awards. But you can contact Angela Lees if you need a copy of the Arrangements immediately.

Validation of Microsoft PDAs

We held a validation event for three vendor-related PDAs today. The awards are linked to Microsoft certification:
  • Certificate in Desktop Support (linked to MCDST)
  • Advanced Certificate in Network Administration (linked to MCSA)
  • Advanced Diploma in Networking Technology (linked to and MCSE)

The event went well. Although the Panel imposed conditions, there was nothing that the Qualification Design Team can't action quickly. We're hoping to have the awards available to centres by the end of June.

Tuesday, 17 May 2005

E-Skills seminar

The E-Skills Sector Skills Council held an information seminar in Glasgow this morning to answer questions about the new SVQs in Information Technology. There was a good turn-out at The Corinthians in the city centre.

Chris Morrow described some of the resources available to support the new awards - including a new website to support the new Standards.

Both myself and a representative from Scottish Enterprise answered questions relating to the new qualifications.

Monday, 16 May 2005

Design Team meeting for IT

The Qualification Development Team responsible for creating a new national framework for HNC/D Information Technology met today at the Stirling Management Centre. The purpose of the meeting was to determine the core skills that the new awards should include and also to make a first attempt at a qualification framework. The Team is led by George Johnson of Reid Kerr College; June McCamlie is the lead developer; and Angela Orr is the Qualification Officer responsible for this project. We're hoping to have the new awards validated by December and available to centres from January 2006 so there's a lot of work to be done between now and then.

Friday, 13 May 2005

Happy birthday blog!

The blog is one year old today! It was started on 13 May, 2004. It was actually done as an experiment to see if a blog would be useful to teachers and lecturers with an interest in Computing/IT qualifications. So far the blog has had over 400o hits - that's more than 15 hits per (working) day - so it appears to be quite popular.

The blog was also intended to reduce the clutter in your inbox. Instead of "pushing" information to you via your e-mail program (as mailing lists do), a blog "pulls" information by (hopefully) attracting you to a website where you can find information at a time that suits you.

I'm hoping that during the coming year more people will contribute to the blog - that includes SQA staff (who can post new messages) and readers (who can comment on existing posts). We really would like to hear from you via the comment facility.

We're grateful to you for taking the time to visit the blog. Don't forget to bookmark it and come back regularly!

Thursday, 12 May 2005

SQA Customer Conference

The first ever SQA Customer Conference was held today at the Radisson Hotel in Glasgow. Around 700 people attended. The purpose of the conference was to highlight some key SQA developments - including PC Passport and E-Qualifications. There were presentations and stands where people could get information and collect materials. The PC Passport and E-Qualifications stands were very popular... we ran out of materials for E-Qualifications! So it was a very successful day.

There were rolling presentations on E-Qualifications throughout the day. Attendance at the seminars was good - except the 5 o'clock showing which had one person!

The E-Qualifications stand was busy. Lots of teachers, lecturers and trainers wanted to know more about this suite of awards. Many were considering doing one of these awards themselves for their own professional development.

The PC Passport stand attracted people who wanted to know more about this popular suite of IT awards.

Monday, 9 May 2005

Welcome to Angela

Angela Lees joined the Computing team this morning. Angela is a Qualifications Officer, working alongside Caroline. Some of you may know Angela as Angela Orr - but she's getting married in a few weeks so it seems easier to refer to her by her married name. Either name will work if you want to contact her.

Angela has specific responsibilities - the main one being Higher National awards. So she's the person that you would contact for matters relating to HNC/D Computing for example. She's also involved with the review of HNC/D Information Technology.

I've updated the team's organisation chart to show who-does-what.

Tuesday, 3 May 2005

Customer Conference

The first-ever SQA Customer Conference takes place next week - and it includes two sessions of particular interest. The programme [PDF] includes a session on PC Passport and another on E-Qualifications. I'm doing the E-Qualifications presentation which takes places at 11am, 3pm and 5pm (for 45 minutes). There's still time to register [PDF].

I'm meeting with my team today to discuss the arrangements for next week.

Monday, 25 April 2005

Welcome to Emma

A new administrator started today. Emma Bannerman replaces Tamsin Rae as administrator to the Care and Computing teams (we share her). Emma is just back from touring various parts of the world and is new to SQA so it will take her a little while to become familiar with our processes and procedures. But she's willing to learn! So contact her if you have any queries relating to HN/SVQ Computing/IT.

Wednesday, 20 April 2005

HNC/D IT seminar

I attended a seminar today at Stirling Management Centre to discuss developments relating to the new HNC/D Information Technology. Robert Quinn (SQA) and George Johnson (Reid Kerr College) led the meeting. The purpose of the meeting was the update everyone about progress to date and also to seek feedback on certain key issues. It was a good meeting [ASF] and there was a lot of agreement. Around forty people attended. We're hoping to have the new awards (HNC IT and HND IT) available to centres by January 2006. Angela Orr is co-ordinating this development from the SQA end. And look out for a new public e-group relating to these awards in the near future.

HNC/D IT Qualification Design Team

Monday, 18 April 2005

Computing team

I updated the team's organisation chart today to show who does what. Please note that this diagram does not include the NQ team.

Friday, 15 April 2005

Oracle developments

I met with Jane Richardson of Oracle this morning to discuss the links between SQA and Oracle.

Jane has recruited 14 new Scottish teachers to the Oracle Academy programme. The teachers come from various Scottish schools and colleges. They head to California for training this summer. The training takes place in July at UCLA and lasts for eight days (including a free weekend she pointed out!).

We're hoping to jointly develop a hybrid Higher - a single curriculum that covers the Higher Information Systems syllabus as well as the Oracle Academy programme. This sounds like an exciting development which we hope will be available to centres from August 2006.

Thursday, 14 April 2005

Business Development Manager

You might hear another new name in the coming months. Bob Marren has been attached to the Computing team as Business Development Manager (BDM). Many of you will know Bob from his days as External Moderator (aka Moderator) for Computing. He also taught at Falkirk College for many years.

I met with Bob this morning to discuss his new role. The BDM role is pretty varied but, as Bob put it, "I'm here to help". More specifically, he's here to develop relationships with SQA's customers, help to resolve problems, and promote SQA's awards within the UK and internationally. Pity he can't also check unit specifications and proof-read assessment exemplars. :-)

Tuesday, 12 April 2005

Caroline, Bobby and Angela

Monday, 11 April 2005

Welcome to Angela

Angela Orr is about to join the Computing team within SQA as Qualifications Officer. Angela is currently an administrator with the National Qualifications team but has previously worked with HN/SVQ awards. She will have particular involvement with HN awards (including Computing, Networking and Multimedia) and some PDAs (such as the Library awards).

Angela is due to begin on Monday 9 May.

Monday, 4 April 2005

Vendor qualifications

We decided today to develop five new Professional Development Awards (PDAs) linked to vendor qualifications. The awards are:
  1. Certificate in Computing Concepts (ComptTIA A+, Network+ and Server+)
  2. Certificate in Desktop Support (Microsoft Certified Desktop Support)
  3. Advanced Cert. in Systems Administration (MS Certified Systems Administrator)
  4. Advanced Cert. in Network Administration (CISCO Certified Network Administrator)
  5. Diploma in Systems Engineering (MS Certified Systems Engineer).

We're also planning on producing a database qualification linked to Oracle.

The qualifications will consist of units selected from the HNC/D Computer Networking and HNC/D Computing frameworks. I'm hoping to have them available to centres from August. More information from Caroline.

Friday, 1 April 2005

New qualifications for librarians

I met with Rhona Arthur of SLIC this morning to discuss progress with the development of new qualifications for librarians.

Ted Hastings is leading a team of writers to develop two Professional Development Awards: Certificate in Applications of ICT in Libraries and Advanced Certificate in Applications of ICT in Libraries. The first award is SCQF level 7 and the second one is a mix of level 7 and level 8.

The qualifications are designed for practising librarians - either to certificate their existing skills or to form the basis of a training programme for new starts.

They are due to be validated on 31 May and available to centres in the autumn.

Wednesday, 30 March 2005

New National Units

Following on from the new blogging unit, I have commissioned a writer to produce two additional National Units: Social Software (probably Intermediate 2) and Internet Safety (either Intermediate 1 or Intermediate 2).

The unit relating to social software is particularly interesting since this is a new and exciting field. We think that it will be the first national qualification in the world relating to this emerging area of activity.

Tuesday, 22 March 2005

Sector Panel meeting

The Sector Panel for Computing and Call Centres met today for the first time at Lauder College in Dunfermline.

The Sector Panel's remit is to support the Qualifications Manager (that's me) and advise SQA about potential developments that we should consider. Members have been selected from colleges (such as Stow College and Cumbernauld College), industry (such as Microsoft and Oracle), training centres, and special interest groups (such as the Scottish Executive).

Since this was the first meeting, most of the time was spent explaining the role of the Panel and introducing the members. But a number of key developers (such as Mike Janetta and Jack Robertson) came along to explain recent changes to Computing provision [WMV].

It was a good meeting. The Panel meets twice per year and the next meeting is scheduled for September.

Monday, 21 March 2005

HND Computing validation event

The HND Computing validation event was held today. More information on the HND Computing review blog.

Sunday, 20 March 2005

E-Qualifications assessment writers

A small group of writers spent yesterday and today at the Stirling Highland Hotel writing assessment exemplars for the new suite of E-Qualifications awards. It was a very productive weekend with most of the work complete by the time the team went home on Sunday afternoon.

Friday, 18 March 2005

E-Qualifications Launch

Today we held the Launch of the E-Qualifications suite of PDA awards in the Stirling Highland Hotel. The event went well with approximately 40 delegates in attendance.

Joe Wilson introduced the awards and both John Gordon and Jim Everett who were part of the Qualification Design Team spoke about each of the 5 PDA awards listed below.

  1. Certificate in Online Learning
  2. Diploma in E-Learning: Production
  3. Diploma in E-Learning: Delivery
  4. Diploma in E-Assessment
  5. Advanced Diploma in E-Learning

Graeme Clark also came along to the event to discuss briefly the current developments within E-Assessment/SOLAR project.

Friday, 4 March 2005

E-Assessment Conference - Day 2

London in the snow
Originally uploaded by bobbyelliott.

London looked more like Moscow when I woke this morning. It was freezing. This photo was taken from my hotel room.

The second day of the Conference included a keynote address from Mary Cook of QCA, speaking about Regulation & E-Assessment. Other speakers included Sarah Knight of JISC and Sue Walton of QCA who provided an update on the use of e-assessment within Key Stage 3 ICT.

Thursday, 3 March 2005

E-Assessment Conference

Martin Ripley
Originally uploaded by bobbyelliott.

The E-Assessment Conference was held in London today (and continues tomorrow). This is the third year of the event and the turn-out was much higher than previous years (more than 200 people compared to less than 100 two years ago). There were representatives from most UK awarding bodies as well as representatives from many colleges (including Glenrothes College in Scotland).

The photo shows Martin Ripley of QCA giving the keynote speech. Martin outlined QCA's ambition plans for e-assessment in England and Wales. The day consisted of a number of presentations and seminars. Presentations included E-Assessment in Vocational Education (Pat Craven of OCR) and The Power of the E-Portfolio (Mike Dawe of City & Guilds).

I gave a short presentation on E-Qualifications which was well received and generated a lot of interest. Not surprisingly, the e-assessment award (the Diploma in E-Assessment) was of particular interest.

Wednesday, 2 March 2005

SVQ launch

Glasgow Science Centre
Originally uploaded by bobbyelliott.

The SVQ launch event was held at the Glasgow Science Centre today. Almost 100 people attended the events (one was held in the morning and one in the afternoon).

Chris Morrow of E-Skills explained the differences between the new awards and the old, and emphasised the flexibility of the new qualifications. Dougie Somner of Scottish Enterprise expressed his support for this initiative.

I described SQA's support to SVQ centres and urged everyone to subscribe to the SVQ online community.

All of the the presentations are available from Tamsin Rae (Powerpoint format).

Tuesday, 1 March 2005

Preparing for the E-Qualifications launch

E-Qual team meeting
Originally uploaded by bobbyelliott.

Some key members of the E-Qualifications development team met this afternoon to discuss the forthcoming launch event. The purpose of the meeting was to plan the event and agree who's-doing-what.

Pictured from left to right are: Caroline Douglas (Qualifications Officer), Tamsin Rae (Administrator), Jim Everett (Diploma in E-Learning: Delivery) and John Gordon (lead consultant).

Monday, 28 February 2005

Blogging qualification

I've received a draft version of a new unit on blogging. Web Logs is a single credit, National Unit at Intermediate 2 level (SCQF level 5) consisting of three outcomes:
  • locate and review blogs
  • create a blog
  • create a newsfeed to track blogs.
If approved, this could be the world's first national qualification on blogging.

Friday, 25 February 2005

HN CRAG meeting

Originally uploaded by bobbyelliott.

The HN Computing Review Advisory Group (HNCRAG) met this afternoon for one final look at the new HND Computing Arrangements before they go forward for validation next month.

Wednesday, 23 February 2005

Sector Panel for Computing and Call Handling

I attended a meeting this afternoon to discuss a new forum with responsibility for HN/SVQ awards. It's called the Sector Panel for Computing & Call Handling. It's main purpose is to support SQA staff through the provision of advice, information and guidance from key occupational stakeholders.

The Computing & Call Handling group has representation from E-Skills UK, Microsoft, CompTIA, Cisco, Oracle as well as representatives from Scottish colleges and training providers, and the Scottish Executive. So it's shaping-up to be a good Panel.

The first meeting will take place on Tuesday, 22 March.

Monday, 21 February 2005

SVQ pre-launch meeting

SQA 003
Originally uploaded by bobbyelliott.

The SVQ launch event takes place next week and I met with a couple of the speakers to discuss arrangements. Jack Robertson (left, front) will talk about the IT User awards and Jack Coleman (left, rear) will speak on IT Practitioner/Professional awards.

Caroline Douglas (right, front) is over-seeing the organisation of the event and Tamsin Rae (right, rear) is the official SQA coffee-pourer (Tasmin is actually providing admin support for the event).

You can still register for the morning or the afternoon event or contact Tamsin if you want to find out more about it.

Thursday, 17 February 2005

Awarding Body Forum

SQA 001
Originally uploaded by bobbyelliott.

The first Awarding Body Forum of the year was held today, at the BCS headquarters in central London.

These meetings are organised by E-Skills and most awarding bodies attend. They provides opportunities for E-Skills to update the ABs on what's happening with National Occupational Standards and also give the ABs an opportunity to raise issues with E-Skills.

All of the ABs are in the throes of launching the new S/NVQs in Information Technology and this raised lots of issues.

Monday, 14 February 2005

E-assessment survey

I am a member of the Online Assessment Guidance Group which is responsible for, err, providing guidance to centres about online assessment. It seemed sensible to begin this task by asking people what they want SQA to produce so we created an online survey. The survey is short and will take less than 10 minutes to complete. The results will determine our future actions in this area. Please click here to complete the survey.

Monday, 24 January 2005

Qualification Officer wanted

You might have noticed the advert for new Qualification Officers (QOs) in Friday's Herald? We're looking for three new QOs - and one of them will join the Computing team. The successful person will help me develop and support Computing/IT qualifications within colleges and training centres including HN awards and SVQs. You would join a small, friendly team. More information here.

Thursday, 20 January 2005

DEeLTA Steering Group

DEeLTA Steering Group
Originally uploaded by bobbyelliott.
I attended the first meeting of the DEeLTA Steering Group today. DEeLTA is a project, funded by ESF, to enhance e-learning within the UK. The project is managed by Clive Young of Caledonian University.

The main purpose of the project is to produce two modules at Masters degree level (SCQF level 11). My interest is to ensure that this new curriculum fits in with E-Qualifications. I'm hoping that the new modules build on the Advanced Diploma in E-Learning and provide an opportunity for students to progress directly from the Advanced Dip. to a Masters degree.

Wednesday, 19 January 2005

NetSkills and E-Qualifications

Joe Wilson and I attended a meeting with Charlie Sweeney of Jisc and Dave Hartland of NetSkills this morning to see if the excellent NetSkills training programmes can be used support the E-Qualifications suite of awards.

NetSkills training material covers a wide range of topics - including e-learning - and is used by a large number of Scottish colleges. So it makes sense to recognise this training and accredit it where it contributes to an SQA qualification... and we're hoping that the material covers a part of the E-Qualification suite.

The first stage is to map NetSkills courses onto the E-Qualifications framework and then take it from there. Watch this space.

Tuesday, 18 January 2005

Computer games visit to Dundee

I went to Dundee today to look at developments within the computer games industry within Scotland. I visited Abertay University and the offices of Visual Science, a successful games company located in the Technology Park.

The purpose of the visit was to try to identify how SQA could support the efforts of the Scottish games industry. It gave us lots of ideas. Hopefully something concrete will come of it.

I'm grateful to Alasdair Smith of SkillSet for arranging the visit.

Monday, 17 January 2005

Full-time moderator wanted

Some of you may have a noticed a recent advert for new full-time moderators - including one for Computing. The post is initially for 12 months but this may be extended for a further year. More details here.

It's an exciting position. It will give you a tremendous insight into national standards. And, given the number of developments in Computing/IT, I can promise that there will never be a dull moment!

Tuesday, 11 January 2005

ICT for Librarians

I met with Rhona Arthur of SLIC this morning to discuss a new IT qualification aimed at librarians. Rhona has received funding from the Big Lottery Fund to improve the IT skills of UK librarians - and she wants SQA to provide a qualification.

It's early days but at this stage the goal is to produce an Advanced Diploma (maybe called Advanced Diploma in ICT for Librarians). Ted Hastings will lead the Qualification Design Team.

This is an exciting project for SQA. The award would be UK-wide (potentially 22,000 candidates across the UK) and the level of the award is likely to be high (SCQF 8-10).

Monday, 10 January 2005

Welcome to June

June McCamlie joined the SQA Computing team today. She was seconded from South Lanarkshire College where she was a Lecturer in Computing. Her initial appointment lasts until 31 March.

June will assist with a variety of tasks - but especially the HND Computing review.

Thursday, 6 January 2005

Candidate portfolios for IT User SVQs

The SQA website has been updated to include the candidate portfolios for each of the units in the SVQs for IT Users.

E-Qualifications update letter

A letter has been sent to centres today that provides important information relating to the new suite of E-Qualification awards. This letter should arrive in centres early next week.

Please note that the letter includes details about a forthcoming launch event which will take place on 18 March at the Stirling Highland Hotel. We are currently accepting online registrations for this event.

Wednesday, 5 January 2005

Back at the office today

Most SQA staff returned from annual leave today. We're looking forward to the coming year. I'm hoping that the focus this year is supporting the introduction of new qualifications - rather than creating lots of new ones. The team has managed and supported the development of 25 new qualifications in the last 18 months - so it's time to consolidate.

The main tasks facing the team include:
  • validating the revised HND Computing
  • producing support materials for the new HND Computing
  • producing support materials for the Multimedia awards
  • helping centres to introduce the new Computing, Multimedia and Networking qualifications
  • promoting and supporting the new SVQs for IT Users
  • launching the new SVQs for IT Practitioners
  • launching the new E-Qualifications suite of awards
  • producing support materials for the E-Qualifications suite of awards.

The team itself is changing. Shirley has recently been seconded to a new post. Caroline takes over from her. Another Officer (in addition to Caroline) will join the team in the next few months. And a new administrator will complete the changes.