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.