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.