Tuesday, 19 December 2006

HN Computing Digital Learning Materials

The CD-ROMs (HTML & SCORM V1.2) containing interactive materials produced using Course Genie for the following Units have been distributed to SQA Co-ordinators at all FE Centres:

DH2T 34 - Computer Architecture 1
D75X 34 - Information Technology: Applications Software 1
DH3E 35 - Software Development: Structured Programming
DH35 34 - Computing: Planning
DH33 34 - Computer Operating Systems 1
DH21 34 - Working within a Project Team

This material is also available online at the following URL:

Tuesday, 12 December 2006

Electronic Noticeboards

An informal method of communication within the field, via Smartgroups, have been withdrawn and we have set up a number of Yahoo groups which are detailed below –
(HN Awards (Cognate Groups 357 & 358))
(NC Digital Media Computing)
(e-learning suite of PDAs)
(PC Passport)

We would like to invite you, and/or colleagues, to join the forum(s) which may help you to connect with other practitioners in the field. To join send an e-mail to the owner of the group(s) that you wish to be a member.

Examination Exemplars

In a previous correspondence it was stated “Previous HNC Computing examination exemplars are being withdrawn from the SQA secure website as these are now considered to be in the ‘public domain’. It is recommended that these should not be used as summative assessment but it is suggested that they can be used for practice or prelims. Using any version which has been withdrawn may cause difficulties at any central verification event.” So a centre should use the newly published exemplars as follows –

· 3 x HNC Computing (ie v7, v8 and v9)
· 3 x HNC Multimedia Interactive: Creation (ie v1, v2 and v3)
· 3 x HNC Information Technology (ie v1, v2 and v3)

The new exemplars covering the aforementioned HNCs will be available from the SQA secure website (as soon as possible). These exemplars, along with a prelim, are also available for delivery through the SQA SOLAR e-assessment project for those centres that we are working with on an e-enabling project.

Please contact Caroline Douglas ( 0845 213 5476 if you require further information relating to this development.

Modification to Unit Specifications

No further changes will be made to unit specifications in this academic year. Any proposed modification to specifications will take place next summer (ie July 2007) when we will write to centres to give an update on these changes as recommended by the QST (Qualifications Support Team).

Please contact Mike Jannetta ( 0845 213 5473 if you require further information.

Heads of Centre/Computing Meeting

This event is being held at the SFEU, Argyll Court, Castle Business Park, Stirling, FK9 4TY on the 1st of February 2007. In order that we know which centre individuals are attending could you please register your attendees (up to 2 per centre) at the following link –

This event is a continuation from the last event held in Glasgow in November. At this event, we stated that there was a lot happening, here at the SQA, so this event is being held for the following reasons –

To keep FE centres up-to-date with the current developments -

  • PC Passport
  • NC Digital Media Computing
  • HN Multimedia Awards (suite)
  • And others
  • DIVA project – New Partners and Developments
  • PDA Developments
  • Trends in Computing

Please contact Angela Lees ( 0845 213 5475 if you require further information relating to this Heads of Computing/Centre event.

PDA Event

This event is being held at SFEU, Argyll Court, Castle Business Park, Stirling, FK9 4TY on the 19th of January 2007 and you, or individuals from your centre, can register by visiting the following web link –

This event will officially launch the following awards –
  • G7WM 15 PDA Certificate in Computer Support
  • G7W4 15 PDA Certificate in Desktop Support
  • G7WN 17 PDA Advanced Certificate in Database Programming
  • G7W5 17 PDA Advanced Certificate in Systems Administration
  • G7WP 18 PDA Advanced Diploma in Network Technology
  • G7W6 18 PDA Advanced Diploma in Systems Engineering
  • G5X2 17 PDA Advanced Certificate in Networking
  • G8E7 15 PDA Certificate in IT Service Management
  • G7WW16 PDA Diploma in Applications of ICT in Libraries
  • G7WV18 PDA Advanced Diploma in Applications of ICT in Libraries
This event is targeted at managers, or front-line staff, with each of these PDAs being covered in a morning session. In the afternoon, we will be hosting workshops which are designed to assist us in establishing items that could be introduced to help stimulate the evening and part-time provision in the Computing and IT area.

Please contact Caroline Douglas ( 0845 213 5476 if you require further information relating to this event.

Wednesday, 29 November 2006

PDA Event

There is a PDA (Professional Development Awards) Event being held on the 19.01.07. This will be held at SFEU, Stirling and you can register by going to this link.

In the morning, we will be launching the current PDAs (AM) which consist of the following -
  • G7WM 15 PDA Certificate in Computer Support
  • G7W4 15 PDA Certificate in Desktop Support
  • G7WN 17 PDA Advanced Certificate in Database Programming
  • G7W5 17 PDA Advanced Certificate in Systems Administration
  • G7WP 18 PDA Advanced Diploma in Network Technology
  • G7W6 18 PDA Advanced Diploma in Systems Engineering
  • G7WW 16 PDA Diploma in Applications of ICT in Libraries
  • G7WW 18 PDA Advanced Diploma in Applications of ICT in Libraries
  • TBC PDA IT Service Management (validated by currently uncoded)

In the afternoon, we will be discussing new planned PDAs and breaking into workshops to review new groups of units that can hopefully generate additional evening and part-time provision. We hope that your centre will take the opportunity to work with us on this initiative.

If you need any additional information on this event them please contact Caroline Douglas.


Mike Jannetta

Recruitment of Additional QST Members

Firstly, I would like to thank Alison Baxter of Stow College for the work that she has carried out with this team since its formation. She has moved on from her job role at this centre and we wish her all the best.

We asked for volunteers from the field, at the recent Heads of Centre Event and via this Blog, to refresh this group and the membership has now been remodelled as follows -
  • George Banks (Lews Castle College)
  • David Drennan (Cumbernauld College)
  • Tony Gurney (Ayr College)
  • Fiona Murnin (Motherwell College)
  • June McCamlie (South Lanarkshire College)
  • Hugh McDiarmid (AdamSmith College)
  • Deryck Nutley (Cardonald College)
  • Bob Porteous (Langside College)
  • Syd Woods (North Glasgow)
I would like to thank, in advance of our next meeting, the volunteers who will help us mainatin the current awards. The next meeting of this group will be the 2nd February 2007.

Mike Jannetta
0845 213 5473

Friday, 24 November 2006

Skill Shortages - Computer Industry

This article was posted on the BBC website recently..........thought it was worth sharing with everyone !

Sunday, 5 November 2006

Representative(s) Wanted for the QST Computing

We are looking to recruit additional members to the Computing & IT QST (Qualifications Support Team). The QST represents centres and front-line practitioners who help to identify and resolve issues working on the solutions which helps shape amendments to HNs & PDAs within this area. This group advise the SQA Qualifications Team who consider and work through adjustments (where appropriate). Any individual recruited will have to be a leader in a skill area where these awards sit, be competent and familiar with course design issues. The current QST representatives are -
  • David Drennan (Cumbernauld College)
  • Deryck Nutley (Cardonald College)
  • Fiona Murnin (Motherwell College)
  • June McCamlie (South Lanarkshire College)
  • George Banks (Lews Castle College)
  • Bob Porteous (Langside College)
We are looking for individuals to join from different centres (of those identified above) and once we have a list of volunteers we will work out a balance of skills and knowledge between the representatives from where the HN awards currently sit. If you are interested in being considered to join this group then please contact Angela Lees (0845 213 8575).

Mike Jannetta
0845 213 8473

PC Passport QDT Unit Specifications Check

The PC Passport refresh is well underway.

This QDT (Qualifications Design Team) are hard at it and making sure that any inconsistencies, in any of the specifications, are identified and removed at an early stage. This QDT are a mixture of FE lecturers, school teachers and training providers working to ensure that the refresh award will suit their own environment.

The plan is that this refreshed PC Passport award will have fully coverage of the ITQ and be available to centres in June 2007.

Mike Jannetta
0845 213 5473

e-enabling of Examinations

At the Heads of Computing Event, I stated that we had written to each centre and asked if they wished to deliver any/all of the HNC Computing, Interactive Multimedia Creation or the Information Technology Graded Unit 1 (Examinations) electronically through the SQA SOLAR engine. If anyone is interested in this being arranged then please contact Caroline Douglas in the first instance.

Mike Jannetta
0845 213 8473

Thursday, 26 October 2006

Graded Unit - Interim Guidance Note

Today our HN Product Team circulated an interim Guidance Note containing information on Graded Units.

The information in the guidance note has been collated responses from a preliminary evaluation of Graded Units across all sectoral areas undertaken earlier this year.

The information contained within this note provides clarification on various issues relating to Graded Units and shall be posted on the SQA website over the next week or so.

In the meantime, if you would like a copy of this e-mailed to you - please get in touch with myself.

Wednesday, 18 October 2006

HN Computing On-line Learning Materials

We are in the process of finalising the production of the online learning material CD-ROMs (HTML & SCORM v1.2) which will be distributed to all FE centres over the next few weeks for upload to their own VLEs.

This material will cover the following HN Units:

DH2T 34 - Computer Architecture 1
D75X 34 - Information Technology: Applications Software 1
DH3E 35 - Software Development: Structured Programming
DH35 34 - Computing: Planning
DH33 34 - Computer Operating Systems 1
DH21 34 - Working within a Project Team

If you would like to view this material on-line, click on the 'title' of this blog entry and it will direct you to the website where all materials are published.

Tuesday, 10 October 2006

A letter is on its way to each centre ....

A Heads of Computing meeting has been called for the 2nd of November (up to two attendees per centre) in the Thistle Hotel, Cambridge Street, Glasgow starting at 10am (planned finish 3pm) where the following will be discussed -
  • To bring FE centres up-to-date with the current developments
  • Opportunities that are arising from the DIVA project
  • Proposed NPA and PDA developments
  • Trends in Computing
If you are a Head of Computing in an FE Centre (or their representative) then a booking can be made at the following link -

We have been working on a number of events which may assist your centre and the date of each of these events will be circulated on the 2nd of November. Please contact Angela Lees ( 0845 213 5475 if you require further information relating to this Heads of Computing event.

Mike Jannetta
0845 213 5473

Tuesday, 3 October 2006

IT SVQs - Online Survey

We are currently undertaking some research into various aspects relating to the following IT SVQs:

IT Practitioner Levels 1 & 2
IT Professional Levels 3, 4 & 5

We would appreciate if you could take a few moments of your time to undertake an online survey by clicking on the URL below:

All responses will be treated as confidential.

Thank you in advance.

Friday, 29 September 2006

Changes to HN Unit Specifications - Computing

We have modified the following units and the new versions are now available on the SQA website:

DH36 34 Computing Graded Unit 1 (Version 02)
  • Change to the Grade Boundries

DH2X 34 Providing Support to Users (Version 02)
  • Modification to the Guidance Notes to include references to the IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL) owned by the Office of Government Commerce (OGC)

F0N0 35 Professional Issues in Computing (Version 01 - New Unit)
  • This unit will replace the exisiting DM3D 35 Professional Issues in Computing and run in parallel as an `either or' with the existing unit for one year. ITIL has been embedded throughout this unit. This will be added to both HND Computing: Technical Support framework and HND Computing: Software Development.

Please ensure you are running with the most up-to-date version of these units by downloading them from the SQA website.

Many Thanks

Friday, 22 September 2006

PDA Certificate in IT Service Management

This PDA Certificate in IT Service Management was presented for validation on Thursday the 21st of September. The award was validated with a number of minor conditions and recommendations. We are busy addressing these conditions, recommendations and carrying out the final preparation of this award for centres. It is estimated that this award will be ready for centres to deliver from November.

The contents of this award are based around ITIL* at the "foundation" level. The units within this proposal are as follows -

F0E0 34 IT Infrastructure: Service Support (2 credits @ L7)
F0DY 35 IT Infrastructure: Service Delivery (1 credit @ L8)

If you have any queries then please contact Caroline Douglas by e-mail ( or by telephone on 0845 213 5476.

The QDT (Qualifications Design Team) was led by Loraine Johnston (James Watt College) and the other members of the QDT were Ann Brown (Lauder College) and Deryck Nutley (Cardonald College). Thanks to their efforts, mainly during the summer holidays, means this will be a good and solid award for the sector. I am sure it will be very popular, particularly with individuals who are working in a support role in the field, and it will compliment the PDA Certificate in Desktop Support.

*ITIL belongs to OGC (Office of Government Commerce) and details can be found at the following websites ( or

Mike Jannetta

Sunday, 27 August 2006

National Certificate in Computing Developments

The unit specification writing for this initiative is now underway. A training day was held for writers on Saturday the 27th of August. Everyone was keen and looking forward to producing a robust and flexible award. The target is to have the awards available at SCQF levels 4 and 5 in June 2007 with the SCQF level 6 and NPAs (National Progression Awards) available for June 2008.

If you require any additional information you can contact Angela Lees ( 0845 213 5475.

Mike Jannetta

HN/SVQ Computing & IT Showcase Event

It was pleasing to see so many individuals from centres who attended the recent HN/SVQ Computing & IT Showcase event held at the Radisson Hotel. The event was a chance to network and review the developments or consider the new products that are available. I hope that you or, your centre, went home with up-to-date information which will help you (or your centre). Thanks must go out for the feedback that we have recieved here at the SQA and we will be sending out a CPD certificate to each of those individuals who requested.

The next event is in the initial planning stage and will be based around PDAs (Professional Development Awards) in the coming months (probably December or January). At this event, we will be updating centres on the PDAs available in our area and looking at where we can develop specific PDA awards to fill any gaps. Syd Woods (North Glasgow College) ( has been carrying out research in this area and he will gladly listen to your suggestions or provide you with information from his current research.

If you require any additional information on the PDAs that are available then please contact Caroline Douglas ( (0845 213 5473).

Mike Jannetta

Thursday, 17 August 2006

HND Information Technology Validation

The 2nd year of this award had the validation conditions lifted on Thursday the 17th the August subject to a few minor items. These minor items are being addressed at the moment and any additional information can be gained by contacting Angela Lees ( (0845 213 5475).

A big "thanks" must go out to the Qualification Design Team (George Johnston, June McCamlie and Alan Dunn) for the work they have completed over the last few years. This should provide a popular award and a number of centres have already decided to deliver the HNC Information Technology in the academic year just started (or starting).

Mike Jannetta

Sunday, 6 August 2006

ICT in Libraries

Just to remind anyone attending the Computing & IT Showcase event on the 18th of August at the Radisson that there are these awards you may want to investigate -
  • Diploma in Applications of ICT in Libraries
  • Advanced Diploma in Applications of ICT in Libraries
These awards are now being successfully rolled out and your contacts for these awards are Angela Lees (, Qualifications Officer, and Bob Marren (, Business Development Manager. If you are not able to attend this event then please contact one of these individuals for more information.

Mike Jannetta
0845 213 5473

Review of the CIW Course Materials

The SQA have recently carried out and funded a review and brief mapping exercise between the CIW (Certified Internet Webmaster) materials. A message has been posted to the Computing and Multimedia Smartgroups with the report being uploaded to the root folder of each of these electronic noticeboards. The file is called 'CIW_SQA_Review' and I hope that it is useful to front-line assessors.

Mike Jannetta
0845 213 5473

Wednesday, 2 August 2006

IT SVQs - Smartgroup

Unfortunately the previous IT SVQ Smartgroup seemed to be having technical problems recently and members who were subscribed had been removed from the group automatically in error.

This problem has now been resolved and a new SVQ Smartgroup has been created with all SVQ IT related documentation uploaded.

Please take a few minutes to re-subscribe by e-mailing the address below:

Sunday, 30 July 2006

GU (Examination) Exemplars

Welcome back, we hope that you have all had a good relaxing break and looking forward to the new academic year. Here's some advanced information on what's happening with the development of the examination assessment exemplars for the 2006/7 academic year -

  • We will be removing all previous exemplars from the secure website and these should not be used in a centre after August 2006.
  • We have the following examination exemplars in production -
  1. 3 assessment exemplars covering HNC Computing
  2. 3 assessment exemplars covering HNC Information Technology
  3. 3 assessment exemplars covering HNC Interactive Multimedia Creation

At the 18th of August Showcase event, Gillian Leitch (Langside College) will be presenting research that we have been carrying out to e-enabling this facility. So if you managed to book a place at this event for the Solar/e-enabling session then she will be looking for volunteer centres to work with us to roll this out. You may want to consider the volunteering of your centre to undertake the assessment opportunity via an SQA electronic system prior to this event?

Mike Jannetta (0845 213 5473)

We have recently created a number of on-line learning materials as part of an ESF project covering a number of the mandatory units in the HNC Computing. We are interested in persuing this further and are looking to create additional on-line learning materials for the HNC Information Technology. This will be presented at the evnt on the 18th of August and your contact for this initiative and development is Caroline Douglas (e-mail) and her telephone number is 0845 213 5476.

We are also interested in looking at the use of Wikis to assist front-line assessors so is there any centre out there actually using this facility who would like to share this with the rest of the field?

Mike Jannetta
0845 213 5473

Saturday, 22 July 2006

Possible PDAs in Computing/IT

We have asked Syd Woods ( to carry out a new look at and research into possible new PDAs within the Computing and I.T. curriculum. We have a number of vendor PDAs available for delivery but we are interested in what other kinds of PDAs (ie bite-size learning courses) that could be created to assist part-time/evening provision in centres. We would be grateful if you could find the time to read over Syd's proposals which he has uploaded to the 'file section' of the HN Computing and IT Smartgroups and offer comments as to which of them you consider could be beneficial, and those which you don’t. His proposals will then be put forward to SQA management who will decide whether they should be taken forward and developed into actual awards. He would also be grateful if you could inform him of any award(s) that you feel could be beneficial that are not on his list. In line with his remit, we asked him to try to keep the duration of these awards to 3 units (not written in stone) for delivery at evening classes, although some are 4 units in length. He is aware that the Web Design unit belongs to the Art & Design curriculum group. Please feel free to offer suggestions on any length of PDA that you consider suitable directly to any of the Smartgroups or directly to Syd (

I am sure that you will apprciate that there are a number of initiatives in the 'development stage' and the output of this work will feed into the SQAs development planning for next finanacial year (ie from April). We will be hosting an update event, probably before the end of this calendar year, with the morning covering the current PDAs and the afternoon a workshop session covering proposed PDAs.

We look forward to your continuing support.

Mike Jannetta
0845 213 5473

HN Multimedia - Specifications Modified

We have updated a number of HN Unit Specifications within HN Multimedia Awards. At the Focus Group meetings held in June, we discussed the current Graded Units and the difficulties in defining the standard of the student deliverable(s) through these awards. I stated that we could modify these specifications and take them to the QST (Qualifications Support Team) for authorisation to replace the current versions. I immediately instigated this work and I have just uploaded these new versions in PDF format (they are currently out for vetting) to the HN Multimedia Smartgroup (in the folder New GU Specs). I am seeking any comments before they go forward for QST approval which means that these would be available next academic year.

Mike Jannetta
0845 213 5473

18th August - Showcase Event

The 18th of August Computing & IT Showcase Event is now full and we cannot accept any additional booking as we have reached our quota (re Health & Safety requirements) for the venue.

If this causes a problem for a centre, who haven't registered anyone, then please e-mail me ( and if there are any cancellations then we will try and get one representative from your centre in attendance. We have 120+ booked to attend!

Mike Jannetta
0845 213 5473

Wednesday, 19 July 2006

PDA Certificate in IT Service Management

Bringing ITIL (IT Infrastructure Library) to the field has caused many to say 'What is ITIL?' and is a new item/area for many individuals. ITIL belongs to OGC (Office of Government Commerce) and details can be found at the following websites ( or It is the SQA's intention to present ITIL to the field with two presentation slots allocated at the event on the 18th of August (ie The Computing and IT Showcase Event).

Yes, we are still working through the holidays and this group have been beavering away to produce a PDA Certificate in IT Service Management which are based around these standards at foundation level. The contents of this proposed PDA have now been mapped and consists of the following 3 credits which are going for unit validation -

IT Infrastructure: Service Support (2 credits @ level 7)
IT Infrastructure: Service Delivery (1 credit @ level 8)

The VPD (Validation Proposal Document) and final items relating to the market research are underway with the validation event being planned for the Thursday the 21st of September. If you have any queries then please contact Caroline Douglas by e-mail ( or by telephone on 0845 213 5476, however, you will also gain additional information at the event on the 18th.

If you require information on the event on the 18th of August then contact Tony Hamilton by e-mail ( or telephone on 0845 213 5472.

Mike Jannetta
0845 213 5473

Tuesday, 27 June 2006

HN Information Technology

Just to keep everyone up-to-date.

The HNC Information Technology is a validated course and now available to centres.

The HND resulting from this award has been validated subject to certain conditions being addressed. The QDT (Qualifications Design Team) reckon that they have addressed these conditions and the Validation Team were re-convening to review this work on Thursday the 29th of June. However, due to operational issues, this meeting in now being re-scheduled for mid-August (hopefully the 16th). If you require any additional information about this award then please contact Angela Lees ( or by telephone (0845 213 5475).

Mike Jannetta

Friday, 23 June 2006

New Unit - e-Facilitating: Theory and Practice

We have validated a new unit in online facilitating (DX1A 34 e-Facilitating: Theory and Practice) which is aimed at teachers, lecturers, trainers etc who are looking to participate in online learning.

The outcomes cover the following areas:

How traditional face-to-face teaching methods can be transposed to the online forum
The theory in relation to creating a supportive online framework for candidates
Facilitating and participating in a forum-based activity

This unit is at SCQF level 7 and is 1 HN credit.

To download the specification, please access the HN Search facility on the SQA website.

Sunday, 18 June 2006

HN Multimedia Review (1st Focus Group Meeting)

Two Focus Group meeting have been organised to gather initial findings from the field to help shape the tasks that have to be addressed during the review of these awards. The 1st event has held in Jury's Inn on Friday the 16th and it turned out to be a very worthwhile and constructive event with 26 representatives from centres. The 2nd event is on Friday the 23rd June (10am), Apex Hotel, City Quay, Dundee and you or a colleague can book your place at the following weblink –

Mike Jannetta

PC Passport Review

Another development enters a reviw stage -

The PC Passort QDT (Qualifications Design Team) held its 1st meeting on Thursday the 16th of June. This event was held in The Marriott Hotel with the aim of the meeting to define the developments. There are many task which have to be undertaken in this project.

The QDT members are -

Anne Forrest (Lead)
Janet Bennett (Kilmarnock College)
Lynn Donald (Cumbernauld High School)
Susan Burns (Broughton High School)
Gavin Innes (Aberdeen College)
Jacqui Bower (Dunfermline Centre)
Isobel Roachford (Lauder College)
Marion Falconer (Adam Smith College)
Eric Forrester (Bishopbriggs Academy)
Hugh McDiarmid (Adam Smith College) (verifier)
HE Representative still to be allocated to this group

The team are reconvening at the beginning of August to move these developments forward.

Mike Jannetta

Wednesday, 14 June 2006

Case Study Leaflets - SVQs in IT

Calling all centres currently delivering SVQs in the following areas:

IT User
IT Practitioner
IT Professional

Do you have candidates who have completed their group award and would be willing to produce a brief case study which would be published as a SVQ glossy leaflet for promotional purposes?

If so, I would be grateful if you could get in touch direct with myself where I would be happy to discuss further.

Showcase Event - Live Link

The letter (as detailed in Mike's earlier blog entry) relating to the Computing & IT Showcase Event being held on Friday 18th August at the Radisson Hotel (Glasgow City Centre) should be winging it's way to you if it has not yet reached your desk.

The RSVP live link is below for those who would like to book a place - Remember, places are on a first come first served basis so you are advised to book early !!

Look forward to seeing you there =)

Saturday, 10 June 2006

e-enabling of HN Examinations

A group of verifiers are working on the production of 9 Assessment Exemplar examinations for next academic year (ie 2006-2007). There will be three assessment exemplars covering each of the following awards -

HNC Interactive Multimedia Creation
HNC Computing
HNC Information Technology

These will be available on the SQA secure website early in 2007. There will also be an opportunity for a number of centres to pilot the delivery of examinations using the SOLAR facility.

Mike Jannetta

HNC Information Technology Update Event

An event was held in the Marriott Hotel to bring centres up-to-speed with the HN Information Technology developments. The HNC Information Technology is now a validated course available to centres from August 2006.

The position with the HND is that this course is validated with 'conditions'. The HN Information Technology QDT (Qualifications Design Team) reckon that they have addressed the conditions set against the HND. This work will be reviewed on the 29th of June at the meeting of the Validation Team.

If you wish to find out any additional information then please contact Angela Lees ( or by telephone on 0845-213-5475. There is a Showcase Event being held on the 18th of August when there will be another opportunity to attend an update session for this award if you have missed it! To book for this event which is showcasing not only HN Information Technology but a number of different products visit the following rsvp weblink -


Mike Jannetta

1st Meeting of the Multimedia QDT

The HN Multimedia QDT (Qualifications Design Team) held its 1st meeting on Wednesday the 7th of June. This meeting was held in The Optima Building with the aim of the meeting to define the developments. The QDT members are -

Bob Porteous (GCNS) (Lead) (
Willie Pettigrew (Jewel & Esk Valley College)
Joanna McGillvray (Edinburgh’s Telford College)
Gerry Rafferty (Glasgow Metropolitan College)
Derrick Duncan (Angus College)
Syd Woods (North Glasgow College)
Fiona Murnin (Motherwell College)
Mark McPhee (Adam Smith College)
Mahmood Al-Sabbagh (Cardonald College)
Scott Campbell (James Watt College)
Jim Spry (Central College)
Bob McGonigle (Lead - DIVA Project)
HE Representative still to be allocated to this group

Now the next steps are the Focus Group Meetings which are being held on the 16th (Jury's Inn, Jamaica Street, Glasgow) and the 23rd of June (Apex Hotel, Dundee) to collect the feedback from individuals within centres.

We look forward to your support.

Mike Jannetta

Wednesday, 7 June 2006

Roadshows - Modernising Scottish HN Provision

Funded by a Scottish Funding Council award and a European Social Fund grant, the Modernising Scottish Higher National Provision (MSHNP) project has, over the past two years, revised nearly one hundred HN qualifications and created around 1,000 Assessment Exemplars.

The MSHNP project is presently developing a new online assessment system and high quality learning and teaching materials that will be provided without charge to centres in Scotland.

As well as other subject areas the materials produced relate to HN Computing, HN Multimedia, HN Computer Games and PDA ICT in Libraries.

The work is undertaken by a partnership comprising specialists in colleges and other learning centres, the Scottish Further Education Unit, Colleges Open Learning Exchange Group (COLEG) and ourselves.

You can learn more by attending one of our four MSHNP Roadshows:

Glasgow - Wednesday 21 June (morning)
Glasgow - Wednesday 21 June (afternoon)
Edinburgh - Thursday 22 June
Dundee - Tuesday 27 June
Inverness - Thursday 29 June

To book a place, complete the form on the webpage by clicking on the URL below:

Wednesday, 31 May 2006

18th of August - Showcase Event

Keep this date free in your dairy!
This is a large update event which will be covering a number of products, new and old in the SQA Computing team's protfolio, and has been arranged for all staff in centres (12 products will be showcased on the day). Why not use it as a staff development day? This event is being held at the Radisson Hotel, Argyle Street, Glasgow and correspondence will be sent out by snail mail and posted on Smartgroups within the week with the usual rsvp link service.

More details very shortly ..... if you can't wait then contact me ( directly!

Mike Jannetta
We had another very productive day a week past Saturday and a big 'thanks' must go out to the QDT members that were able to attend. I have uploaded the qualifications map to a number of Smartgroups (within the frameworks folder) and we hope that you like the content? If you have any feedback on this qualification map then please allow everyone to see your comments via the National Certficate Smartgroup!

You will see that there are themes working from left to right through the different levels of the award(s). We am now in a position to confirm that we have the budget necessary to work this development forward. We am now seeking writers to take on a complete theme from left to write which will involve writing between 1 to 6 specifications depending on these themes. We am now looking for volunteers (ie writers) and have set aside Saturday the 17th of June (In Optima Building, 58 Robertson Street, Glasgow) as a training day for those who are taking up this work. For those who volunteer, it is a must that you attend the training event (which you will be paid for as it is a Saturday). If you would like to be considered for some of these developments could you contact me directly on 0845 213 5473 or by e-mail ( (e-mail probably the best option).


Mike Jannetta

Thursday, 18 May 2006

HN Unit Specifications - Update

We have updated a number of HN Unit Specifications within HN Computing, HN Multimedia & HN Computer Networking where we have identified outcomes that can be assessed using the SQA Electronic Assessment System.

A section has been added to the `Support Notes' of each of the following `version 2' units detailing additional information:

DF66 34 Multimedia Computing: Audio and Video 1
DF64 34 Multimedia Computing: Animation 1
DF60 35 Internet: Web Development
DF62 33 Internet: Introduction to Technologies
DE2Y 34 Multimedia Fundamentals
DF68 34 Multimedia Computing: Multimedia Technology
DG06 35 Internet: Web Server Management
DF69 34 Multimedia Computing: Screen Based Graphics

You can download the most up-to-date unit specification from the SQA website.

Tuesday, 16 May 2006

Multimedia HN Developments

I am writing to advise you of the start of the review process covering the following qualifications –

• G7A5 15 HNC Interactive Multimedia Creation
• G7A6 16 HND Interactive Multimedia Creation
• G7DD 15 HNC Multimedia: Web Development
• G7DE 16 HND Multimedia: Web Development
• G7DF 16 HND Multimedia: Computing

Focus Group meeting are being held to gain feedback from front-line practitioners on these two awards. These meetings will be held in two locations and we are seeking your support for these events. Individuals should register for these events by following the correct website link for each venue as follows –

16th June (10am), Jury's Inn, Jamaica Street, Glasgow

23rd June (10am), Apex Hotel, City Quay, Dundee

Queries relating to these awards should be referred to Angela Lees (telephone 0845-213-5475 or e-mail

There is a dedicated online community to support these awards. The e-group is available at the following URL:

The community serves as an excellent resource for centres which offer these awards. I would urge you to subscribe. You may also wish to subscribe to the Jisc mailing list ( ).

Monday, 15 May 2006

ITIL (IT Infrastructure Library)

We are working to create a PDA around the ITIL standards and currently looking for centres that may be interested in participating in this activity.

If your centre is interested in this award please contact Caroline Douglas (telephone 0845-213 5476 or e-mail) to record your centre's interest.


Mike Jannetta

SQA e-mail:
SQA Tel. No: 0845 213 5473

2nd Year Validation of award from HNC Information Technology

The articulating HND from the HNC Information Technology is due to go back to the VP (Validation Panel) to establish if the conditions which have been place on it have been fully addressed. The re-scheduled validation event is scheduled to take place on Thursday June the 29th and the QDT (Qualifications Design Team) assure me and are hopeful that they have achieved the outstanding items indicated by the VP.

In the meantime, an event is being held at the Marriot Hotel, Glasgow (8th of June) to bring centre representatives up to speed with the validated HNC Information Technology. The plan for the event is that in the morning the HNC Information Technology, which has been validated, will be introduced. In the afternoon the QDT will explain the contents of the proposed HND and take feedback from the field. I hope that your centre can send at least one representative to this event.

You can register and record your place by following this link -


Registrations will be accepted on a first-come basis. Please note that you can request a copy of the presentations without attending the event.

Please contact Angela Lees ( if you require further information relating to HNC Information Technology.


Mike Jannetta
Qualifications Manager

Sunday, 14 May 2006

Exemplar Production

Here are a number of individuals hard at work from Motherwell, Langside, Adam Smith and Glasgow Met. Colleges.

Workshops were held on Friday (12th) and Saturday (13th) to progress the assessment exemplars which will be available in July/August. There are a total of 32 assessment exemplars in production covering the following awards –

HNC Games Development
HN Multimedia Creation
HN Mutimedia Web Interaction
HNC Information Technology

Mike Jannetta

Tuesday, 2 May 2006

NC Computing Developments

The lead consultant for this award is Walter Paterson (ex-HMIE) ( and he has completed his initial report. This will be reviewed now by the QDT (Qualifications Design Team) in detail.

As part of the development process, there will be a public seminar organised near the end of August to discuss the contents of their findings and gather details of the way forward.

Please contact Angela Lees ( if you require further information relating to the NC Computing and Information Technology developments.

Mike Jannetta

Consultants Required for Developments

HN Multimedia Developments
The HNC/D Interactive Multimedia Creation and the HNC/D Multimedia Web Development are both entering a review process and we are now looking for a consultant to lead either or both these developments. We are also recruiting a QDT (Qualifications Design Team) to support these developments. If you are interesting in taking a lead in this important initiative or joining the QDT (Qualifications Design Team) then please contact Angela Lees (

PC Passport Developments
PC Passport is now entering a review process and we are now looking for a consultant to lead these developments. We are also recruiting a QDT (Qualifications Design Team) to support this lead developer in making this popular award more successful. If you are interesting in leading this important initiative or joining the QDT (Qualifications Design Team) then please contact Caroline Douglas ( Any general enquires regards the contents of this award should be directed to Vanessa Ranaldi (

Mike Jannetta

HNC Information Technology

I am pleased to report that the HNC Information Technology award was validated in April and available to centres from August 2006. We are working on the definite HNC Information Technology Arrangements Document which will be available shortly. The QDT (Qualifications Design Team) are working towards the lifting of conditions for the HND of this award. As part of the development process, there will be a public seminar to discuss the contents of the HNC Information Technology award with an update on the HND development. This seminar will take place on 08/06/06 at the Marriott Hotel (Glasgow) where the QDT will present additional information relating to this award. Further details of this event are available at the following URL where you can also register for the event:

Registrations will be accepted on a first-come basis. Please note that you can request a copy of the presentations without attending the event.

Please contact Angela Lees ( if you require further information relating to HNC Information Technology.


Mike Jannetta

Updated Contact Details

The Computing Team at the SQA have moved to a new home. The new address is Optima Building, 58 Robertson Street, Glasgow, G2 8DQ. The updated contact details for the team are

Joe Wilson Business Manager 0845 213 5389
Bobby Elliott Qualifications Manager 0845 213 5408
Mike Jannetta Qualifications Manager 0845 213 5473
Vanesa Ranaldi Project Manager 0845 213 5474
Caroline Douglas Qualifications Officer 0845 213 5476
Angela Lees Qualifications Officer 0845 213 5475
Joan Morris Projects Officer 0845 213 5405
Tony Hamilton Administration Officer 0845 213 5472

Please note that it is only the postal address and telephone numbers that are changing with all e-mail addresses remaining the same. The main SQA telephone number (0845 279 1000) to the SQA Contact Centre is remaining.


Mike Jannetta

Wednesday, 12 April 2006

HNC Computing - Exam Exemplars

Today saw the three final additional HNC Computing exam exemplars uploaded to the SQA secure wesbite.

There are now six fully moderated versions in total available for use by centres.

Thanks to the writers, vetters & moderators who have been working on the materials to ensure that all timescales were met.

Access to all exemplars are through the usual channels within your centre (ie SQA Co-ordinator).

Friday, 31 March 2006

HNC Information Technology

The HNC IT was successfully validated yesterday with the QDT (Qualifications Design Team) being led by George Johnston Reid Kerr College. It is planned that a letter will be send (by post) to centres after the Easter break with details about this award.

However, in the interim you can e-mail Angela Lees to gain any information your centre may require at this stage. Our next steps (with the timelines) are -

1 Making the unit specifications available via the SQA website (end of April)
2 Tidying up the VPD (now Arrangements Document) (end of April)
3 Starting the production of assessment exemplars (delivery end of June)
4 Organising a central event to feedback to centres (end of May)
5 Sending a letter out to centres (beginning of May)

If anyone would like to be considered for supporting the development of these assessment exemplars then please e-mail Angela and record your interest.

Finally, I would like to record a big 'Thank You' to the QDT in all the work that they have undertaken to gain this successful validation.

Mike Jannetta


Monday, 27 March 2006

NC Computing Developments - Stirling Management Centre Event

On Friday the 24th of March we held a very productive meeting in Stirling Management Centre to gain feedback from individuals representing centres to help shape the first steps of the NC Computing developments. The principles behind this meeting were

1 to explain the ‘design principles’ relating to the development of these awards

2 to gain feedback from the field from the seven workshops which each having a particular focus

The data/information gathered was in order that the QDT (Qualifications Design Team) can initially get a handle on the shape of this award. Walter Patterson ( is the lead consultant/developer on this initiative and will be collating a report which will be considered by the QDT before their recommendations are published. It's my intention as QM (Qualifications Manager) to keep the sector informed and call another meeting to discuss this feedback. There will be a vote on the nccomputing Smartgroup on a suitable date when the QDT will present their findings and carry out additional research to assist them in moving these developments forward.

The comments gathered by the individual QDT member at each workshop are being collated, at the moment, and will be available through the
nccomputing Smartgroup as soon as practical. If anyone has any issue that they want to raise they can do this via the Smartgroup or directly to Walter, myself ( or Angela Lees (

FYI - The other members of the QDT are:

Jim Spry (Central College of Commerce)
Joanna McGillivary (Edinburgh’s Telford)
Carol Davie (Cumbernauld College)
Tom Rodgers (Glasgow College of Nautical Studies)
Mary McGuinness (Motherwell College)
Douglas Liddle (Glasgow Metropolitan College)
Bob McGonigle (Microsoft)

Mike Jannetta

0141 242 2235
SQA DIVA Programme
Apple Education Update for Colleges
10:00-16:00, Wednesday 26 April 2006
Jury’s Inn Hotel, Glasgow
Find out about the latest Apple hardware including the Intel-based desktop, portable, iPOD and Server devices.

The morning session will focus on Apple’s award-winning Operating System iLife06 and Keynote software, including hardware and software overviews for education users.

The afternoon session will include specialist sessions in Final Cut Pro and Logic.

With lots of opportunity for networking and informal discussion.

Depending upon volume of registration and interest it may be possible to have other product demos, so please sign up and tell us your interests.

For more information and to book your place, please email or call 0845 606 2641 for more details.
The Apple Education Update for Colleges is part of SQA DIVA.
The Digital media and ICT Vendor Alliance (DIVA) Programme is SQA’s initiative to update and expand its range of Information & Communication Technology (ICT) and digital media qualifications working with global industry partners. For more information, visit:

Thursday, 23 March 2006

HN Conference

Today the Computing Team attended the HN Conference which was held at Murrayfield Stadium. The conference was well attended by Colleges, Universities and Industry and presentations were made by SQA, Anniesland College, Scottish Funding Council and the University of Aberdeen.

The afternoon session was dedicated to various workshops on E-Assessment, DiVA, Graded Units, Marketing HNC/Ds etc and delegates had a chance to discuss these topics in detail.

Tuesday, 7 March 2006

Update on the SQA DIVA Programme

Liz Wallis has requested that this communication be sent on to centres as feedback is required to assist moving this project forward. If you, or your centre, have feedback that can help then please contact Liz ( who will welcome your comments. You will find details within her original communication about the project which is listed below.

SQA DIVA Programme
Learning Provider Reference Group

1100-1400, Tuesday 21 March 2006
Jury’s Inn Hotel, Glasgow

Background on DIVA
The Digital media and ICT Vendor Alliance (DIVA) Programme is SQA’s initiative to update and expand its range of Information & Communication Technology (ICT) and digital media qualifications working with global industry partners. The objectives of the project are to source and incorporate high-quality support materials from industry into SQA’s qualifications and to link those qualifications effectively to the world of work. The programme is also creating new professional development opportunities for teachers and lecturers to be able to offer the resulting industry-enriched curriculum and awards to students. For more information, visit:

The SQA is supported by independent consultants, Bob McGonigle, David Kay and Liz Wallis (Sero Consulting) in developing this programme.

The Reference Group
Following positive response to the potential of the DIVA programme (launched October 2005), SQA wishes to extend the number and range of ‘vendor’ partnerships in 2006. It is essential to do so by taking account of the needs and the experience of the Further Education providers across Scotland, especially in relation to NC and HN programmes.

SQA is therefore joining with SFEU in inviting all colleges to participate through a Reference Group that will meet at key points in the 2006 process. Other centres with relevant experience are also welcome to join the group.

First Meeting
The first meeting of the group will take place in Jury’s Inn, Glasgow, on Tuesday 21 March 2006 from 1100 to 1400. Lunch will be provided.

1 The Meeting Agenda will include
2 Brief Introduction to DIVA
3 Recommendations on 2006 Vendor Additions
4 Discussion & Feedback on Vendors & Associated Issues
(a) curriculum mapping
(b) staff training
(c) certifications
Agreement on next steps for the Reference Group

Please email if you wish to attend and a confirmation email will be sent to confirm your booking.

Your Early Input
Even if you cannot attend on 21 March, we’d be grateful for your input on the long list of ICT and digital media vendors for the next phase of the DIVA programme. (You can see the list of current DIVA partners by checking the website referenced above). Please email us for a copy of the long list to:

With thanks for your help.

Monday, 6 March 2006

Welcome to Mike

I posted a message a few weeks ago about a secondment that I was about to commence. Mike Jannetta (of Lauder College) was selected to stand-in for me for the duration of the secondment (31 July). Mike started today. So welcome to Mike. He's well known in the FE community and is heavily involved in SQA work so the job should not be much of a surprise to him. The rest of the team (Angela, Caroline, Tony and Vannessa) remain unchanged. Mike can be contacted on my old telephone number (0141-242-2235) or by e-mail. It's a great job that I'm sure Mike will thoroughly enjoy. I'll see you all in August.

Monday, 27 February 2006

Sector Panel meets to discuss NC review

The Sector Panel for Computing & Call Centres held its third meeting this morning. The main purpose of the Panel is to provide strategic guidance to SQA. The focus for today's meeting was the review of National Certificate provision.

I wanted guidance from the Panel on the general direction of the review. Walter Patterson gave a presentation on the background and also the current thinking on where we're heading. He received some excellent advice and it was very consoling that the Panel endorsed the Qualification Design Team's current thinking.

There is a dedicated online community for the NC review or contact Angela if you have specific queries. Walter can be contacted by e-mail if you want to provide feedback.

Tuesday, 21 February 2006

Princeton professor foresees computer science revolution

Vendor credit transfer letter sent to centres

I received confirmation this morning that a letter has now been despatched to centres relating to credit transfer between SQA awards and vendor qualifications. You should receive the letter in the next day or two.

Sunday, 19 February 2006

How computers work

This website provides online learning material relating to computer architecture. It can be read online or downloaded in book format [PDF].

Friday, 17 February 2006

Qualification Design Team for NC Review meets

The Qualification Design Team (QDT) responsible for the review of NC Computing met for the first time this afternoon.

The QDT has a wide ranging remit and will play an important role in shaping the new award(s). Members have been selected from a number of Scottish FE colleges (such as Telford College and Cumbernauld College) and include classroom practitioners with experience of delivering NC awards.

It was a good meeting with interesting debates about the role of core skills, vocational skills and assessment within NC programmes. I was particularly pleased that everyone agreed to try to be as innovative as possible when creating the new qualifications.

Subscribe to the public community for more information about this development or contact Walter Patterson directly.

Thursday, 16 February 2006

Writer's blog

One of the writers of the e-learning material for HNC Computing has created a blog to record his progress. It makes interesting reading and showcases some of the tools that can be used to create online learning material.

Monday, 13 February 2006

Online learning material for HNC Computing

We have received significant funding from the European Union to develop support materials for HN awards. One of the projects that received funding was the development of e-learning materials to support HNC Computing.

Caroline and I met with the writing team on Saturday to commence this work. The team will develop a digital (HTML) teaching pack for each mandatory unit within HNC Computing. Ted Hastings provided the training, having recently produced high quality materials for the new Library PDAs. Most of the writing team are practicing lecturers.

The materials will be supplied on CD-ROM to each centre and should be available by August. It will be in HTML format, suitable for hosting on a wide range of VLEs. This material will complement the additional exam questions which are also being funding by an ESF grant.

More information from Caroline.

Thursday, 9 February 2006

Web log teaching materials are now available

A few months ago, I reported that we were working on support materials for the new Web Log unit [PDF]. We took the unusual step of producing the teaching material as a wiki. The material is now available via Wikibooks.

Wikis appear to be well suited to this purpose. This technology offers the prospect of mass participation in curriculum development - rather than the traditional top-down approach to the production of teaching and learning material. So it will be interesting to see how this material evolves.

A NAB pack is in production and will be available in a couple of months. More information from Angela.

Wednesday, 25 January 2006

E-assessment: Effective Learning Conference

The Computing team attended SQA's E-Assessment Conference today. The event was aimed at college managers and lecturers with an interest in how e-assessment can be used to improve learning. The SOLAR project was a particular focus of the day.

I gave a couple of presentations [PPT] on our e-learning suite of awards since we hoped that some of the people attending might be interested in undertaking these qualifications - especially the Diploma in E-Assessment. Our workshops went well and it was an interesting day.

Contact Caroline for more information on these qualifications.

Saturday, 21 January 2006

HNC Computing exam - additional questions

Thanks to a European grant, we received funding to produce additional questions for Section 1 of the HNC Computing examination. We met in Jury's Inn in Glasgow this morning to take this forward.

Caroline has put together a team of writers, vetters and moderators to produce the additional questions. We're aiming to write 250 items. These will be sent to colleges (to use as you please) later this year (probably June).

Mike Janetta (Lauder College) and Graeme Clarke (Adam Smith College) provided the training on writing multiple choice questions. I think everyone enjoyed the day.

More information from Caroline.

Friday, 20 January 2006

HNC/D IT validation event

The validation event for HNC/D Information Technology was held this morning in the Marriot Hotel in Glasgow. The validation panel was convened by Bob McGonigle and the Qualification Design Team was led by June McCamlie.

The panel members gave the proposed arrangements a thorough scrutiny. The HNC proposals were broadly accepted but we've a bit of work to do on the HND. So we're going to finalise the HNC as soon as possible and take our time with the HND. We did something similar with Computing when we separated the HNC from the HND.

This means that the HNC award will be available to centres in a couple of months and the HND later this year. Contact Angela for the latest information on this development. And don't forget to join the Smartgroup is you want to keep up to date with developments.

Wednesday, 18 January 2006

Oracle Information Seminar

Oracle held an information seminar today at The Lighthouse in Glasgow to promote the Oracle Academy programme to Scottish schools and colleges. I attended to show SQA's support for the programme and update people on the links between the two organisations. Over 60 teachers and lecturers attended.

Jane Richardson of Oracle gave a presentation [PPT] which described the Oracle Academy programme and my presentation [PPT] explained how SQA has supported the programme and described the links between SQA qualifications and Oracle awards.

The highlight of the day was the presentations from school pupils and college students who have undertaken the programme - and clearly enjoyed the experience.

So far, 13 Scottish schools and colleges have participated. There are places available on next year's programme. More information from Jane.

Tuesday, 17 January 2006

Meeting with Multimedia consultant

Angela recently asked for volunteers to take forward some changes to the HN Multimedia awards. Mark McPhee of Adam Smith College was selected.

Angela and I met with Mark today to discuss what we would like him to do. Mark will focus on checking for core skills and finding out what support materials are available.

Longer term, we will be looking at the structure and contents of the awards but we're hoping to complete these "quick fixes" before the summer.

Contact Mark for more information.

Monday, 16 January 2006

Letter sent to centres regarding NC review

A letter was sent to centres today to formally announce the review of the National Certificate provision. As well as updating you about the review, the letter also seeks nominations for the Qualification Design Team. Contact Angela if you have any queries about the review or if you want to know more about serving on the QDT.

Friday, 13 January 2006

New job

You might have noticed that today's Herald included an advert for my present post (Qualifications Manager - Computing & IT).

I have been given an opportunity to undertake a six month secondment to focus on the development of online qualifications. The aim is to produce a qualification (and support materials - including assessments) that are only available online. This would be SQA's first e-only award. Very exciting.

So we're looking for someone to stand-in for me during this period. The person would work alongside the existing team (Angela, Caroline and Tony) and continue my present work - which involves supporting and developing Computing, IT and e-learning qualifications. It's a hugely interesting and rewarding job, supported by a useless great team. So the vacancy provides a tremendous professional development opportunity for someone.

More information here.

Thursday, 12 January 2006

E-Learning PDAs - Support Materials

We have published a full suite of Assessment Exemplars for the following Professional Development Awards (PDAs) which are available for download via the SQA Secure Website through your SQA Co-ordinator:

Diploma in E-Learning: Production
Diploma in E-Learning: Delivery
Diploma in E-Assessment
Advanced Diploma in E-Learning

Please contact myself if you would like any further information regarding the packs. We also have a dedicated E-Learning Online Community so please subscribe to the e-group if you would like to be kept up-to-date with developments.

Wednesday, 4 January 2006

New year - new projects

The team returned to work this morning. The Christmas party seems a distant memory.

There are a great deal of interesting projects coming up this year including:
  • National Certificate review
  • HNC/D Information Technology validation and launch
  • introduction of library PDAs
  • establishment of new Qualification Support Teams.

We're also developing a wide range of support materials for such courses as HNC/D Computing and HNC/D Multimedia.

Stow College is working on the second part of their Computer Games development - having recently validated an HNC Computer Games Development the centre is now developing the corresponding HND award.

Meanwhile we will continue to support the E-Learning suite of awards and promote the recently revised SVQs in Information Technology.

On a personal basis, I'm hoping that the new Scottish Education blog develops a regular readership during the coming year.