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.