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.