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Wednesday, 19 December 2007

Computing Education Steering Group

I attended the second meeting of this group yesterday morning at Jordanhill Campus of the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow. The group is looking at ways of stimulating the interest in Computing and related subjects in schools to address the significant decline in numbers in Higher Education.

It was a productive meeting with a number of concrete proposals coming out of it. We agreed to carry out a survey to get some hard evidence about the issue and also to lobby the Scottish Government to put a priority on Computing education as a strategic issue for the country. We had an interesting presentation and discussion about the purpose and contents of Computing in schools.

We also agreed on another national conference some time next summer. You can get more information about this group from the convenor, Andrew McGettrick.

Monday, 17 December 2007

HND Internative Media blog is now available

Some time ago, I mentioned that I would create a blog to record the development of the new HND Interactive Media qualification. The blog is now available.

Please visit the blog and bookmark the URL so that you can visit from time to time and keep up-to-date with developments. Although I will occasionally write to centres, the blog provides a great way of finding out (and contributing to) what's going on since SQA staff and the development team (once selected) will contribute.

I plan to use a new method of developing qualifications during this project - "collaborative qualification development" - which is a fancy way of saying that I hope to involve lots of people during the development process through the use of blogs, wikis, surveys and other web services.

Look out for more information (on the new blog) in early 2008. Our first task will be to recruit a development team. In the meantime, contact Angela if you have any queries.

Friday, 14 December 2007

Internet safety and police cadets

Every police cadet in Strathclyde is currently undertaking SQA's Internet Safety award and this morning I met with Rob Hay of Strathclyde Police and Steve Lamb of James Watt College to check on progress.

Things seem to be going well. Sixty-four cadets are currently doing the unit and progress appears to be good. The cadets are distributed across nine areas within Strathclyde so we're making extensive use of e-learning and e-assessment.

You can get more information about this project (or the Internet Safety qualification) from Caroline.

Thursday, 13 December 2007

IBM qualification

This morning I met with a few college representatives who are interested in developing a new qualification that links with IBM's System I curriculum. This project has been on the go for some time but, due to a number of factors, has never got off the ground. It now seems that we can progress things.

We explored a number of options - including the development of a new HN unit that will map on to the corresponding IBM award, permitting college students to either follow the SQA or the IBM curriculum. No decision was made at today's meeting and we agreed to meet again in the New Year once a few of the existing queries have been resolved.

So look out for more news on this exciting development. In the meantime, contact Caroline if you want to know more.

Welcome to Scott

We have a new member of the team. Scott Miller joined us to replace Tricia, as administrator. Tricia was temporary and is moving on to a new job. Scott will be with us for some time. Here's the most recent organisation chart, which you can download in various formats.

Thursday, 29 November 2007

Computer Games Development

This morning Angela and I met with Joanna McGillvray of Forth Valley College and Tony Gurney of Ayr College to discuss possible developments in the Computer Games area.

There is currently an HNC Computer Games Development available to centres (developed by Stow College in 2005) and this is now offered by a number of colleges. There has been regular requests for a corresponding HND award but we've not taken this forward due to doubts about student numbers.

What was clear from this morning's meeting was that there is a need for something at HND level - this could be a stand-alone award (HND Computer Games Development) or part of an existing award (HND Computing: Software Development). We also discussed possible changes to the existing HNC award.

We have a National Progression Award in Computer Games planned and it would make sense (if we decide to do anything) to take forward the development as a whole (NPA, HNC and HND).

With so many options, we decided to consult with the field. I plan to organise a questionnaire to get the views of Heads of Computing on these questions. This will take place sometime in January.

I appreciate that consultation takes time and slows down developments but it gives me confidence that whatever we decide to do has the support of the field. Look out for more information soon.

In the meantime, contact Angela if you have any queries about the existing qualification. But right now, I'm off somewhere nice for the next week.

Monday, 26 November 2007

Heads of Computing meeting

The team met with Heads of Computing on Friday at the Menzies Hotel in Glasgow. It was a very busy agenda, which covered all of the developments which have taken place, and are currently taking place, in this subject area.

There were presentations from various people. I gave an overview of developments.


Gillian Leitch spoke about the new National Certificates.


Caroline showcased the Internet Safety unit.


Angela spoke about HNC/D Interactive Media.


Tony Gurney, of SFEU, told us about a new national student forum.


There were also presentation from Colin Maxwell (from Adam Smith College) about Adobe, and one from Michael Kowbel about Computer Clubs for Girls.

The event seemed to go well and, I think, attendees got a lot out of it. For my own part, it's always to good to hear from practitioners - which reminds me what really matters to people.

Monday, 19 November 2007

Welcome to Tricia

Tony is still covering another post within SQA and his replacement (Laura) left for a permanent position last week (with another organisation). So Tricia Hanlan joined the team on a temporary basis this morning. Here is the latest organisation chart for the Computing team.



Tricia will be with us for a short time until Tony is covered on a more permanent basis.

Sunday, 18 November 2007

Thursday, 15 November 2007

E-Assessment Question Conference

I attended the E-Assessment Conference yesterday. The event was held in Glasgow. I was speaking about objective testing.


My presentation was based on The Guide to Writing Objective Tests.



There were lots of interesting presentations including one from Martyn Ware of SQA who outlined SQA's e-assessment strategy.

Monday, 12 November 2007

E-learning material for HN units

Over the last couple of years, we've developed a large number of digital learning packs to support various HN units, mainly thanks to ESF funding.

There have been four development phases. Phases 1 and 2 developed material for HNC Computing. The material can be found here. Phase 3 focussed on HNC Information Technology; we're still working on these materials but they will be available soon. Phase 4 focused on HNC Interactive Media and is now virtually complete. The materials for this Phase can be found here.

The materials are available to anyone and are free to use but contact Caroline if you want further information.

It would be interesting to know what you think about these materials and how you're using them.

Saturday, 10 November 2007

National Certificate unit check

We spent most of today checking the new units that form part of the National Certificate in Digital Media Computing at Level 6.


The purpose of the check was to ensure that the units are fit for purpose - in other words, they are fit to be delivered in centres. So, we invited a couple of experienced college lecturers to come along and look over the units. It was very productive. We made several changes to make the units easier to deliver in centres by, for example, simplifying the assessment or reducing the resource requirements.

We didn't manage to get through all of the units in the time available so we'll be meeting again to finish the task.

Thursday, 8 November 2007

Qualification and credit framework

England, Wales and Northern Ireland are creating a framework similar to Scotland's SCQF and I've been in London for a couple of days to get up-to-speed on developments. It's been very interesting.

The Qualification & Credit Framework (QCF) has nine levels (SCQF has 12) and uses 10 hour credits (rather than SQA's 40 hour credits). But the underlying principles are the same. Of course, it's a major undertaking to standardise qualifications in such a complex environment as England (there are hundreds of awarding bodies for one thing) but QCA appears to have made a lot of progress.

One of the interesting aspects of the event was the location - Chelsea Football Club, which was a great meeting place and the stadium itself looked fantastic.

Tuesday, 6 November 2007

HND Interactive Media

I will be writing to centres in the near future regarding the development of the HND Interactive Media.

The HNC award was developed last year (although too late for centres to offer from August) and we are now going to turn our attention to the HND award(s).

I plan to walk-the-walk during this project... I'm going to make extensive use of Web 2.0 tools to create the new awards in collaboration with developers, teachers and other interested parties. I've written a process for doing this.



It will be interesting to see how this experiment works out. Please post your comments on the procedure here (if you have any).

I've created a group on Scribd for SQA documentation (the stuff that relates to Computing). You'll find it here. Scribd provides many useful features, including audio (MP3) versions of all documents. Please subscribe to the group if you find it useful.

Safety fears holding back education?

Today's Herald has an article about the use of Web 2.0 in the classroom - and it features someone that most of us know very well. Walter argues that safety fears over new technology are holding back the use of new technology in the classroom. Definitely worth a read.

Friday, 2 November 2007

Sector Panel... and Qualifications for the future

There was a Sector Panel meeting on Wednesday morning. The Computing & Call Centres Sector Panel meets twice per year to discuss sectoral issues, such as employment trends and education issues. Members include SQA staff, Sector Skills Council representation, HMI, college staff, employers, and representatives of other national agencies (such as Learn Direct). Wednesday's agenda was interesting and included uptake in Computing and gender issues. Chris Morrow (of E-Skills) gave a particularly interesting talk on the forthcoming changes to the National Occupational Standards.

Speaking of which, I attended a meeting yesterday at Strathclyde University where Chris (and others from E-Skills) commenced a long process of engaging with employers, awarding bodies and other interested parties, on the new Standards. It's early days in the process but the proposed changes look good.

I finished the day at the Millennium Hotel in Glasgow where SQA has organised a Qualifications for the future masterclass. As part of the Curriculum for Excellence, we're looking at ways of modernising our qualifications and we have arranged a number of events where prominent educationalists speak about key educational developments. Yesterday, Professor Ray Land of Strathclyde University spoke about the effects of Web 2.0 on today's learners. His talk was very interesting and he made reference to some of my own writing on this area.

Tuesday, 30 October 2007

Online communities for Computing

A couple of months ago, I posted a message about online communities to support specific Computing awards and this is a reminder that the groups are there to help you deliver SQA qualifications.

Although the main means of support on these groups is peer-to-peer, me and my team are members of most of them and try our best to respond to queries. The membership of the groups is growing with, for example, 50 members of the National Certificate community.

So I would encourage you to subscribe to the relevant groups and participate as much as time permits. These online services have great potential to support the delivery of SQA awards - and solve many of the problems you face in your day-to-day teaching.

Friday, 26 October 2007

Vendors, children, IT skills and blogging

I've been in London this week for CompTIA's Breakaway Europe event. SQA works with a number of vendors, through our DIVA programme, and we offer CompTIA's A+ certification through some of our HN units. The event has been interesting - especially the keynote speeches.

I took the opportunity while down here to attend a few other events. On Wednesday evening I went along to the CEOP offices in London to attend the launch of their cybercafe, which is targetted at 8-11 year olds. CEOP is responsible for child safety online and has shifted the focus from teenagers to younger kids.

Yesterday afternoon I went along to a Westminster e-forum entitled A UK IT SKills Gap? While there was a disappointing lack of hard evidence, some statistics were presented: 46% decline in applications for Computer Science courses at university since 2001; 10% year-on-year decline in A Level entries for Computer Studies. There was a pretty unanimous conclusion that we're heading for an IT skill shortage unless things change.

It was interesting to note that one of these events (the CEOP one) stressed the importance of protecting children from such things as social networks, the other (the Westminster one) emphasised the need to make the school curriculum more engaging, using such things as social neworking!

Each day of the CompTIA event begins with a keynote address and two of them were particularly good - one from Steve Clayton of Microsoft and one from Adrian Webster who is a writer. Steve's talk was about the importance of engaging with customers through such things as blogs; he emphasised the importance of being honest with them. Adrian's talk was about motivation - and was hilarious - so I'm happy to plug him and his book.

Thursday, 25 October 2007

HND Interactive Media

Yesterday Bobby and I met to discuss kicking off developments for the HND Interactive Media. I am aware that we put out an email request a few months back for QDT members. Can I ask you to once again to email me if you are interested in becoming a member of the QDT and especially if you are interested in being considered for the lead developer.

All emails of interest must be with me by 2nd November 2007.

Internet Safey - Delivery Guide

A delivery guide has been produced for Internet Safey and is now available for download from the SQA wesbite.

It gives guidance on delivering the unit on a teacher-centred, student-centred or e-learning (self taught) basis.

To download a copy, click on the following URL:

http://www.sqa.org.uk/files_ccc/InternetSafetyDeliveryGuide.pdf

Friday, 19 October 2007

Head of Computing meeting

I met with the team this afternoon to discuss arrangements for the forthcoming meeting of Heads of Computing, which we organise once or twice every year.

The next meeting will take place on Friday, 23 November at the Menzies Hotel in Glasgow.

We also discussed the agenda, which will include updates on a number of developments as well as presentations about DIVA and Computer Clubs for Girls.

Angela will send a letter to centres shortly but in the meantime you should put this date in your diary if you plan to join us.

More information from Laura in the meantime.

Wednesday, 17 October 2007

NC DMC Arrangements Documents

Yesterday I recieved a phone call asking the web location of the NC DMC arrangements documents. The documents are located on our NQ, NQ Group Awards Computing and IT page.

I hope this stops any confusion.

Friday, 12 October 2007

National Certificate Digital Media Computing - Level 6

Angela and I met with Walter Patterson and Bill Brown yesterday, to discuss developments relating to the new National Certificate at Level 6 (Higher). We've been so busy in the last few months with the level 4/5 awards (which are available to centres now) that we had somewhat neglected this work.

So yesterday was a catch-up meeting. We made important decisions about dates and who would do what. We agreed a validation date in January (provisionally the 17th) so, assuming we get a few conditions to clear up, the Level 6 award should be available to centres from March.

We also discussed a whole raft of new National Progression Awards that we plan to develop during the next 12 months (some of which are very exciting such as NPAs in Digital Gaming, and Animation). These awards would sit inside the National Certificates but could be offered stand-alone in schools or colleges. We're working on a timeline for these awards, with our priority being level 4 and 5 awards. But they will all be available by next October.

Please contact Angela for more information on the National Certificate or National Progression Awards.

Wednesday, 10 October 2007

Software Development - Object Oriented Collections

Today saw the published version of the HN Assessment Exemplar DM33 35 Software Development: Object Oriented Collections posted to the SQA Secure Website.

Access to this material is through your SQA Centre Co-ordinator.

Strathclyde Police cadets commence Internet Safety

I met with Rob Hay, of Strathclyde Police, and Steven Lamb, of James Watt College, yesterday afternoon to agree arrangements for delivering the new Internet Safety qualification to police cadets.

I'm really pleased about this project since it's a compliment to SQA that Strathclyde Police think that the qualification is good enough to give to every one of its new intake of cadets - with plans to adopt the unit as a formal part of the training programme in the future.

One the main selling points of the qualification is its flexibility - it can be done entirely online or using a CD-ROM... which fits nicely with the cadet training programme since they are dispersed across Strathclyde in various police stations. You can find out more about Internet Safety from Caroline.

Monday, 8 October 2007

Online meetings

The results from the recent poll (see panel on right) are interesting. You've given a clear thumbs-up to occasional online meetings. So, I'd like to give this a try.

The most widely used online communication program is Skype so I propose to use this. You can download it here.

I plan to organise monthly meetings on a particular theme such as the HNC Computing Graded Unit and the support materials for the new NC awards. These meetings would also provide you with an opportunity to "meet the developers" - the people working behind the scenes on developing new awards.

So please download Skype and look out (on this blog) for the notification about the first meeting which will take place later this month.

HNC Exam Exemplars

Over the last few months, writers of the HNC Graded Unit Exam Exemplars have been busy finalising their materials and these have been through some rigorous vetting checks.

These are now being passed over for verifier checks before being sent to our support materials section for publishing.

We anticipate that the following will be published by late January 2008:

DH36 34 HNC Computing - Graded Unit 1 (3 versions)
DV6D 34 HNC Information Technology - Graded Unit 1 (3 versions)
DE36 34 HNC Interactive Multimedia Creation - Graded Unit 1 (3 versions)

These will be in addition to the published versions already available for download on the SQA secure website.

Friday, 28 September 2007

Interactive Media

Bobby, Caroline, Jacqueline, Vanessa and I had a team meeting this afternoon. The main topic was developing the HND Interactive Media. Discussions such as when to implement and how many strands were top of the agenda.

We need to establish who is currently delivering the new HNC Interactive Media. Laura Hall will be call round centres next week, sourcing this information.

Please feel free to contact me direct if you are currently delivering this award.

Women in computing

Caroline and I met with Ron Dillon and Annamarie Kelly of Stow College yesterday afternoon to discuss ways of encouraging women to take-up Computing/IT courses. We came up with a number of ideas including:
  • focussed marketing for women
  • a women's prize in IT
  • promotion of women-friendly qualifications (such as Social Software, Interactive Media, etc.)
  • approaching female organisations (such as the Girl Guides) to encourage young women to take-up technical careers.
The forthcoming meeting of the Sector Panel for Computing & IT will also discuss this issue.

I'd be interested in your comments about this problem (and these ideas).

Thursday, 27 September 2007

Interactive Media update

I met with Alasdair Smith of Skillset this morning, in one of our occasional meetings to keep each other up-to-date with developments in our respective organisations. It was an interesting meeting during which we covered a number of topics including the new HNC Interactive Media award and the subject of women in new media.

The new HNC Interactive Media was validated in June and is available to centres now. I wanted to discuss the next stage of the process - the development of an HND. Alasdair was supportive of this in principle but felt that there may be a need for two separate awards - one focusing on the technological aspects of the field and one focusing on the creative/design side of things. He also expressed the view that it would take around 18 months to produce a good, design-oriented award. I'll discuss options and timescales with key centres during the next few weeks so that I can produce a development plan for whatever course of action we decide.

We also discussed the gender problem in creative media, which is not as acute as it is in the computing sector, but is still an issue, with under-representation of women in creative industries - and especially socially disadvantaged women. We agreed to convene a meeting of interested parties later this year to see if we can use the HNC Interactive Media qualification to introduce working-class women to this exciting field.

Wednesday, 26 September 2007

ASPs - PC Passport (FE Packs)

The first batch of PC Passport ASPs for FE Centres will be uploaded to the SQA Secure website on Friday.

There will be a mix of Beginner and Intermediate packs available. Our publications Team are busy finalising the remaining FE packs - all of which have a high priority.

All ASP materials for School-Based packs are available for download from the secure website through your SQA Centre Co-ordinator.

Tuesday, 25 September 2007

Letters to centres

While I was on holiday, a number of letters were sent to centres. One letter related to PC Passport, one related to National Certificates and National Progression Awards, and one covered Higher National Developments.

The letters were sent to SQA co-ordinators so I hope that they have reached classroom teachers. If not, download them now since they contain important information about each of these qualifications.

Friday, 21 September 2007

Scottish Learning Festival

I attended the Scottish Learning Festival this week and delivered a seminar on "Internet qualifications", which featured SQA's range of Internet-related awards including stand-alone units (such as Social Software) and Group Awards (such as the National Progression Award in Internet Technology). The seminar seemed to be well received. Representatives of the school sector seemed particularly interested in the use of these qualifications for fifth and sixth year pupils for whom traditional qualifications are not suitable. You can download my presentation here.

Monday, 17 September 2007

Student Offer - Discounted Microsoft Office 2007

We have been asked to disseminate this information on behalf of Microsoft to the field - please pass on this information to your students in order for them to take advantage of this fantastic offer!

Student offer: Discounted Microsoft Office 2007
We are aware that more and more of our students are arriving at college/university with your own computers, and recommend that you try and make the most out of this purchase by using legitimate and reliable software. We have learnt that for a short time Microsoft will be running a special promotion open to our students, which allows you to purchase Microsoft Office Ultimate 2007 at a heavily discounted price. With this offer, you can get Microsoft Office Ultimate 2007 for just £38.95 by visiting http://www.theultimatesteal.co.uk/

o Save money on important software you need for your work
o Get the latest version of Microsoft Office
o Get the Ultimate version of Microsoft Office 2007 which includes more programmes than normal retail versions

How to take advantage of this offer
1. Go to the website
2. Confirm that you are a student using your college/university e-mail address (the one which ends with .ac.uk)
3. For just £38.95, download Microsoft Office Ultimate 2007 onto your computer

What's in Microsoft Office Ultimate 2007?
The new Microsoft Office 2007 System has been redesigned with a fresh look and new features that make it easier for you to get the best results out of your work.

· Word 2007
· Excel 2007
· PowerPoint 2007
· Publisher 2007
· Access 2007
· Outlook 2007
· OneNote 2007
· InfoPath 2007
· Groove 2007

To find out more about these applications, visit http://www.theultimatesteal.co.uk/ and click on the box labelled 'Office Ultimate 2007'. By rolling over each icon you'll be able to see how they can help you with your university work.

Ps. Microsoft are only making this offer available to college/university students for a short while, so please don't wait too long to decide whether you will want to buy it.

Wednesday, 5 September 2007

Wanted - HN Assessment Exemplar Writer

We are looking for a writer to develop HN Assessment Exemplars for the following HN Units:

F1X9 34 Computing: PC Hardware Operating Systems Support
F1XA 34 Computing: PC Hardware Operating Systems Essentials

Units can be located on the SQA Website for those who would like to see their content.

Ideally, we would prefer that one person writes both exemplars to ensure consistency throughout. This is paid work with a tight timeline (1st November).

If interested, I would be grateful if you could get back to me direct mailto:caroline.douglas@sqa.org.uk).

Tuesday, 4 September 2007

Internet Safety Assessment Support Pack (ASP)

Today the Assessment Support Pack for Internet Safety (Intermediate 1) was uploaded to the SQA Secure Website.

The pack is located within the NQ Subjects section under 'Digital Media Computing'.

Please contact your SQA Co-ordinator within your centre to gain access to this material.

Wednesday, 29 August 2007

Qualification Support Team for NC/NPA awards meets

The QST for the NC/NPA awards met yesterday afternoon for the first time. There was a great turn-out with almost 20 people attending, representing schools, colleges and the workplace. The QST is responsible for National Certificate, PC Passport and other NPA awards.

Since it was the committee's inaugural meeting, we spent most of the time explaining the changes that have taken place to these awards but future meetings will be more interactive.

The purpose of the QST is to represent centres and let me know what changes you'd like to see or what support materials you need. It also considers feedback from centres, so if you ever write to me with suggestions, it's the QST that will consider them.

Although we're not looking for more members right now, contact Angela if you're interested in serving on the committee at some future date.

Monday, 27 August 2007

Decline in IT students threatens UK success

College consortium to develop NC materials

I've just heard that a number of colleges have got together to form a consortium to develop teaching and learning material to support a number of units within the new NC programmes.

Please note that this is not an SQA project. The initiative is being led by Mike Jannetta of Glasgow Met. So contact Mike if you want more information.

Friday, 24 August 2007

Assessment lecture

I attended an early morning lecture on assessment in Edinburgh today. Professor Dylan Wiliam of the University of London gave a Masterclass on the role of assessment in the education system. It was a fascinating talk from one of the worlds leading experts on assessment theory.

During my recent secondment, I produced a paper on Assessment 2.0 [PDF], which described how we can use Web 2.0 technologies to generate evidence for assessment. It would be interesting to know how practitioners are responding to Web 2.0 and if/how you are using these tools in the assessment process.

Thursday, 23 August 2007

Computing uptake meeting

I attended a meeting at Jordanhill College yesterday afternoon about encouraging school pupils to choose Computing as a subject. This meeting was a follow-up to a two day workshop in May (that I did not attend).

The meeting was chaired by Andrew McGettrick (Strathclyde University) and there were representatives of various universities (including Glasgow and Edinburgh) and national organisations (including Learning & Teaching Scotland).

We had a fascinating discussion about various aspects of the issue and agreed a number of action points, including a response to the current consultation on A Curriculum for Excellence, to ensure the subject (and the whole "digital world") is properly recognised.

I was keen to attend this meeting since uptake in Computing/IT at school has a knock-on effect at college, and I am aware of concerns about falling uptake of HNC/D Computing.

Wednesday, 22 August 2007

HN Graded Unit Exams

Today I met with Bobby to give an update on the current status of Exam Graded Unit production for 2008. These are well underway and within our original project timescale. We are producing 9 exemplars in total - Computing (x 3), Information Technology (x 3) and Interactive Multimedia Creation (x 3). These will be in addition to the existing bank of exemplar exam materials currently available.

These will be available for download from the SQA secure website from December 2007.

Tuesday, 21 August 2007

PC Passport Assessment Support Packs (ASPs)

I have been receiving enquiries relating to the PC Passport ASPs, in particular, when will they appear on the SQA secure site?

We are working closely with our in-house publications team to turn these materials around as quickly as possible. Priority has been given to Beginner & Intermediate levels (School & College versions) with Workbased versions for all levels to follow soon after.

My colleagues within publications have informed me that some of the packs should start to appear on the secure website within the next 7-10 days.

Access to this material is through your SQA Centre Co-ordinator.

Sunday, 19 August 2007

Great Scottish Run

Sorry for posting a personal message on the blog, and I promise not to make a habit of it, but I'm running in the Great Scottish Run (half marathon) on 2 September on behalf of Cancer Research and I'm looking for sponsors. You can donate/sponsor me online here. We have an ambitious target (£1,500) and any amount would be appreciated.

Friday, 17 August 2007

National Certificate update

I've recently received a number of e-mails and phone calls about the support materials for the new National Certificate awards.

Although the Arrangements and the unit specifications are all available, the assessment support packs (ASPs) are not yet published and some centres want to see these as soon as possible.

I've checked with SQA Publications and the ASPs will begin to appear on SQA Secure from the end of this month, so centres won't have long to wait. But, if you're desperate to see the assessments, you can contact Laura who will send draft versions of the material (for some of the units).

Sorry for delay in making these materials available. While you're waiting, you may want to subscribe to the dedicated NC Digital Media Computing online community.

Monday, 13 August 2007

HNC Interactive Media update

Angela and I met with the convener of the validation panel and a representative of the Qualification Design Team to lift the conditions that were set at the validation event for this award in June. The meeting went well and all of the conditions and recommendations were lifted, meaning that this award is now validated.

The one outstanding issue relates to the Graded Unit (GU). The GU will be an examination and we had an interesting discussion around pass marks, format, duration and cognitive demands. We agreed a number of changes that, I think, will help candidates (for example, there will not be separate pass marks for each section in the paper).

I appreciate that some centres plan to introduce this award this coming session and we will prioritise the task of "operationalising" the qualification i.e. making it available to centres. I expect it to be finalised by the end of this week. In the meantime, contact Angela if you want a copy of the VPD or draft versions of the unit specifications.

There is a dedicated online group to support centres that offer this award. Please visit the group's homepage and join the group if you want to keep up to date with developments.

Friday, 10 August 2007

More media reports about Internet safety

Several of today's newspapers carried stories about a government report on the dangers of using the Internet, describing the current situation as "the Wild West".

There's no doubt that concerns about Internet safety are growing... so I hope that many centres offer the new Internet Safety qualification. I've received lots of inquiries from prospective students over the summer, asking what centres offer the award. Many enquirers were particularly interested in doing the unit flexibly, either at home or online. Our support materials are entirely self-contained so most centres should be able to accommodate such requests simply by using the material that we supply.

Contact Caroline for further information.

Digital Divide report

I've just finished reading a report [PDF] from Futurelab about the digital divide in the UK. It makes interesting reading. If you manage to find the time to read it, I'd be interested in your comments.

Wednesday, 8 August 2007

Core Skill news

I attended a meeting this morning, which included an update from Gill MacFarlane about the current review of core skills. The core skill team in SQA has been consulting about the existing core skill framework with a view to updating it. The IT framework is badly in need of an update.

The framework is in the final stages of being revised and the new version will be used to create new core skill units, which are due to be published in December. We're hoping that centres will offer the new units from August 2008.

Contact Gill (0845-213-5461) for more information.

Update on HNC Interactive Media

This new qualification replaces a number of Multimedia-related HN awards such as HNC Multimedia Web Development and HNC Interactive Multimedia Creation. It was validated in June but with a number of conditions, which the Qualification Development Team has been working on over the summer. They're just about there now, and me and the convener of the validation panel (Walter Patterson) meet on Monday (13th) to (hopefully) lift the conditions and get this award on the books.

It's likely to be a couple of weeks before everything is in place (assuming the conditions are lifted on Monday) but if you're planning on running this award this coming session and need to see something now then you can get the Validation Proposal Document from Laura.

I'll keep you posted on developments.

Monday, 6 August 2007

Welcome to Laura

Laura Hall started today, to replace Tony while he is seconded to a new post. Laura should be your first port of call for most routine information relating to Computing and IT. Laura can be contacted by e-mail or telephone (0845-213-5472). I'll update the organisation chart at the first opportunity.

Thursday, 2 August 2007

Achievement and recruitment

I had lunch with Ron Dillin today. Ron and I were colleagues at Stow College in the early Nineties and it was good to catch up with things... and Ron's views are always sensible and thought-provoking.

We spent most of the time discussing issues facing FE Computing departments - particularly recruitment and student achievement (historically poor in this subject area). He also reminded me of the gender imbalance in Computing courses (typically, 10% of students are women).

We discussed at some length what could be done about these problems. I was particularly interested to know what SQA could do to help things. I plan to arrange a Head of Computing meeting later this year and it seems worthwhile to include these issues on the agenda.

These problems are not unique to FE. HE has the same issues (Ron gave the example of a university Computing Science department receiving 60% fewer applications last year than in 2003). But maybe we can put our heads together and do something to help things.

Tuesday, 31 July 2007

New online groups

When I returned from my secondment, I said that I would re-invigorate the online communities and I've now set up a number of new groups to support various SQA awards. I've chosen Jiglu to host the groups since I prefer this service to Yahoo Groups - but neither one is as good as Smartgroups (RIP) in my opinion. Here are the groups...

There is a group to support the new National Certificate in Digital Media Computing, one to support HNC/D Computing, one for HNC Interactive Media, and one for HNC/D Information Technology. It's straight-forward to subscribe to these groups - simply visit the home page and select "Join space" (left-hand column). Please note that you have to register with Jiglu before you can join a group (or "space" in Jiglu terminology).

The existing groups will continue. There's a generic mailing list hosted by Yahoo (for all Computing-related qualifications), and a dedicated Jiglu group for Internet Safety. I would particularly encourage you to subscribe to the mailing list (it currently has over 650 members) since this is where many announcements are made.

None of these groups replace the traditional means of communication. Every important development will be notified in the usual way (letter to centres and/or e-mail to SQA Co-ordinators). But they provide a uniquely interactive means of communicating with you and also for you to provide support to your colleagues.

Monday, 30 July 2007

More online assessments are coming

I met with Graeme Clark last week to discuss new online assessments for HNC Interactive Media and HNC Information Technology.

We met with a couple of Computing verifiers to discuss the standards required from the assessments, which will be placed in a large item bank and made available to centres.

The first task is to identify the units/outcomes that can be tested this way and I hope to work on that this week.

The online assessments should be available from January 2008.

This development is funded by ESF.

Thursday, 26 July 2007

National Certificate Arrangements are now available

The definitive Arrangements for the new National Certificates in Digital Media Computing are now available on the SQA website.

These documents cover levels 4 and 5. Level 6 is under development and should be available by end-year. More information about these awards is available from Angela.

Friday, 20 July 2007

Strathclyde Police adopt the Internet Safety qualification

I met with Rob Hay of Strathclyde Police this afternoon to discuss arrangements for the Police to incorporate the Internet Safety qualification into their Cadet Training Scheme.

Around 70 new cadets will enter the programme in October and they will all undertake the Internet Safety unit [PDF] as part of their training. The cadets are typically school-leavers, aged between 16-18 years old, who enter the scheme with a view to becoming Police Officers at the end of the two year programme.

Rob was keen to include the unit because of the increasing problem of cyber-crime and the unit (among other things) covers identity theft, grooming and phishing. The qualification's flexibility was also a selling point since the cadets can self-teach using a supplied CD-ROM or study online - or even use their mobile phones (point your phone's browser here to see a demo).

Thursday, 19 July 2007

Congratulations to Tony

Typical, you create an organisation chart and someone moves job! Congratulations to Tony who got a promotion to Project Officer in the HN Product Team. It comes at a good time since he's recently become a father. Tony moves to the new post on 6 August.

Tony's been a great help to the Computing team and will be sorely missed. I will particularly miss his encyclopaedic knowledge of all things Celtic.

Wednesday, 18 July 2007

Vocational Computing team

I've put together a diagram [PDF] that shows who's responsible for what within the team. It also provides direct telephone numbers and personal e-mail addresses. Hope you find it useful.

Thursday, 12 July 2007

NPA Digital Literacy Arrangements Document

The NPA in Digital Literacy Arrangements Document is now available for download on the SQA website.

PC Passport Arrangements Document

Today the Arrangements Document for PC Passport at Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced were uploaded to the SQA website.

The unit specifications for the full Group Awards are also available on the SQA website under the NQ Unit Search facility.

The full list of unit titles and unit codes are listed within the Arrangements Document.

SVQ IT User Levels 1, 2 and 3 - Extension Granted

We recently received confirmation that our submission to extend the SVQ IT User Awards at Levels 1, 2 and 3 until 31 March 2010 has been approved.

All centres approved to offer this award are in the process of being notified.

Monday, 2 July 2007

Good to be back

From today, I return to my "real" job as Qualifications Manager for Computing & IT. I've thoroughly enjoyed my secondment to the e-only project, which commenced last March, and I learnt a great deal from it, but I'm happy to return to my substantive post. Mike's done a great job and it will take me a short time to get up-to-date with developments but I'm looking forward to taking up the reigns again.

This blog has turned out to be very popular (if the number of people who refer to it is anything to go by) so I certainly plan to continue to use it - and encourage the rest of the team to do likewise. I also plan to resurrect the online groups, which were once popular (especially in the days of Smartgroups), but are less well used now. Look out for more information.

Sunday, 10 June 2007

PC Passport Refresh Information Session

In March we held four update events to advise the field that these
awards were currently subject to a refresh process. At the time of
these events, there were a number of individuals who didn't manage
to book on to an update event as a number were full and there was
also industrial action which caused train travel problems.

If you missed one of these events then there is an opportunity to
bring you, and your centre, up-to-date as two other events are being
planned in Glasgow on the 21st of June for schools & training
providers. To register for one of these events then please visit
either of the following weblinks:

The morning session is taking a particular focus for schools staff (Venue -
Jury's Inn, 80 Jamaica Street, Glasgow commencing at 1000 hours)
http://www.rsvpbook.com/event.php?416321

The afternoon session is taking a particular focus for training
providers (Venue - Jury's Inn, 80 Jamaica Street, Glasgow commencing
at 1400 hours)- http://www.rsvpbook.com/event.php?416060

Any enquires in relation to the existing or refreshed awards should
be directed to Joan Morris (telephone 0845-213- 5405 or e-mail
joan.morris@sqa.org.uk).

Thank you for your continued support for SQA qualifications.

Yours faithfully

Mike Jannetta
Qualifications Manager

Thursday, 31 May 2007

Give us your opinion

We issued a recent request for the completion of a questionnaire covering the next phase of the National Certificate in Digital Media Computing at SCQF Level 6 and the batch of NPAs which we are taking to validation at the same time. The plan is to take these to validation immediately after the summer break.

If you haven't taken the opportunity to give your opinion then could you please visit the following weblink -

http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=xAK1ng%2bil6WaHH9ejLCTQA%3d%3d

Your support would be appreciated.

Mike Jannetta
Qualifications Manager

Following on from the last posting

Following on from the recent e-mail, re the development of e-learning materials.

I would like to advise the field that there are developments just being started, through ESF funding, to produce e-assessment materials covering a number of additional units within the HNC Information Technology and the new proposed HNC Interactive Media (being presented for validation on the 8th of June).

At the moment, it is planned that this development will produce e-assessment materials in the following areas and should start appearing in the SOLAR assessment engine from August onwards with our planned completion date of November or December 07 -

HN Information Technology (27 assessments covering)

Outcome Unit Name

1 PC: First Line Support
1 IT: Legislation and Codes of Practice
1 Decision Support and Intelligent Systems
1 e-Commerce: Introduction
1 e-Commerce: Introduction
1 e-marketing
2 e-marketing
3 e-marketing


HN Interactive Media (90 assessments covering)

Outcome Unit Name

1 User Interface Design
1 Project Management for IT
1 Creating Digital Images
1 Bitmap Graphics: Advanced Techniques
1 Vector Graphics: Advanced Techniques
1 Web Development: Essential Content
1 Web Development: Complex Content
1 Web Development Standards and Legislation
1 Client Side Scripting for Web Applications
1 Managing Database Systems using SQL
1 2D Animation
1 Website Development: Foundations
1 Internet and Network Development: Foundations
4 Internet and Network Development: Foundations

If you wish any information on the SOLAR project then please visit the website (www.solarproject.org) where you can find out the assessments that are currently available for delivery through this assessment engine or contact Graeme Clark (Graeme.Clark@sqa.org.uk) or Joan Morris (Joan.Morris@sqa.org.uk) directly.

Regards

Mike Jannetta
Qualifications Manager

Production of e-learning Materials (Phase 3 and 4)

Other e-learning materials are being built up on the following website -
http://www.e-learning-computing.com/index.htm
If you visit this website then items B - G are complete and H - O are either complete or nearing completion (3 still to complete). This e-mail identifies the developments within Phase 3 and Phase 4 of this project. This project will be showcased at the event being held at Hampden Park on the 22nd of June.
The next phase(s) of this project are just starting .....

Phase 4
We have been successful in getting the financial backing for the development of e-learning materials for the proposed HNC Interactive Media through an ESF bid. This HNC Interactive Media award is "hot off the press", in fact, it isn't there yet as validation is due for the 8th of June! The e-learning items that we will be developing materials for are -

1 Interactive Media: Planning (new unit)
2 Interactive Media: Authoring (new unit)
3 User Interface Design (new unit)
4 Digital Media Creation (new unit)
5 Client Side Scripting for Web Development (new unit)
6 Managing Database Systems using SQL (new unit)
7 Internet: Web Development Standards and Legislation (new unit)
8 Project Management for IT (new unit)

We would expect materials for Phase 4 to be available by October /November 07.

Phase 3
There will be an e-learning pack produced for the following items under this phase -

1 DH3D 35 Software Development: Relational Database Systems
2 DM32 35 Software Development: Linked Data Structures
3 DM31 35 Software Development: Array Data Structures
4 DH3H 35 Systems Development: Structured Design Methods
5 DH39 34 Internet: Introducing e-commerce
6 DX43 35 IT: Legislation and Codes of Practice
7 DV6J 35 Internet: Web Technology and Security

We would expect materials for Phase 3 to be available by March 08.

Additional Item
We have also commissioned the development of an e-learning pack (as someone volunteered!) for the unit DW7J 11 Social Software within the National Certificate in Digital Media Computing and we expect this pack to be available in August/September 07.

Regards
Mike Jannetta
Qualifications Manager

Update on the Validation Status of the National Certificate in Digital Media Computing L4 and L5 & the Associated NPAs

1 Validation Status (all awards)
We are just about ready to go back to the Validation Panel and reckon that we have addressed all conditions and most of the main recommendations. The item that is holding us back here is not the SSC approval, which I expected, but there are about 6 or 7 unit IDs missing. We hope to publish the definitive NC DMC frameworks @ SCQF L4 and L5 within the next 10 days. We also hope to have the award IDs at this time.

2 ASP (Assessment Support Pack)
The ASPs vetting/verification production is under way with us giving the PC Passport awards priority. We expect that all ASPs will be complete, as scheduled, by the end of June, however, this is a big job and will take time to complete. Once we are finished, it will take the SQA Publication's Team time to get these items with the correct look and uploaded to the SQA Secure Website.

3 Qualifications Support Team
We am looking to recruit a team across the sector (ie schools, FE and training providers) to support and modify these awards (ie NC DMC, NPAs - including PC Passport) as per the new SQA procedures to maintain awards. If you have any members of staff who would be interested in assisting the SQA in this area could you please get them to e-mail me their details (deadline 1st June)? We would like an initial meeting to discuss how this process works with the selected members of this QST before the end of June.

Mike Jannetta
Qualifications Manager

HN Information Technology

Please note that the following units have been added to the HNC Information Technology framework here at SQA -

DE3M 35 Statistics for Business
DM34 34 Supporting Users and Troubleshooting Desktop Applications
DM35 34 Supporting Users and Troubleshooting a Desktop Operating System

If you require any additional information then please contact Angela Lees (Angela.Lees@sqa.org.uk).

Regards

Mike Jannetta
Qualifications Manager

Validation of National Certificate in Digital Media Computing at SCQF Level 6 & Associated NPAs


Folks

We are preparing the National Certificate in Digital Media Computing at SCQF Level 6 and a number of NPAs for validation. The date we have for the internal validation is the 3rd of September but we have the summer holidays to cope with before this!

We require as many individuals as possible to give us feedback on the proposed NPAs at we have identified to take to validation at this time. We wish to gather feedback on 11 NPA awards and the questionnaire can be found at the following weblink -

http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.asp?u=878733860379

Please take a some time to complete this questionnaire as the results are very important to the validation process.

Thanks, in anticipation.

Regards

Mike Jannetta
Qualifications Manager

Monday, 23 April 2007

HN/SVQ Computing & IT Showcase Event 2007

Following on from the first successful event held by the HN Computing & IT Qualifications Team last August we are hosting the next showcase event on the 22nd of June at Hampden Park, Glasgow (booking by rsvp link http://www.rsvpbook.com/event.php?492528). This event is focusing on Training Providers and FE centres where we will be showcasing a number of existing awards, new awards and modifications to awards, amongst the items to be showcased will be -
  • HNs (Computing, Networking, Interactive Media, Multimedia, Computer Games Development and Information Tech)
  • National Certificate in Digital Media Computing (SCQF Levels 4 and 5)
  • National Progression Awards (4 new awards)
  • PC Passport (Refresh)
  • Professional Development Awards (new and current awards)
  • ICT in Libraries
  • DIVA project (details of this project can be found at http://www.sqa.org/diva)

Places are limited and these are available on a first-come basis. If you wish additional details of this event the please contact Tony Hamilton ( mailto:tony.hamilton@sqa.org.uk).

Mike Jannetta
mike.jannetta@sqa.org.uk

Wednesday, 11 April 2007

PDAs in E-Learning

There have been some changes within SQA with regard to the portfolio of e-Learning PDAs listed below:
  • Certificate in Online Learning
  • Diploma in E-Assessment
  • Diploma in E-Learning: Production
  • Diploma in E-Learning: Delivery
  • Advanced Diploma in E-Learning

This portfolio of awards now fall under the remit of Mary Garrity (mary.garrity@sqa.org.uk) and Lynne Malcolm (lynne.malcolm@sqa.org.uk) who have responsibility for Training , Learning & Development where we felt this subject area sat better with.

If you have any queries relating these awards, please contact either Mary or Lynne at the above e-mail addresses.

Tuesday, 10 April 2007

HND Computing Arrangements Document

The HND Computing Arragements document for both Software Development & Technical Support has been updated and uploaded to the SQA website.

The most current version is now 'Version 2.0' - I would recommend that you to refer to this version at all times as there have been amendments made to structure information, units within optional sections, credit transfer and links to vendor exams.

We are currently working on updating the HNC Computing Arrangements document and this should be available for download in the next 2-3 weeks.

Sunday, 1 April 2007

National Certificate in Digital Media Computing (SCQF Levels 4 and 5)

Just to keep everyone up-to-date ...

These awards are now validated subject to a number of conditions and recommendations. We are beavering away to lift these conditions and consider the recommendations. We are hopeful that these awards will be ready for the 1st of August for centres. We are currently uploading draft specifications to the NC on-line community Yahoo group for perusal by individuals within centres. The complete refreshed PC Passport awards are within these National Certificate Digital Media Computing awards and these draft specifications can be found at the PC Passport on-line community Yahoo group.

If you do not have access to either of these closed on-line community groups then please send an e-mail to either or both of the following e-mail addresses -

NationalCertificateDMC-subscribe@yahoogroups.co.uk

SQAPCPASSPORT-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

There are 60+ ASPs (Assessment Support Packs) under development and we hope to have these available by the end of June 2007.

Mike Jannetta
mike.jannetta@sqa.org.uk

New Award - NPA Web Design Fundamentals (SCQF Level 5)

This new NPAs (National Progression Awards) will be available to centres from the 1st of August and each award consists of 3 units which are -

F181 11 Computing: Web Design Fundamentals
F180 11 Computing: Interactive Multimedia for Website Development
F182 11 Computing: Web Design and Development

This award will cover -

· Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the main technical and design considerations in designing a website.

· Produce and optimise graphics for the World Wide Web to a given brief.

· Create a web page for use on a web-server using basic HTML features to a given brief.

· Plan an animation for inclusion on a website.

· Create an animation and incorporate it in a website.

· Plan and design a digital narrative for inclusion on a website.

· Create a digital narrative for inclusion on a website.

· Test and evaluate a digital narrative.

· Produce a plan for the design and creation of a website to a client’s requirements.

· Design a website to a client’s requirements.

· Construct and upload a website which includes text and graphics.

· Test and evaluate a website.


The rationale behind this NPA Web Design Fundamentals is to address a demand for provision of an entry-level qualification in web design, especially one that may be gained through short-course provision. This award is supported by vendor materials.

Please contact Angela Lees (Angela.Lees@sqa.org.uk) if you require further information.

Mike Jannetta
mike.jannetta@sqa.org.uk

New Awards - NPAs Internet Technology (SCQF Levels 4 and 5)

These new NPAs (National Progression Awards) will be available to centres from the 1st of August and each award consists of 3 units which are -

NPA Internet Technology (SCQF Level 4)
PC Passport: Introduction to the Internet and On-line Communications
F0H5 10 Internet Safety
Information Literacy Skills

This award will cover -

NPA in Internet Technology (SCQF Level 4) (Outcomes)

· Identify key components, terms and issues associated with the use of on-line communications

· Locate information using basic Internet/intranet facilities

· Use e-mail and on-line forms to communicate electronically

· Plan an information task

· Identify a range of information sources and use them to investigate a chosen information task

· Evaluate the selected information

· Review search results and suggest possible improvements

· Identify threats that exist when using the Internet

· Describe safety precautions which should be taken when using the Internet

· Describe legal constraints which apply when using the Internet

· Take appropriate safety precautions and operate within relevant legal constraints when using the Internet


NPA Internet Technology (SCQF Level 5)
PC Passport: Internet and On-line Communications
DN81 11 Weblogs
DW7J 11 Social Software

This award will cover -

NPA in Internet Technology (SCQF Level 5) (Outcomes)

· Describe components, services and issues relating to the use of on-line communications

· Carry out searches for information using the Internet/intranet

· Send and receive e-mail using routine Internet/intranet facilities

· Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of variety of on-line communication methods

· Describe the development of social software and various types available

· Locate and review social software of various types

· Use social software to perform specific social tasks

· Locate and review blogs of various types

· Create a blog to perform a specific information task

· Track selected blogs


The NPAs will offer candidates a foundation into making safe and legal use of the Internet in carrying out the handling of information and research. These awards will also introduce a range of Internet tools to access, retrieve and exchange information from the Internet or an intranet locating and using social software that promote interaction and collaboration through to reviewing and creating a weblog.

Please contact Angela Lees (Angela.Lees@sqa.org.uk) if you require further information.

Mike Jannetta
mike.jannetta@sqa.org.uk

New Award - NPA Digital Literacy (SCQF Level 3)

This is a new NPA (National Progression Award) which will be available to centres on the 1st of August. It consists of 3 units which are -

Digital Communication Methods
Digital Numeracy
Digital Computing

This award carries 4 core skills across the award (Information Technology, Communications, Numeracy and Problem Solving).

Please contact Vanessa Ranaldi (Vanessa.Ranaldi@sqa.org.uk) if you require further information.

Mike Jannetta
mike.jannetta@sqa.org.uk

Sunday, 4 March 2007

PC Passport Events

Hi

This week we are hosting the following PC Passport Events. This is
an opportunity to give us feedback on these awards as they are
currently being refreshed. The venues of these events are as follows –

8th (AM) (This event is full)
Marriot Hotel, Glasgow (http://rsvpregister.com/event.php?431852)

8th (PM)
Carlton Hotel, Edinburgh (http://rsvpregister.com/event.php?455743)

9th (AM)
Patio Hotel, Aberdeen (http://rsvpregister.com/event.php?432132)

9th (PM)
Hilton Hotel, Dundee (http://rsvpregister.com/event.php?422299)

If you haven't registered for an event there is still time to do so,
however, the Glasgow event is full.

Finally, if you are proposing to travel by train then I would like to
point out that there may be travel difficulties on Thursday and Friday
due to proposed industrial action. (Visit the following website -
http://www.firstgroup.com/scotrail/content/home/VIEWnews.php?id=00000000146)

You may join the PC Passport Yahoo Group by sending an e-mail to the following –

SQAPCPASSPORT-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

Regards

Mike Jannetta
Qualifications Manager

Wednesday, 14 February 2007

DH36 34 HNC Computing Graded Unit - Version 8

It has brought to our attention that there are two errors within the HN Exemplar DH36 34 HNC Computing Graded Unit - Version 8.

Question 12 - Should have read `Anti-Spyware' instead of `Spyware'
Question 25 - C & D should have read base 10 and not 16.

These amendments have now been made and the revised version is now available on the SQA Secure Website.

Please ensure that if using this paper for your Exam that you have the most up-to-date version.

Many Thanks

Caroline

Tuesday, 13 February 2007

Head of Centre Meeting - 1st of February

I just thought that I would take a few minutes to update anyone who visits this blog and give them details of what happened at this event. We had a good Heads of Centre event, held at SFEU, where we spent the morning looking at the DIVA project and then we gave further updates on the state of various developments where the majority are all due in centres for registrations in August. If you require a copy of the presentation slides that we used on the day then please e-mail me directly.

Mike Jannetta (Mike.Jannetta@sqa.org.uk)

Thursday, 1 February 2007

DH36 34 - HNC Computing Graded Unit Exemplars

Today the following Assessment Exemplars were posted to the SQA secure website:

DH36 34 Computing Graded Unit (Version 7)
DH36 34 Computing Graded Unit (Version 8)
DH36 34 Computing Graded Unit (Version 9)

To access this material, please liaise with your SQA Co-ordinator within your centre.

It may be worth pointing out that all previous versions of the Computing GU exemplars (i.e. Version 1-6) have been withdrawn and the above versions are the only `moderated' forms of assessment for this unit.

Sunday, 21 January 2007

Exam Marking Workshops

These workshops, for each of the Graded Unit 1 specifications which form part of the HNC Computing, HNC Information Technology and the HNC Interactive Multimedia Creation awards, are designed for individuals within centres who have the following responsibilities –

  • The production of question papers and/or relevant marking schemes
  • The marking of the candidate evidence in line with the marking scheme

In the morning, we will be introducing good practice in the design and construction of a question paper with the production of a suitable marking scheme.

In the afternoon, we will also be covering workshops on how to mark the candidate question papers with a workshop covering each of the following areas –

  • HNC Computing
  • HNC Information Technology
  • HNC Interactive Multimedia Creation
During this event the presenters will be demonstrating the use of SOLAR (http://www.solarproject.org/) to automate the presentation of this Graded Unit 1 as we have a number of centres that have volunteered to work with us on the electronic presentation of the examinations in these areas.

This event is targeted at academic members of staff who will write, construct, present or mark these examinations within centres. It is being held at the SFEU, Argyll Court, Castle Business Park, Stirling, FK9 4TY on the 23rd of February 2007. In order that we know which centre individuals are attending could you please register your attendees (no restriction on the number of attendees per centre, although this could be restricted due to the venue size) at the following link –

http://rsvpregister.com/event.php?21395

Please contact Caroline Douglas (caroline.douglas@sqa.org.uk) 0845 213 5476 if you require further information relating to this event.

Friday, 5 January 2007

New Blog for PC Passport

Did you know that there are over 25,000 candidates studying (in one form or another) on the PC Passport awards/units? These awards are of Scottish design so you may like to add the following link to a new blog for PC Passport to your browser favourites?

http://pcpassportblog.blogspot.com/

You may be aware that we are currently refreshing the PC Passport awards. It is planned that the new, refreshed and revitalised PC Passport NPA (National Progression Award) awards will be available in June 07 and, apart from letters directly to centres, this will be the main update Blog to keep individuals and centres informed. There are 3 NPAs within the current PC Passport suite and there will be 3 refreshed NPAs in the refreshed PC Passport suite. These NPAs or the individual units will be available and included in the new National Certificate in Digital Media Computing awards at SCQF levels 4, 5 and 6.

You may also wish to join the following Yahoo group which covers these PC Passport awards -
SQAPCPASSPORT-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

Regards

Mike Jannetta

Update Letters to Centres

Happy New Year to you, our reader, and I hope that you have had a relaxing time over the festive break. We are now getting ready to move on with developments in 2007 and there's a lot of activity around a number of projects in our area. It is important that communication between these developments and centres are at their highest so that planning can be achieved straight through from the SQA project initiation to Centre planning and delivery. To achieve this we often write to centres when we advise on updates and/or planned events. The letters which have been sent to centres (between June 2005 and December 2006) can be found on the SQA website and if anyone can suggest we can enhance engagement with centres then can you please e-mail me with your suggestions.

Regards

Mike Jannetta