Saturday, 29 November 2008

Verifiers meeting

The verifiers for Computing met today in Glasgow as part of their on-going schedule of regular meetings.

These meetings are very useful for verifiers to meet each other and discuss field issues, and the Senior Verifier (David Drennan) uses it to keep his EV team up-to-date withe developments. I also took the opportunity to inform the EVs about what's going on in my team, including the new HNDs (Interactive Media and Computer Games Development), changes to the National Occupational Standards, and achievement problems with HNC/D Computing. Caroline spoke about the support materials for the HN awards related to Computing/IT.

Being an External Verifier is a great way to keep up-to-date with what's going on across Scotland so contact SQA if you want to be considered for this role.

Friday, 28 November 2008

Heads of Computing Event - Reminder.......

It's only 2 weeks until we hold the Heads of Computing Update event (Friday 12th December) so please if you have not yet registered and plan to come along, please do so now at the URL below to secure your place.

Friday, 21 November 2008

Internet Safety

We are in the process of creating a 'one stop shop' for Internet Safety. At present there are various materials to support this award but are in different locations. Our aim is to create a page on SQA's website to house all the related material, such as the:
  • Unit specification
  • Assessment Support Pack
  • Teaching and Learning materials
  • Delivery Guide
  • link to the e-assessment engine

I would hope that this new web page will be operational in a week or so and will advise you of the link at that time.

Thursday, 20 November 2008

HND Interactive Media - Validation Event Volunteers

I recently posted to the HND Interactive Media blog requesting volunteers for the forthcoming HND Interactive Media validation event being held late January 2009 (actual date to be confirmed).

Unfortunately I've had a poor response so if interested in volunteering for the representation areas listed in the blog post please get in touch.

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

HN Graded Unit Exam Exemplars

I have received a few e-mails regarding the status on new Exam Exemplar materials for both Computing and IT.

We have not produced any new materials this year (2008/9) but have submitted a budget bid for 2009/10 exam exemplar development which we hope is successful.

The following verified materials are available now on the SQA secure website:

HNC Computing - Graded Unit 1 Exam Exemplar (DH36 34) - six versions
HNC Information Technology - Graded Unit 1 Exam Exemplar (DV6D 34) - six versions
HNC Interactive Media - Graded Unit 1 Exam Exemplar (F21G 34) - one version

Our Support Materials section are funding another three versions of the HNC Interactive Media Graded Unit Exemplar with an anticipated publishing date of April 2009.

If you are producing your own exam exemplar material for DH36 34 or DV6D 34 then please allow approximately 6 weeks from the date sent to us for prior-verification - all materials sent in for prior-verification should go to our Assessment Standards section.

Monday, 17 November 2008

Digital Culture Units - Consultation

We have in development a suite of Digital Culture Units at SCQF Levels 4 - 8.

These are now out for consultation until the end of November 2008. A blog has been created exclusively for this purpose and gives an excellent overview of each Unit as well as the draft specifications.

Please follow the URL below to access this Blog and please feel free to comment on the draft units using the comment facility:

Friday, 14 November 2008

Heads of Computing - Online Registration

Further to Bobby's blog post yesterday, if you are interested in coming along to the Heads of Computing event on Friday 12th November in Glasgow then please register online by clicking the URL below:

At this moment in time, the limit is 2 delegates per centre. A letter and agenda have been sent to our despatch section and should be posted to all FE Centres early next week.

Thursday, 13 November 2008

Meeting for Heads of Computing

Caroline and I discussed plans today for the forthcoming meeting of Heads of Computing.

We're a little late in organising it (it's usually November each year) and I know that you do your plans for next year at this time so we were keen to hold it ASAP.

This year's event will take place on Friday, 12 December commencing at 10am and finishing at 3.30pm. It will be held in Marriott Hotel in Glasgow. It should be a good event, including an overview of current curricular developments and a number of spotlights on such things as the new HND Interactive Media, an update on the HND Computer Games Development, changes to the National Occupational Standards, and Ron Dillin is going to speak about performance indicators in Computing.

Caroline will write to every centre, providing a detailed agenda, in the near future. But, in the meantime, this is a date for your diary. An online registration site will be available soon.

Please contact Caroline for more information.

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Planning for next year

The Computing team met this afternoon to discuss our plans for next year (FY 2009/10).

There are a number of on-going projects (such as the HND Computer Games project) and important new projects (such as the NOS review) that we have to support, but we are open to suggestions from you, if you want to propose projects that me and my team could support.

Feel free to add a comment to this post or e-mail me directly if you have ideas for new qualifications or specific support needs that you would like SQA to provide. We would welcome suggestions about qualifications, assessment packs, or teaching and learning resources.

HND Computer Games Development

The first meeting of the Qualification Development Team (QDT) for the HND Computer Games Development was held this morning.

There was a good attendance. This being the first meeting, we spent most of the time discussing the role of the QDT and the various tasks involved in developing a new qualification. But we also spent some time discussing the aims and objectives of the award, and the sorts of jobs that the course would lead to. These included games tester, game mod developer, and script writer. We agreed that freelance (self-employed) work would also be important. Of course, articulation with Higher Education would also be vital.

This project will not only develop an HND award but also review the existing HNC qualification so that there was a good fit between them.

I'm hoping that the new awards will be available to centres from January 2010. You can find out more about the project from Tony Gurney (the lead developer) or contact Caroline if you want to be involved in this development.

Friday, 7 November 2008

HN annual report

The HN annual report was made available on the SQA website today.

Thursday, 6 November 2008

Leckie & Leckie - PC Passport (Intermediate)

Leckie & Leckie have now officially launched their new Intermediate PC Passport publication which can be purchased direct from their website.

I've listed below the two available publications:

PC Passport Course Notes with CD-ROM - Beginner Level 2nd Edition (ISBN: 9781843725916)

PC Passport Course Notes with CD-ROM - Intermediate Level 2nd Edition (ISBN:9781843725923)

To place an order, please click on the URL below:

HNC Interactive Media Graded Unit - Assessment Writer Wanted

Further to an earlier post by Bobby regarding the the availability of funds to develop a further three Assessment Exemplar packs for the above Unit, we are now seeking a writer(s) to develop this material.

If interested, please contact me direct for further information (

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

Video gaming to be bigger than music

Interesting piece on the growth of video games in the next few years.