Wednesday, 29 April 2009

Computer Games

I visited Forrester High School this morning to discuss qualifications in computer games.

A group of teachers, representing the school, college and university sectors, had been thinking about developing awards relating to computer games, and wanted to discuss their ideas with me.

It was a good meeting and their ideas were very interesting with lots of potential. The group proposed three new awards (National Progression Awards) at SCQF Levels 4, 5 and 6. I explained the process that has to be followed to turn ideas like this into real qualifications.

The first stage is to ensure that SQA has the capacity to support the development so I'll discuss this internally before deciding if/when to take this forward. But it sounds an interesting development, which I'm sure would be popular with schools and colleges.

We are currently developing a new HND in this area (HND Computer Games Development), which will include reviewing the existing HNC award (HNC Computer Games Development), so developing new awards at Levels 4, 5 and 6 would compliment these on-going developments.

Monday, 27 April 2009

Changes to various HN Unit Specifications

Following the last HN QST meeting, the following HN Unit Specifications have been updated and version 02 is now available on the SQA Website - please refer to the Administrative Information section within the Unit to see a description of the changes made:

F0N0 35 Professional Issues in Computing
DX43 35 Information Technology: Legislation and Codes of Practice
DF6C 34 Software Development: Introduction
F1VS 34 Interactive Media: Planning
F1YY 34 Web Development: Essential Content

Any associated exemplar materials will also be amended to reflect the changes made if applicable.

In addition to the changes above, the following Group Award changes will become live over the next 3-5 days:

DM2X 35 Computer Operating Systems 2 (now an optional unit within HNC IT and HNC Computer Networking)

D7LW 34 Communication: Using Information Technology and Desktop Publishing will be
added to frameworks as an either/or with DF5Y 34 Desk Top Publishing

DG06 35 and D76D 35 Internet: Web Server Management will have lapse dates added to them and centres should deliver the latest version of this unit being DM3C 35

All changes will be included in the next Update Letter to Centres.

Thursday, 16 April 2009

NPA QDT meeting today

We're in the process of finalising three NPAs and developing six new ones.

The three being finalised are:
  1. Digital Media Basics (Level 4)
  2. Digital Media Editing (Level 5)
  3. Digital Animation (Level 5)
We're hoping to have the validation conditions lifted within the next month.

This morning I met with the development team for the new NPAs. These are:
  1. Digital Media Production (Level 6)
  2. Website Enterprise (Level 6)
  3. Computer Hardware & Software (Level 5)
  4. Software Development (Level 5)
  5. Social Software (Level 4)
  6. Digital Photography (Level 5).
These new awards are already well along the road to being written, and the validation event for them will take place on Monday, 1 June. We're looking for validation panel members if you want to be involved.

Please contact Shirley if you want to know more about these developments or serve on the validation panel.

Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Free Training Sessions

The e-Assessment and Learning Department offer free training sessions for our on-line assessment (SOLAR) system and also in the area of e-portfolios.

SOLAR online assessment - am session (
Skills 4 Work Deskspace e-portfolio - pm session (

New dates for training are listed below and will take place at SQA Offices, Optima Building, 58 Robertson Street, Galsgow G2 8DQ (Map available on request)

21st May 2009
28th May 2009

We are offering 2 places* per centre at each of the sessions. Please book early to avoid disappointment.

The sessions are aimed at Schools, Colleges and External Training Providers.

For more information on booking current and future training events please contact Derek McFarlane on 0845 213 5406 or e-mail

*Please can you check if staff have attended from your centre previously. We would also ask that if you would like training at your centre outwith these dates, a minimum of 10 staff are required.