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Monday, 14 March 2011

Measuring success in vocational programmes

I posted a message in December about a project being undertaken to look at ways of measuring performance in vocational Computing programmes. The project was requested by the Sector Panel for Computing & IT, and is being undertaken by Ron Dillon (Stow College) and Joanna McGilvray (Forth Valley College). I met with Ron and Joanna this afternoon to get an update on their progress.

The aim of the project is to look at ways of measuring success within vocational Computing awards. This is harder than it sounds. Students on vocational programmes are different from pupils at school. They have more pressures on them (often responsible for running households) and tend to come and go in a way that does not happen at school. So simply measuring how many people start and (successfully) complete a course in a given year does not work.

Their findings are fascinating. Ron has concentrated on programme pass rates and Joanna has looked at unit pass rates (including Graded Units). Preliminary results confirm the complexities surrounding the analysis of data relating to group award and unit pass rates.

Ron and Joanna will present their findings at the next Sector Panel meeting (in April), and will then produce a short report on their findings, which will include recommendations on how best to measure success rates in these types of programme. I hope to share their final report with you at some time in the future.

Contact Ron if you want to know more about this project. Contact Caroline if you want to know more about the Sector Panel.

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