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Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Qualifications Development Forum

The team work within the Qualifications Development directorate within SQA, and every year the whole directorate attend a forum event. There was an event yesterday afternoon, held in Glasgow.

These events are a collection of workshops, from which each person chooses to attend three. I attended one about the Curriculum for Excellence (CfE), another about research in assessment, and one on the design of qualifications.

It was particularly interesting to catch up with what's happening with CfE. This is an important national initiative that will effect all of education, not just schools. I noted that draft course rationals, structures and unit specifications will be published later this month, and final arrangements this time next year (apart from Advanced Higher).

My favourite workshop was the one about research in assessment. We spent most of the time discussing the need to modernise education in general, and assessment in particular, but recognised the barriers to change. One particularly interesting piece of research related to giving adults credit (within HNC/Ds) for their previous work experience -- but most respondents (learners and employers) emphasised the academic value of HN qualifications and didn't want to "miss out" on any part of these programmes.

The workshop of "product architecture" (that's qualification design to you and me) was also interesting because SQA is looking at ways of changing the way we design and define awards.

It's great to get away from e-mail and telephone for an afternoon and catch up with the bigger issues facing SQA.

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