Thursday, 21 March 2013

Computer Basics

Bobby recently posted a message about the new Computer Basics Unit at SCQF level 3.  This has now been coded H3LJ 09 and is available [PDF] on NQ Unit Search.

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Qualification toolkit for centres

I received notification this morning that the toolkit for centres to devise qualifications has been updated.

SQA has a long tradition of working with centres to develop qualifications. I've previously mentioned how we capture your ideas. This resource provides all of the guidance, forms and tools you will need to develop SQA awards.

I'll put a link to it in the sidebar ("Useful links") so that you can find it.

Thursday, 14 March 2013

QRT meeting

The Qualification Review Team (QRT) met yesterday, in Glasgow, for its third meeting. As mentioned previously, the QRT aims to design alternative assessments (for HN awards) that better match the sort of assessments students face at university.

We're now at the "sharp end" of the project, getting down to actually producing things. Two members of the Team (Anne Russell and Cameron Walker) have been asked to develop assessment specifications for these alternative assessments.

Anne and Cameron will produce a number of university-type assessments. One of these will be a combined assessment that will integrate the practical outcomes of a number of HNC units to produce a much larger, more holistic, assessment activity. Another will be a new examination for the HND awards that will combine the theoretical outcomes of a number of HND (year 2) units, which will look like the sort of assessment students face at university.

Another aim of the project is to improve college students academic skills, such as their study skills and their critical thinking. This has been a long standing issue for universities, which have reported that college students are sometimes weak in these areas. The QRT for Computing hopes to address this by profiling these skills, which will highlight to teachers where they can be taught.

We hope to have these new assessment designs by the middle of April, so that pilolt centres can offer them next session.

Contact me if you want to know more about this project.

Friday, 1 March 2013

Standards colloquium

I attended a "standards colloquium" in the Grand Central Hotel, in Glasgow, yesterday. It was a full day event and this is a busy time of the year for me and my team but it was time well spent. These events are great for giving you a broader perspective on education.

There were some top notch speakers at the event, including the Director of Qualifications from Ofqual, the body responsible for standards in England. There was also an interesting talk from Aileen Ponton, the CEO of SCQF, about qualification frameworks throughout the world. Rob van Krieken, of SQA, gave a talk about how SQA tries to monitor the standards of qualifications over time, to ensure comparability of standards.

I learnt a lot from the event, particularly about international developments in qualification frameworks, which Aileen described as "an international phenomenon", and how SCQF compares to other frameworks, particularly the European Qualification Framework (EQF).