Friday, 24 May 2013

HNC/D Computing Launch Event

We are officially launching the following HNC/D Computing awards on Wednesday 19th June 2013 at 1000-1530 hours in the Jury's Inn, 80 Jamaica Street, Glasgow:

HNC Computing (GE3F 15)
HND Computer Science (GG7D 16)
HND Computing: Networking (GG7C 16)
HND Computing: Software Development (GG7E 16)
HND Computing: Technical Support (GG7F 16)

We are busy organising this event and hope to have a range of items for presentation and discussion.

To register, please click on the URL below:

As places are limited, please ensure you book early to secure your registration.

A maximum of two places can be reserved by each registered delegate.

Look forward to seeing you then.

Thursday, 23 May 2013

Working with the British Computer Society

The British Computer Society (BCS) is one of a number of national and international IT bodies that SQA works with. Readers of this blog will know that we recently formalised our relationship with BCS through a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). An MoU is a high level agreement so we have to turn that into real action.

That process began yesterday, when me and my team attended a BCS event in Glasgow, and continued this morning with a private meeting in the SQA offices in Glasgow. At the public meeting both parties (BCS and SQA) signalled our intention to work together; at this morning's meeting we got down to what that really means.

There are a number of potential areas of development, including joint promotion and joint development of qualifications. Today's meeting was very productive. One of the concrete outcomes was that all students who undertake the new HN awards will be eligible for Student Membership of the BCS. We also agreed to serve on one another's committees. The BCS already has representation on the Sector Panel but we agreed further collaborations like that.

It's early days in our relationship but look out for more news about SQA/BCS initiatives on this blog in the coming months.

Contact me if you want to know more about how SQA and BCS collaborations.

Friday, 17 May 2013

Teaching JAVA Programming Free Learning Materials from Oracle Academy

This will be of interest to schools and colleges -

The Oracle Academy is pleased to announce that the Getting Started with Java Using Alice Workshop, V2, which supports Alice 3.1.60 and higher, is now available from the website.

Use the following steps to access the materials:
Paste the URL listed below to quickly display the workshop materials.
Use the following steps to download all of the workshop materials:
From the Oracle Academy collections page, open the Workshop Resources folder.2. Download the zip file of the entire workshop. Exercise patience while downloading.

#CampusParty Campus Party Europe

I met Martyn Wallace from 02 recently and he highlighted this big educational engagement event in London.

I did highlight this would be week most Colleges in Scotland will be busy with induction - but this is an event that many students particularly transitioning from HNC - HND should be interested in . I think some teaching staff will be interested too.

As long as they don't mind sleeping in a tent inside the 02 Arena in London

See details below

SAVE THE DATE ** Campus Party Europe, 2nd – 6th September 2013, London ** SAVE THE DATE

The world’s biggest digital entertainment festival comes to the UK

This year the Telefonica UK will play host to Campus Party Europe - a week-long, 24-hours-a-day celebration of the latest in digital technology.

Campus Party Europe will give young digital enthusiasts the opportunity to hone their digital skills; give budding entrepreneurs the chance to turn their ideas into reality; and help businesses find the talent they need to grow. 

The festival will also feature some of the world’s most inspirational science and technology communicators. Speakers at previous events include Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web; Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple; and astronaut Neil Armstrong. We’ll be announcing this year’s line-up of speakers soon.

For many ‘Campuseros’, the festival will be a key part of their journey into the world of work.  To ensure your students don’t miss out on this unique opportunity, we would be grateful if you could alert them and your colleagues to the date and location of Campus Party 2013 at your earliest convenience. Similarly, if your University signs up as a partner your students will get 20% discount. 

Please check out the website for more information:

For any questions please respond to

Campus Party Team

Thursday, 9 May 2013

Group Award Codes - HND Computing

I am currently operationalising the following HND Computing awards and awaiting the Group Award Codes for each of these:

  1. HND Computer Science
  2. HND Computing: Networking
  3. HND Computing: Software Development
  4. HND Computing: Technical Support

As soon as the award codes are received and added to the Group Award Specifications (formally Arrangements Document) these will be published to the website and a link will be posted on the blog to each of the documents.

In the meantime, if you have any queries relating to these awards, please contact me direct.

Support Materials for HNC/D Computing

The new HNC/D Computing awards are heavily support by a number of Assessment Support Packs (ASPs) as well as e-Learning materials for the mandatory units within the HNC Computing award.

Over the last year we have developed a large number of packs that cover a selection of mandatory and optional units in the revised HNC/D awards.  The following ASPs are our Phase 1 developments - published ASPs are available on the SQA secure website (access via your SQA centre co-ordinator):

Computer Hardware: Hardware Installation and Maintenance (Published)
Computer Networking: Fundamentals (Published)
Computer Networking: Practical (Under Development)
Computer Systems Fundamentals (Published)
Computing: Graded Unit 1 (Exam) - Version 1 (Published)
Computing: Graded Unit 1 (Exam) – Version 2 (Published)
Computing: Introduction to Project Management (Published)
Computing: PC Hardware and Operating Systems Essentials (Published)
Computing: PC Hardware and Operating Systems Support (Published)
Configuring a Desktop Operating System (Published)
Convergence Technologies (Under Development)
Databases: Introduction (Awaiting Publication)
Developing Mobile Web Based Applications: An Introduction (Published)
Developing Software: Introduction (Published)
Handling Information as a Resource (Under Development)
Human Computer Interaction (Published)
Intrusion Prevention Systems (Under Development)
Mail Server Management (Under Development)
Managing a Web Server SCQF 7 (Under Development)
Managing a Web Server SCQF 8 (Under Development)
Mobile Technology (Published)
Network Concepts (Published)
Open Source Operating Systems: Basic Server Administration (Awaiting Publication)
Open Source Operating Systems: Introduction to Command Line Administration (Published)
Professionalism and Ethics in Computing (Published)
Relational Database Management Systems (Under Development)
Software Development Programming Foundations (Under Development)
Software Development: Data Structures (Published)
Software Development: Developing Small Scale Standalone Applications (Published)
Software Development: Developing Websites for Multiplatform Use (Under Development)
Software Development: Object Oriented Programming (Published)
Software Development: Systems Foundation (Published)
Systems Development: Object Oriented Analysis & Design (Published)
Team Working in Computing (Published)
Technical Support: Supporting Users – Hardware (Published)
Technical Support: Supporting Users – Software (Published)
Troubleshooting a Desktop Operating System (Published)
Troubleshooting Computing Problems (Published)

In addition to the above, we have contracted writers/vetters for a 2nd batch of ASPs (Phase 2) which have started development now.  Most of these Units are part of our International frameworks but many cross-over into the revised HND Computing awards which will give us a larger pool of support materials to support the awards.   All of the packs below will be available by September 2013 with some arriving in June/July:

Client Operating Systems
Cloud Computing
Computer Forensics: Fundamentals
Computer Networks: Building Local Area Networks
Database Design Fundamentals
HND Computing: Networking Graded Unit 2 (Project)
HND Computing: Software Dev. Graded Unit 2 (Project)
HND Computing: Technical Support: Graded Unit 2 (Project)
HND Computer Science Graded Unit 2 (Project)
Internetworking Technology
Network Server Operating Systems
Network Technology & Data Communications
Networking Technology
Providing Technical Support to Users
Routing Technology
Scripting for Interactivity
Security Concepts
Self Describing Data (XML)
Server Administration
Software Development: Rapid Application Development & Prototyping
SQL: Introduction
Switching Technology
Web Development: Producing a Data Driven Website

Please contact your SQA centre co-ordinator for access to any of the published materials listed above.