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Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Defining the subject

I've mentioned before that SQA was in the process of re-organising Verification Groups (VGs) as a result of a report from the Royal Society about the past and future of the subject area. That report made a strong recommendation that Computing should be viewed as three distinct, but linked, subject areas: Digital Literacy, Information Technology and Computer Science. It also recommended that awarding bodies across the UK adopt this taxonomy.

SQA was happy to follow that advice. The first tangible change is this re-organisation of VGs, which I have been working on over the summer and is almost now complete. The new groups have been created and we are in the process of assigning EVs to each group. I used the following definitions to help me create the groups and assign qualifications (download here).

This is about more than just a change of name. The Report made it clear that seeing the subject area in this way (as having three branches) is fundamental and will have important implications for every aspect of the subject. From SQA's perspective, it's a useful way of considering curriculum development and categorising the portfolio of awards. I'm sure colleges and schools and other providers of computer education and training will find it equally helpful.

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