Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Heads of Computing event

The Heads of Computing event was held in the Menzies Hotel in Glasgow on Friday. This annual event has taken place for the last ten years, and has proven to be popular with college staff. It's an important event for the SQA team since it gives us an opportunity to meet key stakeholders face-to-face and hear, at first hand, their views about the service that we provide. There was an excellent attendance with over 50 people attending, representing almost every college in Scotland.

The agenda was varied. Martyn Ware, Head of Assessment in SQA, gave the keynote, which was entitled: "The future is already here". It was thought provoking and well received. Martyn emphasised SQA's "commitment to modernising assessment" and our desire to "encourage digital evidence". He also highlighted the growing popularity of SOLAR.

This talk was followed by Sheila Page (HMIE) who gave preliminary feedback on the current subject-based Aspect report on Computing. Sheila had good news. She reported that there had been "improvements in teaching and learning" since the last report (2009).

There were two particulalry important presentations about two major developments taking place right now. Frank Frame updated attendees on the forthcoming Digital Passport suite of awards. Frank emphasised the importance of digital literacy skills, and described how Digital Passport aims to deliver these vital skills.

David Renton introduced the revised National Certificate awards, which have just been validated. He highlighted some of the improved features of the updated awards, such as the inclusion of projects and greater focus on academic skills at the higher levels. Both Digital Passport and the revised NC awards seemed the be genuinely well received by the audience.

The event appeared to go well. The people that I spoke to all seemed to have enjoyed it and got something from it. We formally evaluate this event (using an online survey) so all participants will be contacted in the near future to ask for the views about the event. We'll also send a link to the presentations that were used on the day. In the meantime, please contact Hilary if you have any queries about this event or contact Caroline if you want to know about next year's event.

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