Monday, 12 March 2012

E-learning material

As part of the additional support that we can now provide for the new awards, we plan to produce e-learning material for the mandatory units in the new HNC qualification (excluding the Graded Unit). We have assembled a team of writers, led by Ted Hastings, which will produce the material.

We didn't specify what tools the developers should use, so long as the final material can be used flexibly in a wide range of environments, including stand-alone and hosted on a VLE. One of the most popular ways of generating content is Wordpress, and we hosted a training event on Saturday for those writers who wanted to know more about this development environment.

It seemed to go well, and Wordpress appears to be a very capable development tool. I think the people who attended were impressed with its facilities.

We have traditionally supported our HN awards with e-learning material (the Computing awards are the best supported of any HN) and this initiative will continue that tradition. Look out for the new materials being available in June. Contact Caroline if you want more information on this project.

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

HNC Computing - Update

I understand that many centres are currently planning for the new session so thought it would be a good time to give you an update on the status for the new HNC Computing award.

The framework is now fixed and can be accessed here.  There is a section on the framework dedicated entirely to vendor.  This section will continue to populate as and when vendor courses have been successfully SCQF credit and levelled (and approved by the QDT).  More information on vendors will be detailed in the Arrangements Document due to be published on the SQA website in the next 3-4 weeks.

The Unit Specifications are validated and currently awaiting coding. These will start to appear on the website for download over the next week or so.  As soon as I start to receive a note of the codes I shall add them to the framework so that you have a complete listing of Units and Codes for the new and revised specifications.

The assessment exemplars for all mandatory Units in the HNC are well underway and these will be in place for the start of the new session.

We have managed to attain surplus monies from our year end budget that we have allocated this to three new projects to help support the new award:

1. Additional assessment exemplar packs (30 in total) covering a selection of optional units in the HNC
2. Online teaching and learning materials for the mandatory units in the new HNC Computing award
3. HN 2.0 project (further information here)

We shall be updating this blog with the status of all these projects over the next few months.

Thursday, 1 March 2012

Update on progress

This seems a good time to post another update on how things are progressing.

Since the validation event for the HNC in December, we've been working on the conditions and recommendations that the Panel asked us to address. We've made good progress, and I hope to have the HNC award validated in the near future. In the meantime, you can prepare for the new award if you're planning to offer it in August.

We've also been given additional funding to produce extra support materials for the new qualification, and the HN 2.0 project will investigate how you can use social media for assessing the HNC.

I didn't want to progress with the HNDs until the HNC was in-hand, and I think that we are pretty much in that position now, so we'll be organising the next meeting of the QDT soon.

Contact Caroline if you want specific information about the new awards.