HN design and assessment

I attended a meeting yesterday afternoon about possible changes to Higher National Qualifications (HNQs). SQA has been considering ways of reducing assessment within HNQs for some time and the purpose of yesterday’s meeting was to consult with internal staff about some of the possible changes.

People, generally, liked the HN unit specification so that’s unlikely to change. But there may be ways of encouraging more holistic assessment. The Graded Unit specification appears to have more issues so this may be (slightly) changed to improve its consistency and clarity. There is general agreement that more use of sampling (of evidence requirements) would reduce the assessment burden so it’s likely that this aspect of assessment will be promoted.

Nothing critical is going to change. But the team leading this initiative plan to write new guidance on writing Higher National units (there will be separate guides for HN and NQ units) with particular emphasis on reducing assessment, sampling and integration. I like what we’re trying to do and, I think, that the Computing team is already doing much of what is being recommended (such as holistic, integrated assessment) but this new guidance will help us improve our practice.

We hope to publish the new guide in Summer 2018. Contact Ellie for more information.

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Thanks Bobby!

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