NPA Data Science update

Since my last post about this development, we’ve made a lot of progress. Unit writers (and vetters) have been selected and training has taken place. The Qualification Development Team (QDT) had its third meeting yesterday and made a lot of important decisions.

The framework is now finalised. The qualification will have a 2-3-3 structure — two units at National 4 (SCQF Level 4) and three units at National 5 and Higher (SCQF Levels 5 and 6). Data Science and Data Citizenship will be mandatory in all three levels but there will be a choice of optional unit at Levels 5 and 6 (National 5 and Higher).

We spent a lot of time at yesterday’s meeting discussing what should go into the units. There were several issues to be addressed. What does a “data citizen” need to know? What statistics are unique to data science? And what Machine Learning is a feasible to teach to a 16 year old pupil at National 5 level? The other issue we discussed was about what goes where. Many of the units will be available at various levels (for example, the Data Science unit will be available at Levels 4, 5 and 6) so we had to consider how best to smoothly move from level to level.

We made a lot of progress with these difficult questions. The development involves the creation of 12 new units, and we now have to actually write these unit specifications. We will do that during January and February, which is longer than I initially hoped but we’re still on schedule for a Spring 2019 validation and the new suite of awards being available for August next year. There’s been a lot of interest in this development so I’m aware of the importance of delivering the qualification on time.

Please contact Lorraine if you want to know more about this development.

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Philip Bradfield

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And what Machine Learning is a (sic) ( it ???) feasible to teach to a 16 year old pupil at National 5 level?

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