SQA Heads of Computing Event 12 December 2008
Recruitment and Learner Success in Computing Ron Dillin Stow College [email_address]
Why me?? Why me? <ul><li>Head at Stow </li></ul><ul><li>SQA Sector Panel </li></ul><ul><li>Associate Assessor </li></ul>
Background <ul><li>Drop in demand for Computing in colleges </li></ul><ul><li>Low student attainment in Computing </li></u...
Demand for Computing Courses <ul><li>Schools </li></ul><ul><li>Colleges </li></ul><ul><li>Universities </li></ul><ul><li>F...
Demand in Schools <ul><li>Dropping at Standard Grade and Higher </li></ul><ul><li>Computing departments being closed or me...
Recruitment Trends in Colleges and Universities <ul><li>Colleges: Recruitment to HN courses in superclass  Information Tec...
Computing in Universities <ul><li>Pre-1992 Universities </li></ul><ul><li>Courses mainly Computer Science/Software Enginee...
UK IT Jobs Market <ul><li>Relatively buoyant? </li></ul><ul><li>Developers roles overseas </li></ul><ul><li>Effects of rec...
Issues re Recruitment <ul><li>Poor careers advice? </li></ul><ul><li>Poor image of IT people – not glamorous! </li></ul><u...
Questions re Recruitment <ul><li>Questions? </li></ul><ul><li>Answers? </li></ul><ul><li>Comments? </li></ul>
Possible Actions on  Recruitment <ul><li>Leaflets/Posters </li></ul><ul><li>Video? </li></ul><ul><li>Meet with careers adv...
Learner Success <ul><li>Attainment of formal qualifications in computing is significantly lower than in other subject area...
Learner Attainment 0  (0%) 20  (10%) 118  (61%) 54  (28%) 192 All subject areas 1  (5%) 9  (45%) 9  (45%) 1  (5%) 20 Compu...
A5 Learning and Teaching Process
A7 Learner Progress and Outcomes
Learner Attainment <ul><li>Conclusions: </li></ul><ul><li>Learning and teaching process  in Computing is graded lower than...
Attainment Issues <ul><li>How effective is learning and teaching? </li></ul><ul><li>How effective is guidance? </li></ul><...
How Effective is Learning and Teaching? <ul><li>Is computing teaching boring? </li></ul><ul><li>Is pack-based learning eff...
How Effective is Learning and Teaching? (Slide 2) <ul><li>‘ The most important resource learners have is the lecturer’ (Ia...
Programme Design Issues <ul><li>Are there to many level 8 units in our HNDs? </li></ul><ul><li>If so, is that because comp...
Assessment Issues <ul><li>Is the assessment load greater for HND than for degree years 1 and 2? </li></ul><ul><li>Do curre...
HMIE Computing Aspect Task <ul><li>Due to report in June 2009 </li></ul><ul><li>Should help answer questions regarding rec...
Possible Actions re Attainment <ul><li>Suggest SQA appoint a consultant (from FE/HE) to review design of existing programm...
Possible Actions re Attainment (Slide2) <ul><li>Suggest HMIE organise best practice events re Learning and Teaching follow...
Questions re Attainment <ul><li>Questions? </li></ul><ul><li>Answers? </li></ul><ul><li>Comments? </li></ul>
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Recruitment and Attainment in Computing Courses

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A presentation which I gave to the Scottish Qualification Authority\'s Heads of Computing conference in December 2008. It looks at issues surrounding recruitment to computing courses, and student success.

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  • Recruitment and Attainment in Computing Courses

    1. 1. SQA Heads of Computing Event 12 December 2008
    2. 2. Recruitment and Learner Success in Computing Ron Dillin Stow College [email_address]
    3. 3. Why me?? Why me? <ul><li>Head at Stow </li></ul><ul><li>SQA Sector Panel </li></ul><ul><li>Associate Assessor </li></ul>
    4. 4. Background <ul><li>Drop in demand for Computing in colleges </li></ul><ul><li>Low student attainment in Computing </li></ul><ul><li>Various meetings since May 2007 </li></ul><ul><li>Discussed at SFEU Computing Network Event, June 2008 </li></ul><ul><li>One day event at SFEU in September 2008 </li></ul><ul><li>Discussed at SQA Computing Sector Panel </li></ul>
    5. 5. Demand for Computing Courses <ul><li>Schools </li></ul><ul><li>Colleges </li></ul><ul><li>Universities </li></ul><ul><li>FT v PT </li></ul><ul><li>Professional v User Skills </li></ul><ul><li>Careers/Jobs </li></ul>
    6. 6. Demand in Schools <ul><li>Dropping at Standard Grade and Higher </li></ul><ul><li>Computing departments being closed or merged </li></ul><ul><li>Confusion between Computing and ICT </li></ul><ul><li>Driver v Mechanic/Designer </li></ul><ul><li>Curriculum for Excellence? </li></ul><ul><li>Careers Advice </li></ul><ul><li>Possible Higher Digital Media Computing? </li></ul>
    7. 7. Recruitment Trends in Colleges and Universities <ul><li>Colleges: Recruitment to HN courses in superclass Information Technology and Information fell by 29% between 2000 and 2007 (Source: SFC Infact Database HN Awards) </li></ul><ul><li>‘ The number of computing students in universities and colleges has dropped almost 50% since 2001 …prompting fears that IT departments [in industry] are on the verge of a new skills shortage’ (Source: Computer Weekly 10 June 2008 quoting a report commissioned by the UK’s Council of Professors and Heads of Computing (CPHC)) </li></ul>
    8. 8. Computing in Universities <ul><li>Pre-1992 Universities </li></ul><ul><li>Courses mainly Computer Science/Software Engineering </li></ul><ul><li>Post-1992 Universities </li></ul><ul><li>Networking/Technical Support </li></ul><ul><li>IT/Business Information Systems </li></ul><ul><li>Web Development/Multimedia </li></ul><ul><li>Games/Animation/Digital Art </li></ul><ul><li>Vendor qualifications </li></ul><ul><li>Keen to work with colleges </li></ul>
    9. 9. UK IT Jobs Market <ul><li>Relatively buoyant? </li></ul><ul><li>Developers roles overseas </li></ul><ul><li>Effects of recession on jobs market? </li></ul><ul><li>Effects of recession on recruitment to IT courses? </li></ul><ul><li>Computer Weekly Salary Survey: ‘Bright lights shine in the darkness’ but ‘IT job market faces deepening decline’ (Down 7% between Q3 2007 and Q3 2008) www.computerweekly.com </li></ul><ul><li>IT Jobs Watch www.itjobswatch.com </li></ul>
    10. 10. Issues re Recruitment <ul><li>Poor careers advice? </li></ul><ul><li>Poor image of IT people – not glamorous! </li></ul><ul><li>Perceived lack of jobs (NOT true) </li></ul><ul><li>Gender issue </li></ul><ul><li>Interest in Part-time /Flexible study (PDAs/NPAs)? </li></ul><ul><li>Other issues? </li></ul>
    11. 11. Questions re Recruitment <ul><li>Questions? </li></ul><ul><li>Answers? </li></ul><ul><li>Comments? </li></ul>
    12. 12. Possible Actions on Recruitment <ul><li>Leaflets/Posters </li></ul><ul><li>Video? </li></ul><ul><li>Meet with careers advisors? </li></ul><ul><li>Visit schools to better inform pupils? </li></ul><ul><li>Games/competitions/challenges to interest school pupils in computing as a career? </li></ul><ul><li>Other suggestions? </li></ul>
    13. 13. Learner Success <ul><li>Attainment of formal qualifications in computing is significantly lower than in other subject areas </li></ul><ul><li>Leads to ‘A7 Learner Progress and Outcomes’ commonly being graded as Fair </li></ul>Report Card Must do better!
    14. 14. Learner Attainment 0 (0%) 20 (10%) 118 (61%) 54 (28%) 192 All subject areas 1 (5%) 9 (45%) 9 (45%) 1 (5%) 20 Computing and ICT A7: Learner progress and outcomes 0 1 (0%) 96 (50%) 95 (49%) 192 All other subjects 0 1 (5%) 15 (75%) 4 (20%) 20 Computing and ICT Unsatisfactory Fair Good Very good No. of reviews Subject area A5: Learning and teaching process
    15. 15. A5 Learning and Teaching Process
    16. 16. A7 Learner Progress and Outcomes
    17. 17. Learner Attainment <ul><li>Conclusions: </li></ul><ul><li>Learning and teaching process in Computing is graded lower than most subject areas </li></ul><ul><li>Learner progress and outcomes for Computing is graded far lower than most subject areas </li></ul><ul><li>Success rates in Computing are a significant problem </li></ul><ul><li>Source: Analysis of HMIE Reviews of Quality and Standards in Scotland’s Colleges Academic Years 2004/05 to 2006/07, HMIE, Feb 2008 </li></ul>
    18. 18. Attainment Issues <ul><li>How effective is learning and teaching? </li></ul><ul><li>How effective is guidance? </li></ul><ul><li>Are courses too demanding – content and/or level? </li></ul><ul><li>Are courses over assessed? </li></ul><ul><li>Mapping to vendor qualifications – has this made courses more difficult? </li></ul><ul><li>Some units have very low success rates. </li></ul><ul><li>Are entry qualifications appropriate? – e.g. one Higher, NC level 5? </li></ul><ul><li>Do some learners have poor core skills on entry? </li></ul>
    19. 19. How Effective is Learning and Teaching? <ul><li>Is computing teaching boring? </li></ul><ul><li>Is pack-based learning effective? </li></ul><ul><li>Can students learn effectively in a large ‘Learning Centre’? </li></ul><ul><li>Should learners spend less time sitting at PCs? </li></ul><ul><li>Staff – is technical knowledge more important that being able to teach effectively? </li></ul><ul><li>CPD – are staff too busy learning new technologies to update on effective pedagogy? </li></ul><ul><li>Would a higher SUMs weighting for Computing help (and is that a realistic expectation)? </li></ul>
    20. 20. How Effective is Learning and Teaching? (Slide 2) <ul><li>‘ The most important resource learners have is the lecturer’ (Iain Lowson, HMI) </li></ul><ul><li>Do some lecturers act as ‘postmen/women’ – i.e. hand out notes then answer questions/fix problems (or not!) </li></ul><ul><li>Do learners learn transferable skills or merely how to follow a sequence of steps? </li></ul><ul><li>Do staff focus on honing their technology skills rather than their teaching skills? </li></ul><ul><li>How do we encourage independence in learning? </li></ul><ul><li>If learners are busy on their PCs, are they necessarily learning effectively? </li></ul>
    21. 21. Programme Design Issues <ul><li>Are there to many level 8 units in our HNDs? </li></ul><ul><li>If so, is that because computing is amore abstract subject than, say, hairdressing or care? </li></ul><ul><li>Can we reduce the number of level 8 units and still allow articulation to degree year 3? </li></ul><ul><li>Do we have unrealistic expectations of what learners can achieve re vendor qualifications? </li></ul><ul><li>Is an exam appropriate for HNC graded unit? </li></ul>
    22. 22. Assessment Issues <ul><li>Is the assessment load greater for HND than for degree years 1 and 2? </li></ul><ul><li>Do current programme development methods encourage over-assessment? </li></ul><ul><li>Can we make assessment more holistic (based on sampling), more integrated and more meaningful? </li></ul>
    23. 23. HMIE Computing Aspect Task <ul><li>Due to report in June 2009 </li></ul><ul><li>Should help answer questions regarding recruitment, attainment, effective learning and teaching, programme design and assessment. </li></ul>
    24. 24. Possible Actions re Attainment <ul><li>Suggest SQA appoint a consultant (from FE/HE) to review design of existing programmes (content/level). </li></ul><ul><li>Ditto for assessment. </li></ul><ul><li>SQA should investigate units with low success rates and consider amending unit specs/exemplar assessments. </li></ul><ul><li>For future validations, suggest independent review of programme design and assessment strategies prior to validation. </li></ul><ul><li>Suggest SQA monitor success rates on an ongoing basis. </li></ul>
    25. 25. Possible Actions re Attainment (Slide2) <ul><li>Suggest HMIE organise best practice events re Learning and Teaching following publication of aspect report. </li></ul><ul><li>Suggest more critical evaluation of learning and teaching by colleges. </li></ul><ul><li>SFEU subject network should continue to support innovation and dissemination of good practice. </li></ul><ul><li>SFEU online collaborative environment for computing teachers to share resources and best practice. </li></ul><ul><li>Other possible actions? </li></ul>
    26. 26. Questions re Attainment <ul><li>Questions? </li></ul><ul><li>Answers? </li></ul><ul><li>Comments? </li></ul>

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