New ICT qualifications branded ‘too hard’ or ‘too soft’

This is the headline from an article in the Guardian online today, it adds further fuel to our recent discussions at subject leader updates. One of the interesting points is that it states that QCA has not approved the OCR qualification yet, but according to Ian from Madeley Court it has been accredited.

I think it is a shame that people are saying DiDA is ‘too hard’, surely it is only too hard in comparison to the GNVQ in ICT. It is good to hear that it is taking schools a lot longer to deliver, would we expect double award science to be taught in a single option block? If not why do we think we can teach a 2 GCSE or even a 4 GCSE equivalent in a single option block time, with maybe the extra lesson or two after school. We also near to bear in mind that DiDA is still officialy in its pilot stage and things may well change.

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4 Responses to New ICT qualifications branded ‘too hard’ or ‘too soft’

  1. Richard Smith says:

    I am concerned that OCR are too concerned with trying to grab back some of the ‘custom’ thay have lost to Edexcel because of the early success of the Dida family of courses….Hardly a valid reason for another new course…ICT cordinators are going to be asked by headteachers which course will provide the school with the best results not which course will provide students with the tools they need to work effectively in a modern technological society.

  2. Tony says:

    Too right Richard re how the choice might be made – so the paths of Learning and “Education” continue to diverge further. However, I’m not sure I subscribe to your final choice of phrasing in the sense that you could argue that the “Education” route would probably claim a link with equipping students for work (in a society obsessed with the cosmetics of success) whereas I continue to believe that learning might take them a step or two beyond that and that’s why a subject/course “worth its salt” might be more demanding and take a little longer.

  3. Stephen Williams says:

    I am wondering about the ‘DiDa too hard’ comment.
    What are those who feel this way concerned about? Are they disappointed with the first set of results or do they think that the demands on the pupils is excessive?

    I think a full 4 Unit DiDA will make substantial demands on the students and I would expect that very few (compared to the GNVQ) will succeed. The Units use the approach of the KS3 strategy and I think when teachers are more familiar with what the Chief Examiner wants from the SPB they will be able to help students to get good grades – after all it is only about jumping through the correct hoops!

    The current SPB in Unit 1 requires a sophisticated Powerpoint presentation (or a mini Web site), a Publisher leaflet, some Database work and a bit of spreadsheet work to analyse a survey. Lots of planning (and revision of the plan), getting feedback on their progress from other students – adapting work in light of comments – and an evaluation. Very different from the GNVQ but not a major challenge. Stiching it all together (using Dreamweaver/Front page – or Word even) is not too difficult although I would imagine the restricted file formats may be a headache at first.

    I went to Moderator training in London before Christmas and some of the work I have seen is OK but over valued by the centre who do not seem to use the Assessment Criteria very well. Moderators will then have to reduce marks of course disappointing Centres. Edexcel seem to want to maintain the standards for DiDA and I am glad that they are. If Centres use the criteria and help pupils effectivley pupils will score highly.

  4. Ben says:

    I’m a student currently doing the DiDA courses. To me and many of my fellow students, DiDA is anything but too hard.

    Each SPB is meant to take quite some time to complete. However from where I stand, the only reason for this is that the subject is so tedious that anybody studying it simply gives up on the excessive admin and logging involved.

    I think perhaps there should be a subject available that is focused on learning new skills, and about computer systems. This would mean less ‘repetitive data entry’ style work and more oppertunities for learning experiences otherwise limited by the DiDA course.

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