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Establishing a Foundation Degree in Computing at Fermanagh College Gerry Kingston – Lecturer Computing.

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Presentation on theme: "Establishing a Foundation Degree in Computing at Fermanagh College Gerry Kingston – Lecturer Computing."— Presentation transcript:

1 Establishing a Foundation Degree in Computing at Fermanagh College Gerry Kingston – Lecturer Computing

2 Fermanagh College

3 Viable Student NumbersUniversityIndustrial Partners Program Concept Other concerns – Management support, staff and physical resources, marketing

4 Initial Contact with University UU had given a presentation to FE colleges in N. Ireland about the provision of Foundation Degrees and invited colleges to apply. Fermanagh College had a well established but dated HND in Computing. Inspectorate reports had been generally favourable but noted poor industrial links.

5 Stage 1 – CA2 form Course Proposal from an external Institution Must be submitted by an early deadline eg October. After initial expression of interest able to correspond with Dr Stephen Hagan – UU Faculty of Engineering Head of Collaborative Courses (my best friend in the whole world)

6 CA2 Sections Course Outline Reasons for Proposal Student numbers Progression routes External Agencies – Industrial Links Entry Requirements Aims and Learning Outcomes Course Structure Teaching and Learning Methods Resources –Staff –Course Committee –Physical –Support Endorsement of Proposal

7 Students Speaking to existing HND computing students the title Foundation Degree is more appealing than HND Changes in application qualification would make little difference to student numbers. Consulted with AVCE/BTEC Nat. students in college and their course co-ordinators Surveyed careers officers in local schools

8 Consultation with Employers Welcomed by most employers on a visit to their company Surveyed essential understanding required Practical experience required Programming languages and software packages Possible number of students who could be accommodated on work placement Format of work placement

9 Management Support Management must facilitate and encourage the course team Appoint a course co-ordinator and allow staff time for course submission – it requires large quantities of time and effort. Support your local course co-ordinator

10 Course Team Decide on module content and structure based on details obtained by course co- ordinator. Course structure is primarily controlled by the employer links and core structure provided by the University rather than staff preferences. Consider teaching and Learning methods

11 Outline Structure from UU 120 xxx 1 10 xxx A20 xxx 120 xxx 120 xxx 120 xxx 220 xxx 220 xxx 120 xxx Ye ar 1 240 Work-based Learning Ye ar 2 A 10 xxx Certificate of Higher Education 220 xxx

12 Fermanagh College FD Computing structure 120 Systems Analysis and Design 1 10 Comp- uting Math- ematics A20 Software Constructs and Tools 120 Database 120 Computer Platforms 120 Introduction to Programming 220 Network Database Applications 220 Web Application Development 120 Software Construction Ye ar 1 240 Work-based Learning Ye ar 2 A 10 Comp- uter Applic- ations Certificate of Higher Education 220 Computer Networks

13 Submission of CA2 form stage 1 complete UU Course Approval Sub-Committee considered our CA2 and “recommended to the Teaching and Learning Committee that the proposal proceed to planning and evaluation with a view to entry in September 2004” Now we were to prepare a course document in line with the University’s Guide to Collaboration in Course Provision

14 Stage 2 Course Document and presentation to Faculty Validation Panel. Course Document Follow University course document template. General Introduction – origins, student demand Course Specification – learning outcomes, structure, admission criteria Commentary – progression, entrepreneurship, teaching, learning and assessment criteria Course Regulations – must follow University standards, work based learning, course structure and course modules. Course Management – quality assurance, college resources

15 Module Design Involve teaching team in overall course plan including relationships between modules and linking modules to needs of industrial partners. Not all industrial partners will have identical needs so compromise where necessary and justify decision to industrial partner. Ensure coverage of course learning outcomes across module portfolio

16 Choice of programming language University Progression Java HND Computing VB6 & Java Must be an OO language QUINN Group C# Swiftsoft VB BALCAS Eventual Choice

17 Individual Module Design Teaching team members wrote the modules they expected to deliver then agreed the content with the course co-ordinator. Views of relevant local employers had a strong input to module design and assessment.

18 Module structure Rationale – brief introduction Aims – point format Learning Outcomes –Knowledge and Understanding –Intellectual Qualities –Professional/Practical Skills –Transferable Skills Content Learning and Teaching Methods Assessment – ensure coverage of Learning outcomes Reading List Summary Description

19 Work Placement Feedback from employers indicated a preference for semester 2 with students possibly spending most of the week with an employer. Module assessment –Work placement preparation –Reports on activities during placement –Employer feedback and tutor observation –Post placement review including peer review

20 APL Include college APL Scheme in appendix APL only applicable to year 1 modules (where APL scheme demonstrates academic experience and ability equivalent to any particular module)

21 Progression Routes Foundation Degree in Computing at Fermanagh College Full time BSc Hons in Computing at University of Ulster joining year 2 and year 4 Part time BSc Hons Computing and Information Systems at Fermanagh College or UU Employment

22 Faculty Validation Meeting Provide 7 copies of course document in advance. Meeting took place in UU between Faculty of Engineering staff and the course team. Representative from industry present. Course co-ordinator gave outline of course proposal then complete team answered questions. Work placement and entrepreneurship training were closely examined.

23 Faculty Validation Outcome The Faculty Validation Panel recommended progression to the University Evaluation Panel. Significant number of changes requested, especially to Work placement. Stage 2 complete

24 Stage 3 University Evaluation Panel Review and rewrite course document in keeping with comments from the faculty panel. Include concept of learning contract between employers and students. Provide 7 copies in advance of meeting

25 University Evaluation Panel, College staff and Industrial links

26 University Evaluation Panel UU Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Teaching and Learning Professor N Black, Dean of Faculty of Engineering 3 lecturers from Universities in England Local Industrial representative, head of IT at the Quinn Group

27 University Evaluation Panel Tour of facilities Presentation of course to panel Further changes recommended Lunch with various local industrial links Course finally accepted (subject to changes in course document) Stage 3 complete (almost)

28 Living with a Foundation Degree Document everything –Course team meetings. –Staff/student consultative meetings –Exam Boards –Resit boards –Course Review

29 Quality Procedures CW / Ex set by module co- ordinator Internally verified by course co- ordinator or member of teaching team Externally verified by subject expert within the University of Ulster Externally verified by External examiner

30 Closing comment An excellent course with real practical skills and abilities. Prepares students well for the work environment The teaching team must meet frequently in the first year. Co-ordinator must drive course forward.

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