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ICT A Level - is it a 'Hard' A Level or a 'Soft' A Level

Discussion in 'Computing and ICT' started by mossonbrick, Feb 5, 2011.

  1. I can't see ICT A Level mentioned in the list of 'Soft' A Levels in any of the papers. Does that mean it is a highly thought of one by Universities? e.g.
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/2011/feb/04/university-places-traditional-subjects-a-levels
    Why can't the Universites just come out and give us a list of the ones they think are rubbish? They've mentioned Business Studies and Photography, but what about the other ones? And do Universitiesever look at GCSE qualifications or DiDa type qualifications?

     
  2. I can't see ICT A Level mentioned in the list of 'Soft' A Levels in any of the papers. Does that mean it is a highly thought of one by Universities? e.g.
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/2011/feb/04/university-places-traditional-subjects-a-levels
    Why can't the Universites just come out and give us a list of the ones they think are rubbish? They've mentioned Business Studies and Photography, but what about the other ones? And do Universitiesever look at GCSE qualifications or DiDa type qualifications?

     
  3. It is on the list:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1020375/Now-A-levels-soft-subjects-recognised-universities.html
     
  4. Actually, if you read what those unis are saying, they are not saying an A-Level is either 'hard' or 'soft'. The are saying they are either relevant or irrelevant (pointless). And ICT is on the pointless list. Sad to say, but I agree. And the number of uni Computing Admissions tutors I have spoken to who say that A Level Computing is also pointless gives much the same message to students. They all preferred a good Maths A Level candidate. As for Vocational Level 2 qualifications, forget them, they count for nothing in the real world.
    Sadly, Gove is right, in a way. A buffoon, yes, but right. What ICT is now (MS Office studies) is pointless. What it could be would be engaging. But we wouldn't want to excite pupils, now would we? Let them fall asleep in Geography, MFL and History lessons taught by teachers who could bore for England. At least, that's my daughter's opinion of her teachers over the last 2 years in those 3 subjects. Like 80% of the pupils in her school, she can't wait to leave and doesn't give a hoot if that is with zero 'good' GCSE's. Actually, she is quite good at Science, History, Art and Geography. She is dyslexic, like both of her parents, and finds English very hard, and that pulls her down in other subjects as well as English. She is very articulate, but fails in the exams.
     
  5. madcat

    madcat Occasional commenter

    The problem is that it is not even MS office studies .i could, perhaps, live with it if i were teaching our students high level database/spreadsheet/web design skills. But I'm not
    In AQA at least, students are simply doing an A level in simplified project management . The dimwits at the last exam board meeting happily told us that writing an e-safety policy; adding information to web site though a cms; creating an "informational" powerpoint were all acceptable A2 projects
    FGS
    This isn't just a "soft" A level - It currenly doesn't even pass muster as an Advanced Level qualification at all

     
  6. We have to come out fighting on this - the other A Levels are also a *** joke.
    Stop beating yourself up and stop giving in to this negativity - A level Maths (I've tutored a friend's kid on this) and the Sciences are also utter **** nowadays.
    You dont find too many Science/Maths teachers indulging in compulsive hand-wringing.
    Dont buy the ******** - its all gone down the pan - its not just ICT.
     
  7. I have found that this attitude towards Computing is changing as admissions tutors have become more aware of what is actually on the syllabus. If you look at the entry requirements for both Oxford and Cambridge, Computing A-level is listed as useful for those applying for Computer Science.
    Even before the change in syllabus I never came across an admissions tutor who has said that A-level Computing was pointless, they have simply said that Maths is more important.
    Students usually do 4 AS levels and 3 A2s. If they are planning to do Computing/Computer Science at university it is still sensible to do Computing at A-level along side Maths.
    I sometimes sell Computing A-level by saying the student can find out if they actually like the subject before comitting to a 3 year degree costing £9000 a year. It certainly won't count against them. Many of my students get into Russell group universities to do a wide range of subjects - including Oxbridge.
     

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