The Digital Skills Partnership is very pleased to announce the creation of curriculum materials to support the Digital Forensics and Data Security units within the HNC in Cyber Security.

The Digital Skills Partnership accessed funding from the Scottish Government to undertake this development, in which college lecturers from four colleges; City of Glasgow College, Dundee and Angus College, New College Lanarkshire and North East Scotland College collaborated with each other and industry to create curriculum resources which are now being used by colleges across the country.

This development was needed to support colleges with the introduction of a new qualification; the HNC in Cyber Security.

The Digital Skills Partnership drew upon support from colleges, universities and industry to plan the delivery of the new curriculum materials, and in January 2019 the partnership held a curriculum planning day which was attended by ten colleges.  The planning day enabled lecturers from across the country to pull together existing resources in these curriculum areas and to outline where the gaps were in provision, so that the new resources could plug the gaps.

The partnership then recruited six lecturers, with specialist knowledge in digital forensics and data security, and ran the curriculum development weekend to create the new materials.

One of the lecturers who took part in development weekend, Sharon Phillips, Lecturer at Dundee and Angus College talks about her experience of being involved,

“The development weekend was extremely effective as we were away from everyday work issues and were able to focus wholly on the subject matter.  It worked particularly well as the individuals we were working with were fantastic team players and contributors.   The team brought much to the table and it was a great opportunity to share and learn from each other.

The development weekend has certainly helped lecturers by creating resources for two HN units, which we at Dundee and Angus College have published on our Moodle platform.  Our department is now using the materials that we developed.  We’ve made a couple of tweaks to them to suit our own environment, but essentially these were two courses that were ready to deliver, more or less straightaway. I was exceptionally grateful for the opportunity to be involved in this initiative and it would be great to see similar, such projects in the future.”

Matthew Smith, Head of Faculty for Creative Industries, at New College Lanarkshire whose colleagues also participated in the development weekend says,

“The Digital Skills Partnership’s curriculum development to co-create learning materials to support the HNC in Cyber Security was timely and necessary.  This development enabled lecturers from different colleges to pool their knowledge and expertise in the areas of digital forensics and data security to create a suite of materials that were coherent and consistent.  Ordinarily it would take months, or considerably longer, to produce resources to support a full HN unit.  However, in this case the materials to support two units were created over a weekend.   The responsiveness of the Digital Skills Partnership and its ability to corral expertise from the college sector across the country is something to be celebrated and I was very pleased that two of my colleagues from New College Lanarkshire were able to contribute to this development.  We would like to see more such developments in the future.”

Kevin MacLean, Head of Curriculum Computing, at Glasgow Clyde College who worked with colleagues at City of Glasgow College, New College Lanarkshire and the University of Dundee to plan this development adds,

“Glasgow Clyde College was very pleased to support the Digital Skills Partnership’s curriculum development earlier this year. We believe that this form of collaborative curriculum development is incredibly beneficial, as it brings together college lecturers from across the country who could share their knowledge and expertise to shape the resources for the benefit of learners across Scotland.”