A unique collaboration of Cambridge-based computing expertise is developing the first online GCSE Computing course.
Cambridge GCSE Computing online, designed to support teaching and learning in this dynamic area of the school curriculum, is the vision of the Cambridge-based partnership of OCR, the Raspberry Pi Foundation and Cambridge University Press. This innovative pilot project taps into the recognised expertise in this field within Cambridge to drive forward educational excellence in the UK and internationally. The roll out of Cambridge GCSE Computing online will begin in Autumn 2013 but a taster of the online course is available now at www.cambridgegcsecomputing.org.
Cambridge GCSE Computing online will comprise online learning blocks based on OCR’s GCSE in Computing. The GCSE was launched in 2011 in response to demand for a greater emphasis on computing and programming skills in schools. The qualification counts towards the EBacc in school performance tables.
The online learning blocks – made up of short videos and supporting resources – could be used by students in the classroom, as revision aids, or as self-teaching resources for flipped classrooms, or for a mixture of all three. They are also envisaged as a way of building confidence for teachers making the transition to this rapidly developing area of the school curriculum.
In total, Cambridge GCSE Computing online will feature over 100 videos, written and presented by computer science experts and teachers, covering the entire content of the GCSE. Raspberry Pi, the innovative credit card-sized computer, will play a leading part in the video series as a key learning tool to engage a new generation of learners.
Each video will be supported by Cambridge University Press (CUP) teaching and learning resources to create a single course of study for GCSE Computing. CUP will be publishing a GCSE course companion in early 2014.
Mark Dawe, Chief Executive of OCR, said: “The evolution of the first online GCSE Computing course is an ambitious new approach to the teaching and learning of computing. Young people need to develop computing skills in school so they can go on to higher levels of study or use these vital skills in the workplace. High quality learning content online offers flexible distance learning to potentially unlimited numbers.”
Peter Phillips, Chief Executive of Cambridge University Press, commented: “We are proud to play a key part in this innovation, a flexible and open access course for GCSE that draws on all the University’s strengths to help students develop their computing skills, so important in today’s world.”