TEST OF COMPETENCE 2015/16 GUIDE TO BLENDED LEARNING SCOTLAND COURSES

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1 TEST OF COMPETENCE 2015/16 GUIDE TO BLENDED LEARNING SCOTLAND COURSES

2 Introduction 2 Structure of the course 2 Supported personal learning 3 What must I cover within the personal learning phase? 3 How do I cover this material? 3 When do I study this material? 4 Where should I study, and what equipment do I need? 4 Asking for help/raising questions 4 Using the discussion boards 4 Contacting a tutor directly 4 Technical (IT) assistance 4 Tutorials 5 Format of tutorials 5 Accessing your tutorial 5 What will happen on the tutorial? 5 What material will the tutorial cover? 5 Progress Tests 5 General 5 Non-completion of Progress Test 1 5 Evidence of material lifted from notes 5 Progress Test 2 (PT2) invigilated conditions 5 Keeping in touch/feedback 6 Contacting you 6 Contacting us 6 ICAS feedback to firms 6 Your feedback on CABLE 6 Next steps 6 IT checklist 7 CONTACT Web cable.icas.com Helpdesk +44 (0) GUIDE TO BLENDED LEARNING 1

3 INTRODUCTION Your Test of Competence course will be delivered using blended learning. This means that you will cover the material in a variety of ways. This can include classroom learning, personal learning using course materials, online interactive learning and quizzes and collaboration with fellow students and tutors. Blended learning is the term used to cover these different learning styles on the course. This booklet provides you with some information on the way in which the course will operate, your role in ensuring you cover all material adequately, and where to get help if you need it. It will also provide you with some information on the use of CABLE (CA Blended Learning Environment). This is the website used to deliver some of the material. Further help on the use of CABLE itself can be found on the CABLE help page. You will receive your CABLE login information via during your first two weeks in class. STRUCTURE OF THE COURSE The Test of Competence course includes up to six subjects (depending on any exemptions you may have gained from university/previous studies). Those subjects are: Business Law (BL); Business Management (BM); Finance (FIN); Financial Accounting (FA); Principles of Auditing and Reporting (PAR) and Principles of Tax (PoT). In this guide we will assume that you are sitting all six of these. If you have some exemptions you can disregard the parts that do not affect you. Learning will take place in up to five phases illustrated below. You will see that certain subjects do not use all of the phases. This guide will focus on the personal learning phase of the course. If you are not sure who to contact at any point, use the address or call the CABLE helpline on +44 (0) Classroom learning 2 Personal learning 3 Classroom learning 4 Personal revision 5 Business Law Two weeks from 14 September. Includes: five days of FA, two days of BM, one day of Finance and two days of PoT. Up to 14 days of learning (two FA, two PoT, four BM, three and a half PAR, two and a half Finance). Sit progress tests for PoT, BM, Finance (30 October or 13 November). Supported with online tutorials and discussion boards. Two weeks from 23 November. Complete remaining learning for FA, PAR, PoT and Finance. Sit PT2 for FA and PAR. Revision time plus mock for each of five subjects. One week of personal revision (one day per subject). Continued access to all online resources, plus tutor assistance through CABLE and discussions boards. Leading to exams in week commencing 14 December. The BL course will be completed online. Your training firm will advise you of the course and exam dates for BL. A separate guide on BL is available on CABLE. GUIDE TO BLENDED LEARNING 2

4 SUPPORTED PERSONAL LEARNING Supported personal learning is the term used to describe the studying that you will complete away from the classroom in your chosen study environment. You may also hear these days referred to as CABLE days as you will be guided through the material using CABLE. These days will run between 28 September and 13 November. What must I cover within the personal learning phase? The personal learning phase could include up to 15 days of study. Fourteen of these are to learn new material, and one is to attend Progress Test 2 for certain subjects. You will see from the diagram below that eight of the 14 days of learning include either a compulsory progress test or a tutorial. These are essential parts of the learning and you will find sections on each of these later in the guide. How do I cover this material? When you leave the first classroom phase you will have been provided with the course material for each subject. The course material consists of the modules, workshop exercises and solutions for each of the modules. The CA Blended Learning Environment, or CABLE (cable.icas.com), is your guide to the modules that you will cover. A CABLE induction session is available and will automatically start when you first login and change your password. This session will talk you through the CABLE site and the various resources available. On CABLE you will find a guide to every module which requires online support. You will know yourself (based on your exemptions) if you are required to cover this material. Each module guide will include an audio lecture on the material, together with interactive diagrams and guidance, and quiz questions to test your knowledge. The guide will also suggest the most appropriate workshop exercises to cover on the material. The first time you use the material, we suggest you walk through the whole module guide, using the audio lecture to guide you. The material will be available to you until the exams, allowing you to revisit it as often as you wish. Each page of the guide also includes links to: A menu allowing you to jump straight to a particular part of a module; Test my knowledge taking you to the quizzes and workshop exercises on this material; and Resources provides electronic copies of the module, workshop exercises, and their solutions. Financial Accounting Principles of Tax Principles of Auditing and Reporting Business Management Finance Progress Test 2 day for PoT, BM and Finance Day 6 Day 7 Day 3 Day 4 Progress Test 1) Day 1 Day 2 tutorial) Day 3 Progress Test 1) Day 4 tutorial) Day 2 (pm only) Day 3 Progress Test 1) In class environment on either 30 October or 13 November Day 3 Progress Test 1) Day 5 Day 4 tutorial) Day 4 (am only) Day 6 tutorial) GUIDE TO BLENDED LEARNING 3

5 You can click on any guide to say that you have completed it this is a good way for you to record your progress. CABLE includes a help guide with resources and FAQs to assist you. If you are ever unsure of how to do something on CABLE you should contact the CABLE helpdesk by ing When do I study this material? It is vital that you study the materials set on your allocated days so that you don t fall behind. If you are ill on any day and unable to complete the material you must notify both your firm and ICAS so that we can make alternative arrangements for you to complete all relevant parts of the course. If you are ing ICAS please copy in your Training Principal so that we can see that you have notified your firm. The material will be available until the date of your exams so you can build some flexibility into your studying. If you choose to look ahead at material in evenings and weekends there is no problem with this. One of the benefits of supported personal learning is that you can study topics at your own pace, so you can spend a little longer on the areas you need to work on, but less time on those that you are finding straightforward. Each module guide will provide an indication of the time that you should spend on it, so that you can set a study plan for each day. As a guide, it is expected that a personal learning day will last approximately eight to nine hours. This is similar to a class day where you spend six hours in class and two to three hours reviewing the material at night. Note that you will have access to all material regardless of exemptions. Please make sure you cover the correct material in the correct order. Where should I study, and what equipment do I need? You can choose where to study, and you may even wish to vary this. However, make sure you have access to all the course material you need, and that you have a quiet environment with sufficient space. Your chosen study environment might be your home, a parent s home, with fellow students, in a wifi-enabled library or in the office. The only equipment you should need in order to take full advantage of all online resources is a computer (laptop or desktop) with full access to the internet. Your computer should have a soundcard so that you can hear the audio content either through speakers or headphones. You do not need to have access to a printer as you will have the course notes on paper already. ASKING FOR HELP/RAISING QUESTIONS Using the discussion boards The discussion boards on CABLE should be used for all technical questions. There will be a discussion board set up for each subject and you should use the appropriate board to raise your question. To keep the boards easy to follow, start a new thread for each question. Use the heading box to provide a reference to the material to make it easier for others to search for topics, eg, Module 3 Contracts. You can request an to alert you to a reply to any question you post. You can also like/dislike posts which will move posts nearer or further from the top. During your course, tutors will answer any questions that are posted on the discussion boards. Please don t worry that anyone else will think you are asking a silly question it s much more likely that your question will be helping others. Keep an eye on the discussion boards even if you don t have a question to raise, as you will find that reading others questions clarifies topics for you. Remember to keep the content workplaceappropriate other students can suggest if something is inappropriate and in this case we may ban you from a discussion board. Your firm would be notified in this situation. Contacting a tutor directly You can contact tutors directly via CABLE. This facility should only be used for progress test queries (these don t go on discussion boards as some students may not yet have sat the test) and anything relating to your own personal study. If you simply post a technical question directly to a tutor you will be asked to re-post it on the discussion board so that everyone can benefit from it. If a tutor has responded to a question raised you will receive a pop-up message when you first log into CABLE, letting you know that you have a reply to view. Technical (IT) assistance There is a CABLE induction on CABLE which you should access and listen to when you first login to the site. This will provide information on the different features of CABLE and the resources available. If you have any problems with the operation of the CABLE site itself you can contact the CABLE helpdesk at ICAS by using or by phone on +44 (0) during office hours. GUIDE TO BLENDED LEARNING 4

6 TUTORIALS Format of tutorials Tutorials are all offered online. This allows you to listen to a tutorial without having to travel to a venue. Accessing your tutorial Your tutorial will be accessed via CABLE. Before you attend your first tutorial it is your responsibility to work through the IT checklist at the back of this booklet. If you have any problems accessing the tutorial please be patient and try again. If you still have problems, please or phone the CABLE helpline on +44 (0) where someone will assist you. What will happen on the tutorial? Tutorials will last for up to one hour. During the tutorial the tutor will talk to you about approaching exam questions and exam technique. The tutor may provide some hints for future work. It is important that you do ask questions via the discussion boards if you have any. Where a number of students have similar questions we may be able to provide additional resources to help you with your studying. Where relevant, tutors may also give you some feedback on questions set in the progress test. What material will the tutorial cover? The tutorial can cover any material for the subject up to and including the previous day of study. PROGRESS TESTS General Progress Test 1 for four subjects will be sat online during your personal learning. A progress test is designed to take one hour to complete, and will include 20 objective test questions. The progress tests should only be attempted once the material being tested has been completed. Instructions on when to complete the progress tests will be supplied. Note that the systems will record the test score from your first attempt. Non-completion of Progress Test 1 If you do not complete the test and have not contacted us, your firm will be notified of this as an absence. Remember that non-completion of the full course can lead to your eligibility to sit the final exam being removed. If you have any problems accessing the test please be patient and try again. If you still have problems, please or phone the Education helpline on +44 (0) , where someone will assist you or we will endeavour to provide another method of completing the test. Evidence of material lifted from notes If there is evidence that you have lifted solutions directly from your notes, you will be awarded a score of zero and this will be notified to your firm. This doesn t help you to prepare for the final exam in any way, so please put your notes out of reach when sitting the progress test. Progress Test 2 (PT2) invigilated conditions PT2 for Principles of Tax, Business Management and Finance will be held in invigilated classroom conditions. Each of these tests lasts two hours (40 objective test questions for Business Management and Finance and a mixture of objective test questions and a longer question for Principles of Tax) and your firm will have booked you to attend these tests. Like PT1, if you do not complete the test this will be marked as an absence and may affect your eligibility to sit the final exam. The tests will take place at the following times and you must attend the venue in plenty of time to attend the necessary paper(s): 9.30am 11.30am Finance Progress Test pm 2.15pm Business Management Progress Test pm 4.45pm Principles of Tax Progress Test 2 PT2 for Financial Accounting and for Principles of Auditing & Reporting will be held when you return to class, as will all mock exams. GUIDE TO BLENDED LEARNING 5

7 KEEPING IN TOUCH/ FEEDBACK Contacting you ICAS may need to contact you during your supported personal learning. We will expect you to be contactable on a day when you are scheduled to be covering ICAS material and may contact you by or by phone (please ensure we have a mobile number for you). We will ask you to check and confirm your personal details when in class to ensure that we have the correct details for you. If we contact you by this may come from the address. We are aware that some accounts sometimes mistake s from as spam. To ensure that you receive important communications from the CABLE team, please ensure that you add the address icas.com to your safe senders list. If you are unsure how to do this, please and we can talk you through this. Contacting us The main ways that you can contact us are as follows: By By phone to CABLE helpdesk +44 (0) ; With a technical query on the relevant discussion board on CABLE; and With a query on progress test/personal study approach using tutor contact on CABLE. Your feedback on CABLE We welcome your feedback on CABLE and the blended learning programme. You may be invited to join a focus group at some point in the future. Next steps As you finish up your first phase of the course in the classroom, there are several things that you should do to ensure that you are ready to begin your personal supported learning phase: 1. Think about where you will study and the equipment you will use. 2. Notify your firm if you have any questions on your study timetable or location. 3. Notify your firm if you have any problems with equipment/internet access. 4. Ensure that all relevant days/times are in your diary, including the date of Progress Test Confirm you can access the site with no difficulties. 6. Follow the instructions on the IT checklist to ensure that all equipment works. 7. Contact with any questions not answered by your firm. CONTACTING CA EDUCATION There is a range of information available to CA students on the ICAS website (icas.com). This information covers both technical and administrative matters and all students should refer to this as a first source of information for queries. For other queries or further information about who to contact in CA Education, go to the ICAS website to access an up to date list of CA Education contacts. ICAS feedback to firms Under the blended learning programme your firm will receive information on any absences from personal supported learning days or tests. In addition, all progress test and mock exam results will be supplied to them. The important thing is that you are covering the material in time and that you are making use of the resources online. Any quiz results within module guides will not be saved or available to ICAS or your firm. GUIDE TO BLENDED LEARNING 6

8 CABLE BLENDED LEARNING Computer checklist It is vital that you complete the following checks on your equipment so that you can fully use CABLE and join online tutorials. It is your responsibility to do this before you begin your study. If you have any questions on how to complete any steps or have a technical problem please either contact your IT team or the CABLE helpdesk at Check that is added to your safe sender list in your s. Contact us at if you don t know how to do this. Login to the ICAS website (icas.com) and check your details are all full and correct. It is your responsibility to keep this information up to date. The information we hold on you will have been provided to you for you to check. Login to CABLE (cable.icas.com). When you first log in, you will be prompted to confirm your address and to change your password to something memorable. Watch the induction video on CABLE. This will introduce you to the key features of CABLE and will automatically launch when you first login and change your password. GUIDE TO BLENDED LEARNING 7

9 CA House 21 Haymarket Yards Edinburgh EH12 5BH +44 (0) icas.com

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