Then there was the one who wimpered about the Mathematics ...

Some time ago I was approached by a centre who was having a chunter about the mathematics module they elected to teach.

In my youth and until the late 90's, the qualification I am involved with had a core computational mathematics based module. Which I recall teaching in my early days in the profession (that has another interesting story attached to it).

Anyhow, for reasons you can guess, this module was dropped long before I entered the world of verification and was replaced by an optional module. So I am sure you can predict what many centres decided to do.

Once one was involved in the development of the newer programmes, whilst one could turn the tide on moving it back to the core. It was possible to create some more 'practice based' criteria, where the educators and the students would work on computational mathematics that had clear links to activities they would carry out in the industry.

The query from the centre in question did irritate. 

We can't teach this module as we don't understand the Distinction critiera and nobody can teach it.

After taking a look back at the criterion in question (and the related criteria), this was a decimal to binary conversion problem, including hexadecimal, octal and a 'practice based' task of IP addressing.

Face palm ... then did a little search, knowing which centre it came from, one had a quick ponder with the Cisco Academy programme locator tool. It was no surprise to find that they were part of the programme and still active.

Reply sent, "have you spoken to the team that teaches Cisco Networking?"

In my mind, this is not the most complex of topics, but for reasons that one will never fathom this had escaped the wit of the educator to use the internet and 'learn some more'.



  1. Interesting statement. We taught that unit this year as part of the network and software streams. Surprisingly the software students completed the assignment to a distinction student whilst the networking guys decided they didn't fancy a distinction in the paths unit, whilst they pushed for distinctions in the harder CCNA units which encompassed the material and criteria in far greater detail.

  2. I think that is a fair assessment of students, my concern is when the tutors claim to be struggling with the mathematics when they are teaching an optional unit.

    Hence the facepalm.

    If you were able to look at the old quantitative methods unit, you would appreciate that the newer mathematics unit is a comparative walk in the park.


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