Full tutor report available at: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B01FNjP84PHhQUxtMm1NNkdaSU0 (access to be requested)
The first time for me to receive feedback on a purely academic course unit. It took a while for me to digest and to reflect on the report, to see where I am now and where I need to go. First, it took me off the hook but now I can see much clearer the way forward. Especially concerning the required structure of assignments as essays made me look deeper in what an essay is and how it is structured. Took me some time to read one OCA materials and other books (see bibliography below).
Before writing this I had scheduled our first hangout for students on the new version of UVC. It was good to chat and to share where we are as well to express our frustration with feedback received.
My tutor provided me the good points as well as a comprehensive feedback on what and how I can improve.
- Overall my tutor considered this a good start showing ‘my ability to think through problems logically and contextually’.
- She could see a clear potential for developing a critical position.
- In part A I introduced basic ideas
- In part B I demonstrated a ‘solid attempt at working through some of the problems of Western perspective and illusionistic space’.
- My self evaluation on my assignment was comprehensive and clear where I stand. Your observation that you’d like to incorporate more visual elements in your blog is something you should look at in future (see below).
Points to improve:
- My assignment work in both parts did ‘lack a clear direction or structure’ and was ‘not going into sufficient depth’. I can see why my tutor sees my assignment as ‘jumping between different associations and observations’. Quite obvious that I did not apply a structured essay approach with introduction, paragraphs consisting of intro argument and based on evidences and examples, and a final conclusion. Actually I was not aware of this requirement in the first place when I started with the course.
- I did not show enough evidence that I read and reflected on assigned texts and other academic sources. At times I was relying more on not so trustworthy internet sources and/or dictionary definitions. Here I have to see how to find more effectively the information I search for. E.g. the mentioned reference of Ruskin to Gombrich on the ‘innocent eye’ is not clear where I could have found it. Well, meanwhile I found it. This means for me to find a way to communicate with my blog my intense readings.
- Part A lacked a clear focus and with too much attention on providing a basic historical overview of the Victorian period and Ruskin’s biography. Ideas as Monet’s ‘Haystacks’ were not well embedded and argued.
- Part B could have benefited from a more sustained critical engagement especially relating to art and art theories.
- Different approaches and researches wold be better to make them as a separate blog post instead of including in the assignment essay (e.g. Pliny).
- The quality of my writing is too informal and with too many typos language errors found throughout.
Action points for me:
- Essay plan:
– Read and research on how to organise, research and write academic essays. By that to develop a more coherent argumentation
– Read once again the OCA and UCA materials on academic writing (see bibliography below)
– Plan in a structured way my reading and learning
– To keep assignment as a formal academic essay in word format and ensure proper writing language, using grammar and spell checks, and using style guides (Harvard) for references in a consistent way. To include only academic sources.
– Use more effectively my blog for all various notes, readings, and reflections. Thus, I could better demonstrate my engagement with academic sources.
– To incorporate more visual elements in my blog (e.g. pictorial examples, videos, sketches). And to use my blog for creative reflections. As my tutor commented: ‘The blog is the space for you to experiment and write informally for the course, so take more advantage of it.’ You can also use it to write essay plans, as suggested above, to help you structure your ideas. It is also where you can link to non-academic sources as part of your journey.
- Assignment 1: To re-write as an essay
In conclusion I can say that I have now a quite good understanding on expectations for assignments as well as on freely I can use further my blog.
- Cottrell, S. (2011) Critical Thinking Skills: Developing Effective Analysis and Argument, Palgrave Study Skills, 2nd ed. London, UK; New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan.
- Cottrell, S. (2013) The Study Skills Handbook, Palgrave Study Skills, 4th ed. London, UK; New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan.
- Greetham, B. (2013) How to write better essays, Palgrave Study Skills, 3rd ed. London, UK; New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan.
- Open College of the Arts (2016) Academic Essay Writing. Available from: http://www.oca-student.com/sites/default/files/oca-content/key-resources/res-files/sdg_academic_essay_writing_170316_0.pdf
- Open College of the Arts (n.d.) Study Skills. Available from: http://www.oca-student.com/sites/default/files/oca-content/key-resources/res-files/sdg_study_skills_120515_1.pdf.
- University for the Creative Arts (n.d.) UCA Harvard Referencing Guide. Available from: http://webdocs.ucreative.ac.uk/UCA Harvard referencing guide-1475663400023.pdf.