Semester 2 Week 10 saw us all sit down individually with Alice for a progress review of the academic year so far. Warning: this post contains some rather blatant bragging and flexing.
Alice said she was happy with the contents of the blog that you’re now reading, adding that the communication style is good with a nice style of presentation. She mentioned that she could really hear my voice coming through in this written and graphical environment.
One of the notes that I made was an improvement on that I need to make more notes on the research of photographers that I’ve studied throughout the process. I’ll take this on board and there will be a couple of posts including research used for both the Year Long Project and the Essay coming up soon.
When discussing the positive attitude to studentship, Alice was pleased that I was engaging with other people in the school of art and volunteering for activities that are not mandatory. I did need to document the extras that I’ve been involved with and some of these are now complete and can be seen in some of the related posts: print club, FABBS magazine, Black Country Type Photowalk, SpacePlay Volunteering, Riso Printing, Ilford competition, and Instagram Student Showcase
We then discussed that other than this and the Essay that needed completion I should be focussed on producing something for the end of the year. I spoke about the end product and the fact that I was feeling the physical weaving of photos was more akin to what I wanted than the photoshop manipulation. I felt that the manual dexterity, meditation, and concentration all helped me connect to the work.
Semester 2 Results
A couple of weeks ago we had the results of the progress review and I was really happy with them. You can see from the table below that I am now sitting in the 70-79% and 80-89% categories for the 5 learning objectives. Alice mentions in the comments below that the research will become evident in the Essay work and further blog posts in this reflective journal, so it may improve if I put in the effort. LO3 which consists of communication can be improved with some effort expended on communicating my work and soliciting feedback from peers, tutors, friends,family, artists etc.
Alice’s comments on the Learning Objectives can be seen below too:
Well done Bob, you’ve continued to make excellent progress since the last review point.
LO1: You have continued to develop your practical work on a very regular basis, shooting, experimenting and pushing your idea to consider many potential outcomes – well done! Focus your attention now on possible ‘final’ outcomes and what you feel showcases your concept most effectively.
LO2: You have identified several sources connected to your personal area of interest well, showcasing your ability to locate relevant material to support your project. We did discuss trying to increase your research further, to make more of what you have found or to perhaps comment in more detail on those which have had the greatest impact for you.
LO3: You have taken and made the most of opportunities to receive feedback from peers and tutors, and you’ve documented this very well in your digital sketchbook. Keep this going in the final weeks to seek feedback on your final portfolio and decision making around your selections.
LO4: Your reflections are regular, detailed and evidently effective in driving your project forward. You have a clear passion for reflecting on what you do, how it went and what you can do next – keep this momentum going! Try to reflect on your final position with the module, and evaluate your journey on the module.
LO5: Your time management has been excellent this year. You attend regularly and contribute to the discussions with insightful and considerate comments. You have a positive student attitude and work ethic! Keep it up.Alice Hodgson (2023)
This feedback does make me feel like the effort I’ve put in over the last academic year, using much of what I did last year too, has helped me to think more like an artist rather than a bloke who takes photographs. I’ve tried to experiment with different processes and this will be documented in an overview post of the yearlong project in the near future.
The overall Indicative Grade sat at 80-89% which is a First so I’m happy, and as long as I complete everything I can on time then I’ve done my best.
Comparison To Semester 1
Compare this to Semester 1 Week 10 Progress Review results. You can see that the weaker two LOs in the latest are significantly improved since this as some of the research and tutorial recording I’d done was in this blog but Alice was unaware of the location of it until I’d discussed it with her after this.
Don’t get me wrong, I was really happy with this indicative grade of 60-69% as it would be a 2:1 and a pass for the first year, allowing me to go onto the second year. (Third year for me, but L5 Second Year of the course).
I used this list of feedback below from December 2022 to help me tighten my focus on areas that needed improvement for this half of the academic year and the change from a 2:1 to a First (indicative) has been the result. I’m not going to say it’s been easy, it really hasn’t. It’s taken a lot of work to document everything and reflect on things much more than I’m used to, in a written form anyway.
LO1: Well done Bob, you’ve made a great effort so far this semester to develop your yearlong project through extensive material experimentation and alternative processes. You are pushing your project on weekly which is enabling you to refine methods and analyse the effects generated. Conceptually, you need to begin considering the impact of these experiments – what do they say? What do you want them to say?
LO2: In order to develop your concept further for your yearlong project, you need to push your independent research much more. This will help you to contextualise your own work and consider why others may have used similar methods and materials. Have a look at the work of Alma Haser, who works with paper-folding techniques, collage and mixed media.
Your exhibition review has been very successful and showcases your engagement with research well – feedback for this has been provided in Canvas.
LO3: You have evidence in your sketchbook of documenting and communicating your ideas. Your voice is clear in your sketchbooks and offer an insight into your thinking – keep this up. To strengthen your work towards this learning outcome further, try to record more of your tutorials on Tuesdays to showcase your communication with others as well as any conversations you have with peers, other members of staff, and other people you share your work with.
LO4: Your reflections throughout your sketchbook are very good. You reflect regularly on what has been discussed in class, your own practical work and trips you have attended. Well done, and keep this going.
LO5: Your time management has been very good this year. You attend regularly and contribute frequently to the discussions. Increasing your focus on research is important moving forwards to help inform your own work.Alice Hodgson (2022)
This post isn’t to blow my own trumpet as I’ve already discussed in a recent post, it’s to document my feelings after receiving the feedback from the lecturers/tutors. It’s to help me look back in the future and see what I’ve changed after a suggestion and track my progress and improvement over the course.
I am aware that the indicative grade is relatively high and this has been helped by my practice of keeping on top of seminar notes, reflections, work, practice pieces, tutorials, asking for help, punctuality, engagement in seminars and with my peers, on top of lots of other things. I have heard of some of my peers who have had lower indicative grades but it’s my hope that they, like me, use them to push themselves onwards and upwards. It can often be easy to look at comments and take them really personally when they’re merely statements of fact pointing out the way in which you can make improvements and I learnt this early in my engineering career. I figured out that the more you put in to an endeavour, the more you’ll get out of it.
I have also offered assistance to my peers if they’ve been struggling with anything and have found that my newfound knowledge of Harvard Referencing has helped a few coursemates as well as other skills I have from my photography practice pre-course and life skills that I’ve picked up over my, nearly, 50 years.
Enjoyment was never a word I associated with learning early on but this degree course has offered me an opportunity to learn many more new skills and a different vocabulary that has given me the confidence to create two zines, be published in the school magazine, volunteer with other groups and build up a good rapport with staff members. It is very hard work, that much is true, but sitting here typing this into my computer beats sitting watching Celebrity Traffic Cops Bake Off on the TV.