Preparing for formal assessment – documenting the first time so I don’t make these mistakes again

I am going to document this because it’s my first and so far I have done almost everything wrong – mostly because I had no real grasp of what is required.

First, I couldn’t find any guidelines as to what should be sent. Then I found three, all inconsistent but one with actual detail I could follow:

  • 8-10 pieces
  • preparatory sketches which are clearly different
  • sketchbooks
  • the url of my blog
  • tutor evaluations
  • and my own evaluation

Good. I began the search for my choices, which is where I came up against my second problem – whilst I could see from my blog which pieces I’d submitted as assignments, I hadn’t labelled them. Not that much of a problem, you’d think, but in fact as I’d done quite a lot of preparatory work in the same size – often A1 (and more of that later) – it was quite hard, dredging through the flimsy and collapsing portfolio, to work out which was which. Even worse, my sketches weren’t labelled either so I couldn’t tell from a quick peek which exercise or Part they belonged to. This resulted in a lot more work tallying up my blog posts with the increasingly smudged realities I had in front of me.

I had done a better job with my sketchbooks, numbering by hand each of the pages and including in the numbering any inserts I’d glued into them. But I had a lot of sketchbooks and the relevant sketches were scattered throughout them; classy metal sparrows in one, some remarkable feet in another, and a third with some of the best bits of landscape. Worse, having always tickled about in A5 or A4 size, I had suddenly gone large so a lot of what I call sketches are actually A1 size and I have no idea how that will be accommodated.

As of this moment, 19.24 on Monday March 9th 2020, I am putting together a document containing what I feel are my best pieces of work. Next, I’ll be checking if any of these are actually assignments and if so, which ones and which Parts. Then ditto the preparatory work. A bit of organisation at the outset would have made this redundant but as it is, that is most of this afternoon and some of this evening gone.

My tutor has kindly offered to look at my selection, once I know what I want to send, but may of course come back with thoughts about what I ought to send instead.

After that, there’s the mounting business, and labelling, and getting a halfway decent presentation shaped up and a short evaluation of what I have learned over the module, which probably doesn’t include any of this. I am lucky, my window of opportunity doesn’t open until late May.

Today, I have spent several (unnecessary) hours locating and cross-referencing pieces of work I propose to send for assessment. ‘Unnecessary’ because if I had organised my blog better and actually labelled the pieces properly I would not have needed to do it. Finally though, I have found what I would like to send and emailed my selection to my tutor. Quite what the outcome will be is anyone’s guess as not all the assignment pieces are included, and some of the preparatory work is. Searching through, I found I liked things about the earlier work-ups that did not materialise in the finished piece – too forced, less fluid, it seemed to me. I can argue them, that’s not a problem, the problem would be if some elements are required rather than just customary. When the decision comes back, I can label the survivors, then find and label their replacements. Hopefully, there will also be a strategy for classifying my A1 sketches as sketchbook material.



Update 29 April 2020

As the world has gone into lockdown due to COVID-19, the procedure for submission has changed from physical to digital which means mounting and packing are no longer elements to be factored in. I plan now, subject to any changes in instruction, to post all the assignments, then separately to post the preparatory sketches, and finally to post an Overall Evaluation as per the directions.

Further update 12th May 2020

The instructions have changed somewhat, or can be interpreted flexibly. The emphasis now is on 6-10 pieces of ‘best work’, 4-6 entries from the learning log (again, best of the bunch), both containing text that references learning outcomes (I wish I’d spotted those much much earlier!), and an objective evaluation that references tutor feedback.

The good news alongside this is that tutors are available to help with this and will also be key players in the assessment itself.

Time taken: 10.5 hours.

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