In conversation with: David Price
I have recently submitted my final piece of feedback to David who is a Level 3 BA (Hons) Visual Communications student undertaking the Visual Research course. For this course there is a written and a visual element. These need to link to each other and develop together in parallel. This is a complex task – the writing needs to be academic and also engaging, and the visual work needs to develop from the data generated by the written research. The course starts with the student posing a research question and this drives all subsequent work.
Throughout the time that David has been emailing his work to me I have been impressed by his organisational skills, the development of his written and visual work and his willingness to take on board my suggestions for developing the work.
He has presented all his work super-clearly on his blog and it is a pleasure to see what he has done. It is easy to check previous and current assignments and any alterations that he has made. He has set up ‘tutor report response’ sections on his blog and these will be really useful for the final assessors to look at as they clearly show how he has responded to feedback.
You can find his blog here.
Here are some screen grabs of his blog:
Image 1 shows how clearly organised the first assignment is (and this system carries on across his blog for all other assignments)
Image 2 shows how David also includes visual work – in this instance a sketchbook page with additional contextual annotation.
To help you understand David’s process of presenting and developing his work via a blog I have asked him a few questions.
How did you go about setting up and organising your blog?
I selected the ‘Simple’ blog template from Blogger and personalised it with a related image from my course. I populated my blog with various tabs, gadgets and links to enable efficient navigation. I find that time spent setting up my blog right at the start of a course is time well spent. I keep the same layout for different courses but individualise each blog by using different images and colour schemes, so that each has its own identity. Having a well organised blog enables efficient navigation by tutor and assessors, as well as the blogger!
Did having such a well organised blog help you access your work? If so, how?
A carefully set out blog is useful to the blogger so that time isn’t wasted trying to locate stuff, or deciding where to put new stuff. My blog is set up so that it is easy to locate work from different parts of the course – being able to find important information like sketchbook work, assignments, reflection, and response to tutor feedback should be easy.
How did you feel about getting feedback from your tutor?
Critical and constructive tutor feedback is essential for getting the most out of a course. Without tutor feedback I don’t feel that I would have achieved anywhere near as much from my course; so I always look forward to receiving feedback.
How did you respond to tutor feedback and did you value it?
Tutor’s are good at providing a detached view of one’s work, spotting mistakes, providing a valued opinion, and suggesting ways of improving and progressing – this is necessary if a student is to realise their full potential. My response to tutor feedback may lead to re-working something, or producing additional work like exploring a wider range of layouts, for example.
How do you think your work has developed whilst undertaking the Visual Research course?
My academic writing ability (not my greatest strength!) has improved greatly. I found it very satisfying exploring new ways of working, creating visual work alongside my written work, and interlinking both.
Do you have any tips for a student starting out on the Visual Research course?
Students will be spending a lot of time researching and producing associated visual work with this course so it is important to select a research question that will engage you, as well as challenge and motivate you. Don’t worry if you’re not sure which research question to use – the first part of the course is very useful in helping to identify areas of interest and focus for research, so that, even if you’re not sure what your research question would be from the outset, it should become easier to decide as the course progresses.
The other thing I should say is to back everything up! I like to create DTP documents (using InDesign) and upload them to my blog as JPEGs, keeping the original documents on my computer and backing them up with an external hard drive. That way, if the worse happens and I can no longer access my Blog I haven’t lost all my coursework.