I got my assessment results and feedback for both Body of Work and Contextual Studies today. I was extremely surprised (pleasantly).

I was awarded:

  • 80% for Body of Work
  • 73% for Contextual Studies

I’m amazed that I got such a high mark for Body of Work as I found it quite a thorny and frustrating journey. And I’m doubly surprised that the BoW result is higher than the CS one, as I generally felt that my written work for Level 3 was more robust than my creative work. I am of course delighted with both marks.

The feedback for both, but especially BoW, are giving me reassurance about my embryonic SYP journey.

Breakdown against assessment criteria

  • Demonstration of Technical & Visual Skills:
    • 16/20
    • “Complete fluency of technical and visual skills.”
  • Quality of Outcome:
    • 31/40
    • “Highly effective work presented in a professional way, showing strong judgement. Highly effective grasp of ideas and communication of visual ideas.”
  • Demonstration of Creativity:
    • 16/20
    • “Strongly creative, takes risks with many imaginative and successful outcomes. Excellent synthesis of analytical and creative thinking, integrating significant independent judgements and clearly articulating a defined personal voice.”
  • Context:
    • 17/20
    • “Critical awareness of an exceptional breadth of contexts and debates extending your personal and/or professional knowledge and understanding.”

Selected comments

I won’t paste in the entire feedback (or feed-forward in OCA parlance) but I found a few extracts to be particularly encouraging, especially as I had been so full of self-doubt for much of the course:

  • “This was a very strong, carefully considered submission which demonstrated a clear development and progression…”
    • Very pleased to see this comment – I was hoping that what I lacked in consistency, I made up for in ‘development and progression’! My BoW experience was very much about ‘the journey’
  • “… in terms of both the practical creative output and subsequent underpinning context, through rigorous testing and critical reflection”
    • I appreciate the ‘both’ bit – I was OK with critical reflection part but by the end had kind of lost sight of whether the creative output was up to a good standard
  • “There was a very clear understanding of the relationship between memory and the photograph (as a trigger), with incisive statements such as ‘encourage reflection on how a visual image or a scene can trigger an unrelated memory’ in the present.”
    • I now realise the extent to which my BoW was informed by my CS research; I wasn’t always certain how they interacted
  • “The final physical submission was visually strong and sensitively executed, having been comprehensively critically reflected upon throughout”
    • Good – I put a lot of thought into how to present the overall set of assignments for the physical presentation, as there was so much variation in content (due to changing ideas a few times) that I felt the way to get to all to hang together was to present it as a learning journey!
  • “[…] the difficult objective in terms of trying to photograph a memory, for which the idea to re-photograph the projections, in an attempt to add a layer of abstraction, was both confident and ambitious.”
    • I was pleased to see this comment – the only mention of a specific assignment – as that particular execution remains my personal favourite. Although I do concede that the artistic strategy of the final assignment perhaps expresses my intended ideas more successfully, I got personal satisfaction from arriving at that particular solution to my artistic problem
  • “Excellent work!”
    • I liked the final comment, especially the enthusiasm I inferred from the exclamation mark!

Contextual Studies

Just a few words on CS, not generally covered by this learning log but I’ll make an exception.

The 73% breaks down as:

  • Demonstration of Subject Based Knowledge and Understanding: 11/15
  • Demonstration of Research Skills: 18/25
  • Demonstration of Critical & Evaluation Skills: 26/35
  • Communication: 18/25

Main comments:

  • “A strong piece of work with plenty of good insights, weaving practice and theory together to good effect. Well done.”
    • Liked the weaving part – I placed a lot of emphasis on balancing practice and theory in the essay
  • “Your introduction only finds clarity towards the end, however, and might have benefited from a little re-drafting in order to present more focus to your inquiry from the outset.”
    • Fair comment – I did redraft it but maybe not enough times to really hone it
  • “Overall, assessors felt that your subject was well-researched and your argument well-made, and it was noted that you took a range of appropriate considerations into account”
    • Pleased with this comment as I did take pains to cast my research net wide enough to gather a range of inputs, whilst trying hard to keep the overall essay quite tightly focused – which I did not always find easy

Feeding into SYP

One of my excuses for lack of progress on SYP so far was not knowing how I had done at assessment for BoW. Well, now that excuse is no longer valid and more importantly, was something I needn’t have worried about in the first place.

I am hugely encouraged by the positive feedback on my creative work, which has removed a blocker for me on showing my work to people in the industry for feedback.

Whilst I still have reservations about the overall scope and content of SYP, I can definitely say that the mark and comments have gone a long way to reassure me about the work itself, and so is the kick up the backside that I needed!