Before starting the course, you wrote a brief note on what you hoped this course would do for you. Now look again at this note and reflect on what has happened to you during the course. Sum up your reflections.
I’ve found the course to be extremely engaging, stimulating and well structured. It has both consolidated techniques and knowledge I already had as well as introducing me to new techniques and ideas. I have had the opportunity to delve into certain aspects in some depth and this has widened my understanding and increased my ability to incorporate a more varied approach in my practice.
I have become aware of some personal limitations during some of the projects whilst discovering a passion in other areas at other points during the course. My strengths and weaknesses are more defined and I have a more solid view of what I like, what I would like to pursue further and where improvements can be made.
The sketchbook work has been a challenge from the beginning and I have made a great effort to improve. No, I never did get to working on it on a daily basis as the course suggested but instead spent less frequent but longer time periods concentrating on improving my skills. It is just the way it works best for me.
In my view the 10 hours work per week promoted by OCA is conservative. When adding up the actual physical project work, photographing it, uploading and writing the on-line blog/learning log, mounting and presenting work professionally, sketchbook work, theme book and research it amounts to much more time (in my life at least). However, I don’t begrudge one moment of it and have enjoyed the whole process.
I am looking forward immensely to the next course.
Posting assignment work:
The one fly in the ointment is the postal system for tutor assessment. I don’t feel this works terribly well. I send my satchel from Australia by recorded delivery which means it can be tracked and has to be signed for by my tutor but it is not sent back the same way. Obviously the supplement we pay for postal fees doesn’t cover this aspect. The stress of waiting for a parcel that is long overdue is enormous and also means that tutor feedback is long overdue when commenting on future work or direction for theme work. For example:
At the end of project 9 – Assignment four – the manual asks me to send numerous things to my tutor including my theme book and progress with my final project. This done, I turn the page to move forward only to read Project 10 Stage 1 Reviewing your work so far and Stage 2 Focusing on your theme book. Not possible to do either if it had been posted to the UK. My assignment four was received by my tutor 2 weeks after it was posted, there was the delivery time and she was also away for a few days. I understand that she is allocated around 2 weeks to review the work and post it back to me, this she did with no problem. The crunch came when the satchel didn’t arrive for over 3 weeks from the post date. This meant that part of my theme book and the tutor comments, giving me guidance on my work, didn’t arrive until over 7 weeks after it was initially sent. By that stage I was virtually at the end of the project. Once I contacted Irena she kindly emailed the report to me so that at least I had that to hand but I wonder why this isn’t routinely done for those of us a great distance away.
It would be an enormous help if more aspects of our work could be reviewed via our blogs rather than having to send the original items.