My OCD kicks in at the beginning of courses so before I was ‘allowed’ to look at the course text I ‘had’ to read:
All the loose leaf letters and leaflets
OCA Website Guide
Study Skills
Assessment and how to get qualified
Keeping sketchbooks and learning logs
Looking at other artists
Getting the most out of your course

Student regulations, procedures and policies
‘Before you start’ section

Jotting some notes so that I can get my head properly around what I need to do for the course…
On learning logs and sketchbooks:
Must keep a learning log/blog AND a sketchbook TOO (but you can amalgamate).
“Sketchbook and learning log work constitute 20% of your marks for assessed work”
“If you are planning to get your work assessed, it is vital that you keep a good, thorough and comprehensive learning log. It forms 20% of your marks and you could fail if you do not show how you arrived at your final pieces of work by documenting the route you took to get there in your learning log.”
…these two slightly contradict?! Do I submit sketchbooks too or just learning logs? Will I need to rip out sketches from my sketchbook at any stage in order to show a cross-section of my work for assessment? If so should I consider a loose leaf sketchbook or perhaps only sketch on one side of the paper?!
Notes on learning logs:
Be honest. Analyse how the log is helping with the learning process. Add any tutor responses. Ask questions. Think about how to improve.
Analyse history of progress. Think about what I’ve learnt in the last stage. Think about how I will use the new information/knowledge/skill/technique in the future. Show an increasing understanding of the subject.
Reflect straight after finishing and then also later on as feelings might have changed.
At beginning – Hopes plans and expectations.
Notes on the learning blog:
Learning log links for different assignments – add tags?
i.e. reflection, broadening (i.e. books, exhibitions, learning points), assignment1, assignment2 etc
Some posts will have both reflection and assignment tags in them for example.
Projects
Regular intervals – break up learning into small manageable pieces
As the assignments require a ‘representative sample of your work’ the projects should be presentable and probably in A4/A3 size?
Assignments
More substantial set of tasks – bring together what you’ve learnt from projects. 
Assignments appear to be sent in the bag that the OCU provided which looks A3 sized, but for the final assessment everything should be mounted on A1/A2 sized card or board. This includes preparatory work including notes, samples and sketchbooks so I guess I don’t need to rip out pages of sketchbooks and if assignments are presented on A3 then other samples and prep work can be mounted next to it in the A1/A2 board.
Looking forward each assignment asks for a representative sample of your work, some pages from your sketchbook (So I do have to rip them out? Or can they be photocopied?!), Learning log (link to here) and written reflections.
Assessments:
(one per course so 7 by the end of a degree)
Fill in Assessment Application Form – By last day of 2 months before i.e. for March Assessment Event application must be recived by 31st Jan.
Send work by 15th of Month Before and no earlier than 15th of 2 months before.
Notes on presenting work for assessment:
Quality of content
Well organised and clearly labelled
Don’t submit everything!
Read guidelines
Use signposts to show the studies for particular assignments
Show enthusiasm, motivation & determination
Label with name, student number, course submitted for and relevant assignment number
Max 15kg
Write a contents list and note which elements go with which assignment
Send flat
A1 size recommended [blimey – thats big]!
Make packaging reusable for return of work

Assessment Criteria:
This will be very important if I want to get good grades! I’ll need to really examine if and how I’m demonstrating these points:
Demonstration of Technical and Visual Skills materials, techniques, observational skills, visual awareness, design and compositional skills
Quality of Outcome content, application of knowledge, presentation of work in a coherant manner, discernment, conceptualisation of thoughts, communication of ideas
Demonstration of Creativity imagination, experimentation, invention, development of a personal voice
Context reflection, research, critical thinking (learning log)
Overall:
I’m feeling really OCD about ripping pages out of a sketchbook! I keep thinking that the pages that are ‘good’ will no longer be a part of that sketchbook. I’m also thinking that if I have a ‘good’ page then I’ll be reluctant to spend time on the reverse of that page because it might end up being glued onto something and lost forever! I know its a bit unhealthy but I also know it might end up being a bit of a ‘block’. So I’ve decided that instead of sketching in my pretty handmade sketchbooks I’ll work in an A4 (or A5 for travel) sketchbook where you can rip out the pages along perforation lines and I’ll only work on one side of the page. Where I can I’ll do the projects in my sketchbooks as well – so they’ll be more ‘workbooks’ than sketchbooks. [I’ve looked at some of the projects and they specify ‘take an A3 piece of paper etc so this probably wont be possible, but I can explore in my own way in my workbook] So that everything is a bit more cohesive I’ll probably do a lot of ‘musings’ in my sketchbooks/workbooks too. I’ll probably do less writing on the blog but will more likely scan in images and display them here.This way I can take out individual sheets to send for assignments, I can glue them onto A3 sheets for ‘presentation of representative work’ for assignments and I can also use them in the same way for the final A1/A2 sized assessment sheets. Nothing will get glued on and lost forever, and if I want to I can reassemble all the work together and glue it all into a prettier book – all the work will be back together again!

Kim Debling is a Hampshire, UK based designer and Director of her own company Kestrel Design Ltd. She is mum to Rose and Harvey and wife to her best friend Steve.  She’s fighting off Stage 4 Lymphoma and sharing her story along the way, mainly via YouTube. Kim is passionate about being happy, mental wellbeing and in particular art and creative pursuits as therapy during tough times. She teaches online at Udemy, has published books and has art and printables available for sale.

Projects, Assignments, Assessments was last modified: April 30th, 2015 by Kim Debling