Before Context and Narrative

After much debating with myself I have decided to start afresh with a new blog.  This coincides with a new module in my photography studies entitled, Context and Narrative.

Unlike previous courses, I’ve taken the time to work through a pre course study guide which I can thoroughly recommend. Generally with these things my initial reaction is, what can that teach me that I don’t already know?  Well, quite a lot actually and in particular what is expected of you should you wish to be successful during assessment stage.

This is my third course with the Open College of the Arts, the previous two being incredibly informative but I struggled with the distance learning issue and felt quite detached.  That in turn put me in my own little bubble and of course the knock on effect of that is struggling to comprehend what I needed to do.

So, at first the study guide seems like a daunting 5 – 10 hour egg sucking exercise but it’s far from it.  What has it taught me that I didn’t know or do in previous courses?  It helped me plan and organise and open up my distance learning world like never before.  For instance:

  1. I know the date I need to complete the course by
  2. I created a weekly study schedule to ensure I’m on track for the completion date
  3. I’m in contact with other students through the OCA forums who can help me when I’m unsure and visa versa
  4. I’ve subscribed to feeds I’m interested in and get email updates so it’s easy to keep up to date
  5. I’ve started a new blog to physically represent the new energy I have for my studies with the OCA
  6. I’ve met my tutor (via skype) and we have set out our expectations right from the start (I’ve never spoken to a tutor before let alone seen them)
  7. I’m more aware of extra skills required during my studies e.g. essay writing, referencing other peoples work and how, researching and the various ways of doing so, various ways of searching the internet, the importance of study visits etc

This list may seem like an obvious place to start but the advice given is far the comprehensive than you would think.  As I progress through the course I will put much more of this guidance to use.

So I’m now ready to begin my Context and Narrative studies with; as my tutor said during our meeting; A New Head!


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