As with assignment 1, I have made the assignment as a pdf document which can be downloaded here: Assignment 2 PDF submission. The course notes lists the requirements in A4 page sizes and in a pdf is easier to keep track of that.
The assignment includes.
- Two annotations of sculpture, one Roman and one Greek
- Four pages of notes (covering 3 chapters in WHA).
- One 500 word analysis of the Gothic visit
- References for assignment 2 (in Harvard referencing style)
On the template for notes:
I find using the template really quite hard. It’s artificial and I feel as though I’m losing vital context when compressing large amounts of information into this unwieldy framework. There are often bits I want to write down in the notes that just don’t seem to fit into the framework and bits that fit into more than one section of the framework.
On the page/word limitations for the assignment:
For the Greek section I wrote up loads of notes that I just couldnt use in the final summary (which was challenged to be 4 pages for 3 chapters). I tried to economise on space by using abbreviations and also ended up formatting with a small font (I hope the assessors have good eyesight or a zoom button). I managed to get the Roman chapter down to a page by writing less notes and also reordering and rewording them to be less space taking (and removing the bullet points which I thought would save space but didnt really, just improved readability) but it definitely loses something.
For the analysis the 500 word count really hit me hard this time, i managed to keep it to a page but it’s over 5oo words. They tell us to ‘think deeply and critically’ and then not give enough space to explain that? See my double length draft and further reflection here.
On the Annotations
I think I took too long to choose my second annotation subject this time so my research is not as deep as I’d have liked (see my reflection against the Assessment Criteria below), I drafted the annotations and research here and here. I compared the two annotations more this time (as per feedback from assignment 1). To avoid having these issues with delays in getting books (and having to fall back to the internet because of its immediacy) I’ve looked ahead at the next assignment already and had a guess at which books might be useful and reserved them in the library, hopefully they’ll arrive before I’m finished this time. Having said that any book suggestions by the tutor are extremely welcomed!
On the learning logs
There’s a lot of ‘todo’ bits left over this time, and lots of images still sitting on my hard drive. I think I spent too long on the earlier exercises and didn’t get to finish some of them. I will try and go over them in due course and finish bits off. With my schedule I was more able to visit places than have the time to write them up. I have now learn from this mistake and remedied that somewhat by bringing my laptop into work so I can have access to photos I’ve taken etc when I have the time to spend at lunch writing it all up. Another lesson learnt, this time with wordpress, I should have captioned all my images in Adobe LightRoom before I exported them to my blog. I had key-worded them with which bits of the cathedral I was in so I could later write them up with proper captions on the blog but then from the blog could not see those keywords, I think by captioning them directly in LR it would import those captions into wordpress.
On the concepts covered in part 2
I actually enjoyed this more than I thought I would. I found the religious work a bit dull to read about but I enjoyed seeing all the Greek & Roman sculpture. I enjoyed doing the London wall walk, it put it into perspective a bit clearer how small the world was back then. These days we think nothing of flying off to Europe for the weekend and London is a massive sprawling city and suburbs. Roman London was a tiny portion of what we now refer to as the city. I enjoyed my visit to the Cathedral on the south bank and mini trips to see various Gothic buildings. I knew nothing about architecture when I started the chapter and now I find myself noticing new bits of buildings that I’ve been walking past in London for years and year, thinking ‘I must look that up’ or ‘I wonder what type of column that is’ or ‘thats a strange statue, I wonder what the original function of that building was’.
Overall reflection against the Assessment Criteria:
- Demonstration of subject-based knowledge and understanding – there was a lot of reading in this chapter, and also I tried to use a few more books for the assignment research (as per feedback from assignment 1). I think I have demonstrated my understanding of the area in this assignment according to the research I have done (see below).
- Demonstration of research skills – I went to see the sculpture I chose to annotate in person and tried to see them by sketching, but also evaluated the sources I was looking at in books and on the internet for their scholarly worth. I would have liked to get hold of The Elgin Marbles book for the second assignment but due to personal issues with my schedule I was not able to (I decided to annotate that particular sculpture a bit late). I think that might be reflected in the feedback this time, my tutor will probably suggest some rework anyway so perhaps I can include consulting that book then.
- Demonstration of critical and evaluation skills – I tried to engage with the concepts throughout part one within each of the exercises. On reflection I think perhaps the word counts for the assignments are there to enhance evaluation skills by seeing what you include and what you leave out. Perhaps I can work on this a bit on the next assignment and leave out more.
- Communication – I think my ideas and points are written clearly. I try to reflect on bits as I go along since the assessor cannot be inside my head. I am still not sure of the language though, I have tried to make my writing style more formal for the assignment this time and to use more words that one might find in a glossary.