Monday, February 20, 2017

FAO CAA Yr 1 & 2: The 2017 Internal Student Survey Has Launched!

Today is launch day for the Internal Student Survey 2017.  The short version is the ISS is the opportunity for year 1 and 2 students to feedback to the University about their experience at UCA so far.  Your feedback is valued very highly by the University.

You can access the survey here.  Make sure you select the right survey - not the NSS, but the survey dedicated to Years 1 & 2.  You'll need your student number to access the survey. This is found on your ID card.  

Okay - so what does the survey entail? 30 core questions relating to the following aspects of the student learning experience:
  • Teaching on my Course
  • Assessment and Feedback (i.e. blogs/tutorials/crits/proformas)
  • Academic Support 
  • Organisation and Management 
  • Learning Resources 
  • Personal Development (i.e. core skills/greater confidence presenting etc).
  • Overall Satisfaction
  • Students' Union

The survey doesn't take long, but it is important you consider your responses carefully. It may feel like just another box-ticking exercise - but it isn't. The ISS survey is crucial to our understanding of what you think about us, and UCA more broadly. You're telling us about the things we're doing well and where stuff needs improving. You're highlighting the weaknesses and safe-guarding the good bits. You can help your course team make things better. Your feedback is used to improve the experience for future students, so be honest, but be constructive. Your views on what we do become part of formal monitoring processes within the University, which promotes discussion and debate. In short - data derived from the ISS - from you - is taken very seriously!  Rest assured, the findings of the survey are anonymous!

If, when you've completed the survey, could you leave a 'Done it' comment on this post that would be helpful, as it means I can stop badgering you!  Much appreciated.

If you have any queries regarding the ISS - for example, should you experience difficulty logging in or accessing the survey, please email

Many thanks!

FAO Year 3: 81 Days Until Major Project Submission

Sunday, February 19, 2017

CAA Cinema: Leningrad - Kolshik

Causality - the relationship between cause and effect...

CAA One-A-Day: Less Than Human

Zombies - this century's No.1 go-to metaphor for when we want to talk about what it means to be human...

FAO CAA Yr 2: Reminder: Star Chamber OGR / Monday 20th Feb By 5pm

A further reminder re. your 'Star Chamber' OGR with Kath Abiker.  You need to have your presentations uploaded to your blog by 5pm on Monday.   I'll be available in the baseroom from 2pm for anyone still experiencing difficulty nailing their enquiry down.  However, my expectation is that you are trying to nail your enquiry down and not just bringing me some deficit of effort on your part.

Important: please make sure your OGRs are proof-read prior to publishing for Kath.  Can we ensure your spelling and grammar is polished and typo-free.  Kath has high expectations of year two undergraduates; you've submitted enough assignments and received enough feedback to know very well the importance of professionalism and academic literacy.  Make sure Kath is responding to your ideas and your content only - and not your schoolboy-level errors!  You are all way beyond this stage now.  The OGR requirements ask you to include your Research Proforma: you'll find a word template for this documentation on myUCA/Critical Perspectives/Critical Perspectives 2.  You'll also find the example proforma I provided at the briefing for your guidance.

This OGR represents an invaluable opportunity to enhance and enrich your Dissertation Proposal - please make the very most of it by doing the work it requires of you.  Avoid generic synopses please - be specific: make clear commitments to ideas, methods, concepts and thinkers. Only then, can Kath be of real use.

Kath's feedback will follow as a blog comment on your OGR over the course of the next two weeks. Good luck and do the work.

FAO CAA Year 1: 'From Script To Screen' Submission Checklist & Final Crit Requirements 24/02/2017

What follows are instructions for your crit presentations and reminders of what you need to present and submit. Please use your social networks to ensure everyone has seen this information and understood it. Any queries, please leave a comment and I'll clarify where necessary.

In response to the three story components given you at the time of briefing, you are asked to pre-produce an original two minute animation. 

Your pre-production is to be submitted in 2 parts;

1) Pre-Viz, to include:

a) 2d animatic with soundtrack & transitions.
b) Maya pre-viz with soundtrack & transitions

2) An ‘Art Of’ publication, to include:

a) concept art : environment design
b) concept art : character design
c) concept art : prop design
d) Final environment designs
e) Final prop designs
f) Final character designs (character sheets)
g) Final presentation storyboards
h) Final script

You are asked to produce a comprehensive blog archiving and annotating your creative development during the duration of the unit.  You should use the blog to reflect critically upon your own creative practice and the wider cultural and thematic context of the unit.

Important! Your blog must include:

1) Your final CG Pre-Viz.
2) Your final Animatic.
3) Your ‘Art Of’ publication (as Scribd Presentation)
4) Final storyboards.
5) Final script.
6) Draft scripts/story development – to include:

a) The Development 
b) The Treatment
c) The Step Outline
d) The Premise
e) The Logline
f) Character Biographies

7) Preparatory storyboards.
8) Final concept art for character/environment/props.
9) Supporting artwork for character/environment/props.
10) Supporting research for character/environment/props.
11) Influence maps for character/environment/props.
12) Your film reviews for the ‘Cutting Edge’ film series. 
13) Your ‘like-for-like’ storyboard segment.
14) All exercises/outcomes from your Character Workshops with Justin Wyatt
15) Your final submission must include a short reflective statement. A reflective statement is a statement in which the student considers their experience of a project. Reflective statements are used to understand past events, learn lessons and identify best practice.

You will present on crit day from a single presentation blog post comprising your 'Art Of' publication, animatic and Maya pre-viz. Your presentation should follow this order: 
  1. Art Of 
  2. Animatic 
  3. Maya Pre-viz.
Important: please note, your From Script To Screen crit starts at 10am sharp - at which point the doors will close.  The order in which you'll be presenting your work will be randomised, which means any one of you may be presenting first!

Please note - the crit venue is to be confirmed; more details to follow.

If circumstances beyond your control* prevent you from attending on time, you must contact Gayle Baldwin before 10am. Students should seek to arrive in advance of the start time to ensure they are prepared. Your project management and professionalism count. Please prepare for your crit as you would for an interview or pitch. For some 'Rough Guide' style advice re. the stuff of engaging crit presentations, please go here.
And finally...

And a note to any 2nd/3rd years - your input on crit day, as always, is welcome. 

*But not issues in regard to last-minute technical problems that reflect poor project management. Thursday is your deadline, not Friday.

Please use your social networks to ensure everyone has seen this information. Many thanks.