• Demonstration of subject based knowledge and understanding – I feel that with every research-based exercise and assignment, my understanding and knowledge of content and context does improve. Most of this knowledge seems to come by “accident” as I carry out research; e.g. painting in Lombardy, Renaissance ideals, AIDS epidemic in the 1990’s in NYC (not mentioned in essay). Though perhaps all the information does not stay with me, I’ve learned a lot and this helps me feel more and more prepared for upcoming exercises/assignments. Despite this developing confidence, I will keep challenging and demanding more from myself. The fact that I’m learning so much proves to me that there is still a lot more to learn.
• Demonstration of research skills – I think I’ve really improved with this point in particular. For this assignment, I made sure to dedicate enough time for research (about two weeks) before the deadline. I located e-books from the MET, museum and gallery websites and other reliable secondary sources and carried out the SQ3R method to underline any valuable information. I also read a lot about copyright and authorship that I didn’t know about and realised that many of the images that I’ve previously included in my blog shouldn’t be there (this means I have go back and replace them with links only!). I’m still having some difficulty finding a significant number of primary sources but I did find an interview by Cindy Sherman that proved incredibly useful.
• Demonstration of critical and evaluation skills – It can be hard to stay focused in my analyses and interpretations and I often find myself straying from the topic at hand or wishing to get on with the next thing. It has helped to dedicate more time to the planning stage and being able to explore all the interesting resources, and then narrow it down to what the assignment is about. I feel that I’ve only now begun to understand the importance of “reflection”. Even though I’ve always tried writing down my reflections, I did it more as a task than from my own initiative. Now I yearn writing down my thoughts; it’s very satisfying and feels like I’m untangling a ball of yarn. I engaged with the research more than I ever had before and I feel this is reflected in my assignment.
• Communication – I think I express my ideas so much better in written form than in spoken form, perhaps because I can really polish and revise my thoughts when writing them down whilst speaking is very spontaneous. I feel like I do a good job when communicating my ideas, though I’m not sure how to measure my improvement or ability in this; I always feel that what I’m writing and the way I present it is to the best of my abilities and that I can’t consciously improve this except by practising more, reading more and writing more.