Thursday, 11 July 2013

OCA Textiles: Exploring Ideas

Dear Christina
As your tutor on Textiles 1: Exploring Ideas, I am writing to introduce myself. My name is Lisa Bloomer and I will be your tutor for this course. As well as working part-time as a tutor with OCA, I am an independent textile designer and employed as a senior lecturer on several BA Textile degree courses in the UK. I am confident that you will find your experience with OCA challenging and enjoyable and look forward to sharing your progression through this course.
Please send me a couple of paragraphs describing your textile experience to date, and your intentions, ambitions and aspirations, so that I can provide you with tailored support.
According to the initial information I have received, it looks like you will be working towards a degree. Please can you confirm that this is correct?
As you have chosen to study for a degree, you will need to engage in both academic and practical study. The development of a Learning Log (or Blog, if you prefer), in line with your practice and not separate from it, is essential to this process. For instance, if you are working on a project involving collage, your Learning Log should contain research into contemporary practitioners who engage with this as well as the more obvious precursors. The Learning Log should contain evidence that you are critically engaged with the subject and that your study extends beyond the information in the course book. It is important that you understand the role of the Learning Log so make sure you look at the information in the guide to Keeping Sketchbooks and Learning Logs and the video on OCA Essentials.
If you haven’t seen it yet, I recommend the induction course on the student website to help you get off to a good start. It's designed to introduce you to some important concepts and practical techniques that will help you as you prepare to study in higher education.
I suggest that we use email as our primary method of contact, but I am happy to receive occasional telephone and Skype calls as well (by appointment, at a mutually-convenient time), if that works better for you. I am not employed by OCA on a full-time contract, so my other commitments may mean I cannot return your email immediately, but I will reply as quickly as possible.
It will help your studies if you create a time-planner, which allows a realistic amount of time per assignment. I suggest we allow 8-12 weeks between assignments and set assignment hand-in deadlines to reflect how much time you are able to commit to your study. I’ll set a 10-week deadline for Assignment 1. If you think you won’t be able to keep to this timetable, keep me informed and we can set a more appropriate deadline.
I will provide feedback on the first assignment I receive from you, but Assignment 1 is not a formally-assessed component of the course. It is designed so that I can give you useful feedback at an early stage and start you off on the right track. 
The student forums are a good place to discuss ideas and gain inspiration from your fellow students and you will find useful online learning materials on Learning Logs/Blogs and Assessment on the student website and WeareOCA. If you are still unclear about anything and have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me.
I’ll set the deadline for Assignment 1 once I have received your profile. I look forward to hearing from you.
Best wishes
Lisa Bloomer

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