Nina's Textile Trail 2

– Textiles 1: Mixed Media for Textiles

Formative feedback for Assignment 1 by video


Available since September, 2015, I have just taken advantage of having my feedback for Assignment 1 via video and I can thoroughly recommend it.  We can choose to have all our feedback in this way with a summary of our conversation, rather than a full written report, if we wish.  Although I have never skyped anyone before, the discomfort I was expecting was overcome in the first 10 seconds and a very productive conversation ensued.

My tutor, Rebecca Fairley, encouraged me to keep developing the language I use in my critical and reflective thinking, to use metaphors such as ‘feels like’ or ‘gives the impression of’.  I was reassured that whatever I think it can’t be ‘wrong’ as its all about drawing out my own understanding of the subject.

Keep research broad-minded and identify what I don’t like and question what I am learning from it.  It is important to play with things I’m not drawn to, to have a go at things I want to resist and ask whether I can offer a different perspective.

We discussed the meaning of ‘placement’ as I had asked if it was ‘composition’.  It is more simply ‘where something is placed’.  So where I position the pleats on a piece of paper would be placement and composition would be more about emotions and how all the components make you feel.  Using a particular material would create a different feel and composition.

I was reassured that my drawing is fine and the more I do, the more my pencil/eye co-ordination will improve, enabling me to make quick sketches at galleries etc.  Blind and continuous line drawing were suggested.

My samples were well constructed and I had looked outside the coursework suggestions which had involved risk taking. (much to my relief!).  Risk taking is likely to produce more things that don’t work which would show I’m pushing myself, so pursue ideas that seem ‘weird’.

I had commented that I didn’t really understand how to address my assessment feedback from A Creative Approach which indicated “one of my main strengths is the variety of potential ideas explored in research but that the outcomes are not as strong as the supporting work I produce”.    Rebecca explained that sometimes the playfulness is lost which affects the creativity and that it is important to collect all your ideas and record them in written or drawn form.

Rebecca commented that my photography helps her to see what I see and that I should remember to write down all my observations, not taking anything for granted.

We discussed my realisation that I needed a pen/pencil in my hand to think and work creatively and agreed that it would mean a duplication of work when recording the same on my blog.  Although it might feel irritating at times, I’m relieved to have come to that conclusion instead of repeatedly thinking about digital versus paper learning logs.

Lastly, I asked about the first exercises in Assignment 2 as I thought producing five samples for each question was a bit simple and didn’t give me the opportunity to explore my creativity.  As part of my research, I had looked at the work of Andy Goldsworthy and Alice Fox, and wanted to explore joining with stitch.   It was pointed out that I probably could produce lots of lovely stitch samples (true) but that the exercises were more about thinking.  To think more scientifically about the join, how did it move, did it keep the pieces flat etc.   It was suggested to use more unusual materials and explore their potential.  I see clearly that for me, exploring stitch would be the easy route and I would learn more by exploring more unusual materials.  So as mentioned above, find things I don’t like and have a go at those, rather than the things I am drawn to and then question what I can learn, what are the materials telling me, to learn from what I am looking at.  Its all about the thinking.

I was encouraged to look at Ted Talks, a collection of lecture videos on a huge range of subjects.

I am a people person and it was so much better for me to have a two-way discussion about my work, face to face with my tutor, rather than reading a written report which I might misinterpret or view negatively.  Thank you, Rebecca, for a valuable, positive and productive discussion.


The above was my summary, the Tutor’s is below.  Fortunately, my understanding of the conversation agrees with hers!

Formative feedback

Student name Nina O’Connor Student number 513049
Course/Unit Textiles 1: Mixed Media for Textiles Assignment number One
Type of tutorial Video

Overall Comments

Nina you have made a great start to this course, fully engaging in the activities and thinking carefully about the different stages in the creative process.  It was a pleasure to discuss your work and progress during our tutorial this morning.  

My response:  Thank you, I am enjoying the structure of this course and found formative feedback via video a positive experience.

Assignment 1 Assessment potential

You may want to get credit for your hard work and achievements with the OCA by formally submitting your work for assessment at the end of the module. More and more people are taking the idea of lifelong learning seriously by submitting their work for assessment but it is entirely up to you. We are just as keen to support you whether you study for pleasure or to gain qualifications. Please consider whether you want to put your work forward for assessment and let me know your decision when you submit Assignment 2. I can then give you feedback on how well your work meets the assessment requirements.

It is my intention to have my work assessed.

Feedback on assignment

Demonstration of technical and Visual Skills, Quality of Outcome, Demonstration of Creativity

You have constructed your samples with care and sensitivity, collating them effectively using photography.  There is evidence of risk taking in the materials you have used and the way you have put samples together to explore them.  Continue to be broad minded in the materials you use and the ways you use them.  We discussed briefly the next section of the course, Joining and Wrapping – remember to look for interesting and unusual materials to act as joining materials.  And then spend time considering and understanding your samples.

Thank you, I enjoyed using photography in this way and found it helped me see more.  I understand that the more broad minded I am in the selection and use of materials will show more evidence of risk taking and result in deeper learning.


Demonstration of technical and Visual Skills, Demonstration of Creativity

You have a good approach to drawing and I can see this will develop as you practice and learn what the drawing is for.  Don’t be frightened to create your own style.  Use your pen but also experiment with other mediums like ink, chalk, collage, etc.  Try out some drawing methods like putting your pencil at the end of a long stick, blind continuous line drawing and drawing moving objects. There is good use of scale in your work with some larger drawings.  Continue to experiment with scale perhaps using a roll of wallpaper liner to get some really big drawings down.  Aim to draw regularly with a loose expressive style.  

Thank you.  As mentioned, I feel as though I have turned a corner in my attitude and approach to drawing and the need to work with a drawing implement in my hand and will take your suggestions on board.


Context, reflective thinking, critical thinking, analysis  

Your research is well organised and with evidence that it links to the exercises you have done.   Try to analyse you research material a little more.  Spend time looking and thinking about what you see.  Pick a part the work to learn what it has to offer you.  Work at using a wide range of words to describe what you see and how it makes you feel. Talk about placement and composition in relation to any artwork or designed article.  Use metaphors to help you express what you see and your understanding of what you see.  Remember there are no right or wrong answers.  

I will continue to work on improving my analysis skills and vocabulary.

Learning Logs or Blogs/Critical essays

Context, reflective thinking, critical thinking, analysis  

Your learning log/blog is well organised and easy to navigate. There is evidence you are beginning to think critically about your own work – learning from what you have made and what you are writing.

Reflect on the tutorial and this feedback in your learning log.  Ask your self what you have learnt and what you can take forward to the next part of the course.

I am pleased with the formative feedback received and have confidence in my abilities to follow the suggestions made.  I understand the importance of working with unfamiliar materials that may be ‘out of my comfort-zone’.  The differences between ‘placement’ and ‘composition’ are clearer.

Suggested reading/viewing


Here a link to TED talks and the selection of talks about where ideas come from

Thank you.

Please inform me of how you would like your feedback for the next assignment.   Written or video/audio.

I would like video feedback next time.

Well done Nina, I look forward to your next assignment.


Tutor name Rebecca Fairley
Date 14th January 2016
Next assignment due 14th March 2016








3 thoughts on “Formative feedback for Assignment 1 by video

  1. Thanks for sharing – not sure a fine art student or photographer would agree with her approach to defining composition

  2. This is brilliant feedback and really useful sharing for all of us. I am particularly appreciative of the conversation you had concerning placement and composition. Great start… onwards and upwards!

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