Friday, 23 October 2009

A8 : iMe : Grade

A Quick Insight

Marking this assignment has been one of the most demanding things I have done on this course to date. It’s not the marking as such but being able to decipher the critical thinking behind my decisions.

One aspect that has made this abundantly easier was to keep a weekly blog stating the outcomes of my learning, which was one of the learning objectives in my Self Managed Learning Plan (SMLP).

These ‘mini blogs’ pretty much wrote there own evaluation for me at the end of this assignment and all I really needed to do was to re-word them into a final summary.

This has helped with my overall marking which is broken down as followed:

Pass Criteria

  • Demonstrate personal management skills in learning activities.
  • This goal is measured by the weekly blog entries that I have kept; the production schedule that was created; and the SMLP that was formulated.

  • Develop and follow self-managed learning plans.
  • This was achieved with the creation of the SMLP.

  • Review learning processes and synthesise appropriate methods of feedback.
  • Again, the goal was achieved through my blog assessing my progress on a weekly basis with summative goals at the end of each week.

  • Communicate and apply learning skills to a professional context.
  • To achieve this goal I created a skill bank of my learning which can be found at

  • Evaluate and communicate learning outcomes.
  • I met this goal with an evaluation that was submitted on the hand in date.

Merit Criteria

  • Relevant theories and techniques have been applied.
  • My work at has a library of techniques I have developed. This along with my commenting on my coding is the evidence supplied.

  • The appropriate structure and approach has been used.
  • This goal is met with a number of devices. shows the skills I have leant and clicking on each gives a description of the script and is commented line by line. The other place my learning goals have been recorded is on my blog that I kept. This weekly blog was broken down with summative goals that helped me plan my work load.

  • Complex problems with more than one variable have been explored.
  • Evidence can be found at It can also be found within my sketch book as I recorded what skills would be relevant to carry out my work. These were then amalgamated into layout plans to develop a website.

Distinction Criteria

  • Use critical reflection to evaluate own work and justify valid conclusions.
  • My evaluation here speaks for itself. It can be found with the submitted work I handed in. This evaluation pointed out both strengths and weaknesses and provided a summary as to how to avoid problems in future assignments.

  • Take responsibility for managing and organising activities.
  • My SMLP determined that my own learning would help me to achieve the goals I set out. This can be found in the work I submitted. I recorded the progress with my online evaluation.

  • Demonstrate convergent/lateral/creative thinking.
  • This is where my grading criteria failed. Because of time restrictions I had very little time to create a truly original website. I know I could have greatly improved the look of my site with more time but as it stands now I feel it does not meet this goal.


From the evidence that I have marked against I will be awarding myself merit as I have met the criteria for both pass and merit but not fully distinction.


It’s clear to see from the grading here where I need to project myself to be able to achieve a better grade. As stated in my evaluation I need to apply realistic goals for myself to achieve so I can spend the required amount of time in each field of my production schedule.

Monday, 12 October 2009

Job Advertisement - Web Designer

Web Designer

About the Job

"We have an opportunity for a Web Designer to work within a fast paced in-house marketing team. Responsibilities include the maintenance and updating of current group websites. Identify and resolve issues relating to group online marketing. Plan, design and develop new online projects for group and to interpret and develop design briefs received from Marketing department.
Essential skills include CSS & (X)HTML (preferably hand-coded), JavaScript, Dreamweaver, Photoshop, Illustrator, Flash and excellent communication and organisational skills. Knowledge of Quark would be an advantage as there may be a requirement to get involved in the print design process.”

While looking at employment opportunities around the web design industry it’s quite clear that many positions are open and are unaffected by our current economic climate. The advertisement I have come across is one by ‘The Book’, a recruitment agency, or in plain English, a ‘middle man’.

The job advertised is for a standard designer from what I have read. They are looking for XHTML, CSS and JavaScript. These skills I now feel confident in writing down on my curriculum vitae and would feel equally as confident in being able to talk about these technologies.

Technologies such as Photoshop and Illustrator are skills that I am always developing and I think having a portfolio of works may help out in future interviews.

Later skills, PHP and MySQL, I am still learning so I would at least want be confident in using these technologies before I applied for a job that utilised them. Other skills that are required for the position are the Adobe design tools that seem to be de facto of the designing industry.

With a salary, £17k - £19k, which seems to be an average amount for the industry, the job seems to be basic and with other jobs advertised as ‘Senior’ with salary thirty percent greater, there doesn’t seem to be that many skills that are required.

There is one skill I am lacking though and is something that education cannot give me; experience. This seems to be an underlining requirement of what is required for people entering the industry and the only way I can think of gaining this experience is to either try and accumulate as much freelance work as possible or to do a spot of voluntary work in the industry and gain good reference through both.

From reading this job advertisement I can see skills that I need to develop to make employment more feasible. The software skills are skills that I am always developing as a designer and is something that will not improve vastly overnight. Having a good grasp of a coding language though seems to be an advantage over many. If these skills are flawless than what I lack in software will be leveled out by language.

I think a good objective to set myself is to be fluent in PHP and to have knowledge of how to update and maintain a database using MySQL. These two skills will allow me to at least get a foot in the door and to be able to apply to jobs other designers may not.

With all these facts taken into consideration I feel that knowing the skills I am learning inside-out will help me with any interviews I may have in the future. As said before Adobe CS suite skills are always in the process of development and to try and set myself a task of being a Photoshop guru by the end of the year is not a realistic goal. Having the core coding skills are both realistic and achievable.

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