Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Time to reflect

After having such a long break over summer coupled with the summer assignment “A8 Monkey Business” I was quite looking forward to returning to college and working in the college environment again. I do feel however that it was a beneficial task to complete a whole assignment with hardly any reference to both tutors and my peers as it taught me to be much more independent and work through problems myself.

During the first week back we were handed out the new assignments “A9 Box Clever”, “A10 iMe” and “A11 On the Job”. My first thought as we started looking through the assignments was how much the standard of the work has increased now we have moved into the second year. Even though we had been told previously that the work was going to get much harder and that we were going to need much more stamina this year I feel that it really hit home during the first week. This is something that I am relishing however as I feel that you need to be constantly challenging yourself if you want to improve.

The sessions that we are having with John throughout the first semester are working on assignment “A9 Box Clever”. I was quite eager to start with this assignment as it involves creating a CSS page which I feel is going to be one of the most useful skills to have when it comes to gaining employment. Over the last 3 weeks we have been going through several tutorials to supplement the lectures that we have had. I feel has been really advantageous as I am already starting to feel much more comfortable using CSS than I was before the assignment started.

Along with the tutorials we have also been working on the first essay of the assignment which was to “Evaluate the impact that CSS has had on web design to date”. I have been quite happy with the progress that I have made on this essay as I have completed several drafts to the point where it is now almost complete. I feel that I have really benefited from John being able to look through the essay and suggest ways in which I could improve as I have been looking much closer at what I’m doing. I now feel quite confident that after a few alterations in my self study this week the essay will be finished to the correct standard.

I have also learnt that I have passed assignment “A8 Monkey Business” since I returning back to college. I had mixed emotions about this because on the one hand I was quite relieved that I had passed but on the other was disappointed that I couldn’t achieve a Merit. I think that this was a good experience for me as it has stopped any complacency which may have been creeping in and I am now focused on achieving higher grades for the present assignments. If I were to do the assignment again I would spend much more time evidencing my research as I feel that this was the major factor on missing out on the higher grades this time around. Evidencing my research is something that I am going to be much more aware of for future assignments.

The assignment that we have been focusing on with Steve since we returned is “A11 On the Job”. This assignment involves undertaking a live project as a member of a team. One of the first tasks that we had to do was to decide which member of the team would be the most appropriate for the roles of Project Manager, Designer and Developer. After a brief meeting we decided that I would take the role of Project Manager, Marc would take the role of Designer and Rich would take the role of Developer. One of our first tasks was to give a presentation including designs for a generic Nursery and Sports team. This was an extremely challenging task as we were only given a minimal amount of lesson time accompanied by our self study to get prepared for this. However I do feel that we communicated well for this and were quite prepared for presentation given the circumstances.

After actually giving the presentation I was not confident that we would be given any of the projects and felt that the dynamics of the team weren’t quite right. A short time later we were told that we would not be doing any of the projects and that we would need to find our own clients which I felt proved that something needed to change. I decided to hold a team meeting to discuss how we felt everything went and how we were going to progress as a team from here. After quite a constructive meeting we decided that the team would benefit from a restructuring of our roles and it was decided that Rich would take the role of Project Manager, I would take the role of Designer and Marc would take the role of Developer.

In the last week we have advanced quite a lot with the assignment and we have now got one client with the possibility of another also. It is not really possible to judge how the team has changed since deciding to swap roles but it is very encouraging that we have been able to find a client so quickly and get the ball rolling.


scott said...

I am pleased to see that you managed to find a client so soon after missing out on the two jobs we had to pitch for.

We are yet to have a meeting with our client and I already feel that we are behind in our overall schedule.

I think we will have a busy couple of weeks to catch up!

Ben Waller said...

Thanks Scott. We have been pretty lucky that we knew somebody who wanted a website straight away. We have managed to have 3 or 4 meetings with the client now and are presenting our final digital screen design on Monday.

Im surprised you havent had the chance to meet with your client yet but hopefully you will be able to catch up soon!