A level Media Studies support site

A level Media Studies support site
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Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Writing frame for G325 from Julian McDougall

G325 Sample Writing Frame (Collective ID)

Please note this is generic and is not a direct response to a specific exam question, so candidates will need to adapt this.

Start with quote, paraphrase, critique on identity, representation, media.

Identity is complex. The relationship between collective identity and media representation is not straightforward. In this answer I will discuss this complicated relationship in relation to (CANDIDATE'S FOCUS - ONE GROUP ACROSS MEDIA OR TWO GROUPS OR MORE, OR CONTRASTING EXAMPLES).

For each example / study, quote, paraphrase, critique is now applied to the material researched. One example from more than 5 years ago is included. Textual analysis is ALWAYS connected to theories of representation and / or identity. These theories can be from any time period but the majority of the examples used for discussion must be from within 5 years.

Next, connections are made between the examples / contrasts are discussed.

Finally, a conclusion is offered which goes back to the start - the complicated relationship between identity and media representation. A prediction for what the future will hold is included here.

To secure high marks, all of the above is accompanied by referencing (when an author is mentioned, their name and year of the book / article / web material is given in brackets after the FIRST mention).

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Manchester INSET 16/11/2010

A very enjoyable day! Delegates commented particularly on the opportunity to askl questions and get clear responses, on the tips for teaching, on the chance to do some moderation, on the quality of exemplar material and on the sharing amongst colleagues which went on.

Morning session responses to the question

"What does a new media student need to know..."

50/50 coursework/exam
making it clear what they will be doing so they don’t have misconceptions especially about practical element
seeing the interdependence between theory/production

media terminology/key concepts- a new language
where to start- genre, representation, semiotics, mediation?

knowledge of/understanding of what’s going on in the media

creativity in context/framework
sense of responsibility

emphasis on research skills and its variety in the course
problems of independent learning- teaching how to be independent learners

need to know how to use the equipment- do lots of ‘drafting’ and practice activities

to be open minded about what they see and are introduced to and to be receptive to criticism

amount of time and commitment needed

working with others especially those not their friends

Some questions raised on post-its and responses:


Would you advise centres to focus on just one brief rather than doing two or more?

Yes, one, as it makes the teaching more focussed and can limit problems with internal moderation.

Will centres be penalised for doing horror/thriller opening at AS?

No. It would be nice to open up more genres for students to consider, though

The brief says a film opening should be no more than two minutes. How strict is this?

Aim to get your students to work as close to 2 mins as possible, but there is no penalty for doing more. It is likely that the longer the sequence, the more it may go 'off the boil'

Most modern film openings contain little or no titling. Principal credits are at the end.

I don't think this is necessarily true. While I have seen examples in the form you suggest, a look at a range of openings will show most do have some titles at the start. As the task asks for titles and opening, then that is what they will be expected to do. Use www.artofthetitle.com for examples.

Are hard copies of print work at A2 needed for moderation?

No, digital is all we need.

We are concerned about the consistency of moderation. Can you offer some re-assurance about the process? Do some moderators have unrealistic expectations about what can be produced on low budget?

we are working hard to ensure that consistency is as accurate as possible through training and analysis of moderator samples. In terms of what can be produced, as we see a wide range of work we have an idea of what is possible. A low budget should not prevent high quality work

Do powerpoint evaluations need to be filmed?

No but if they are bullet points and filming would help to draw out more of the candidate's explanation, you can do it and include in the sample

Why can blogs be text heavy and powerpoints not?

I think it is all a matter of balance. Putting an essay on a powerpoint doesn't really fit its purpose and equally a blog with a lot of writing ought also to have lots of other evidence- visuals, video, etc

How can students show in depth textual analysis for research and planning without detailed writing?

They don't need to. They need to reference their research but there is no need to write an essay

What can be done to make radio blogs creative?

Photos, screengrabs of the program in action, photos of scripts, any variety in the evidence will help, although it is unlikely to look just like a film opening blog, which moderators would take account of

Can we use Wix for blogging and how do we show individual contributions to group blogs?

Yes and either by tagging posts or in the written teacher evidence on the cover sheet to justify your marks.

Is the number of blog posts important or is the amount of varied content more important?

A three month project might be reasonably expected to produce a blog a day but this may come as a multi-post catch-up sometimes. We should expect a clear account of the journey of the project to be built up but what is there is more important than just the sheer number of posts. there is a big discrepancy in what we see so some candidates may only have 5 posts, others 105, so it would be hard to see these get the same mark!

What evidence is acceptable for showing for music video that they have actively sought copyright clearance?

A copy of an e-mail or similar, pasted onto the blog will suffice

Which software works best for web-building?

Dreamweaver, though someone suggested WYSIWYG is a cheap alternative.

Can company logos be used in coursework?

yes to a limited extent but for something like an advert in a paper, they are better off inventing a new brand.


Do you need to reference theoretical frameworks in 1a of the A2 exam?


Can we have a list of theorists for exam topics?

Yes, I will put a list of those cited for various topics in a post next week. It will not be a 'canon' but a list of those I know were cited in the exam last summer across the country. Nor will it be a comprehensive list!