A level Media Studies support site

A level Media Studies support site
click on the image to go to the new site

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

No more posts

No further material will be added to this blog. The most useful and relevant material here will be added to the new site, which will also include links to a range of coursework and centre blogs as well as other online resources. Please click here or on the image above to go to the new site.

Sunday, 8 May 2011

Cuba Tweets case study

Follow Julian Mcdougall's Cuban media case study tweets, useful for WeMedia or Global media topics:


Sunday, 23 January 2011

How to set up a blog and a hub!

step by step PDF uploaded to the conference site, scroll down on home page to find it!

Friday, 21 January 2011

Group Evaluation

"After discussing the role of video and other multimedia in the
coursework Eval, a student asked me if they could (within a production
group) collaborate on the Eval as they do on large chunks of the R+P and
obviously the main production itself. Automatically started to say no,
but thought about it, and couldn't conclusively answer yes or no - any

The answer is that a collaborative evaluation is fine, so long as the teacher is able to identify the individual contributions on the cover sheet to justify marks.

G322 exam- recent e-community posts

Recent comments on the e-community regarding this paper:

"Gender again?? Really??"
"Won't have to prepare gender for June, then..................!?"
"Yes. Bets on Gender in May, anybody?"
"Maybe it's the universality of gender that appeals to the examiners. After all, everyones's got one, some people more......."

"I have been thinking, why not reshape the entire section A of the exam? The one question as it stands asks the students to write about how representations are created through the technical aspects. From my experience examing in the summer, this leads a lot of students to strain to make very unconvincing links between things like, for example, sound/ camerawork and gender.
Why not split section A into two parts:
- part 1, asking students to comment on the technical aspects of the piece and the effects they achieve.
- part 2, asking students to comment on the representations. Students could comment on any representations they thought were relevant, not just one area. They could get extra credit for commenting on how directorial choices and filming/ editing techniques bring about these representations."

"I think that’s an excellent idea. Efforts to make precise links between the technical areas and the topic of representation are often artificial and perhaps limit the students’ expression of their understanding of the concept. I also think it’s a bit odd that some of the topics like disability and social class never seem to come up."

"I like Jonny's idea about the 2 part Section A, 1 on technical features, one on representation - it's kind of like the GCSE Section A where the first question is on genre, second on linking technical areas to audience response, third on representation. I personally feel the 'strain' in trying to link every technical feature to representation - sometimes sound/editing/mise-en-scene don't contribute to constructing a representation, they are just there to tell the story or help us to empathise."

"I also agree completely... but then it's probably too straightforward..."

On the first strand here, our priority is to find sequences for the exam which we believe candidates will have an equal chance of writing about. Eventually, all the areas on the specification will turn up in the exam, but at our question paper meetings we often reject sequences from those areas which have not shown up so far because there is something about the sequence which we feel will not work in exam conditions. Many such sequences would be fine in a normal lesson but just not in an exam.

On the second strand, to be fair to everyone, I should let you know that any changes to a specification have to go through a lengthy process via OFQUAL, so it isn't really straightforward! (by lengthy, I'm talking about 3-4 years from something being suggested to the first exam being sat) so the current G322 format will remain for a long time yet.

Clarification 15: 'found' images

"Is it possible for students to use existing images of a band
to put onto their digipak?"

No. Everything must be constructed by the students themselves, as with the other tasks.

A2 exam question 1b

And a minimalist summary of what to cover...

para 1 Intro: which of your projects are you going to write about? briefly describe it

para 2: what are some of the key features of the concept you are being asked to apply? maybe outline two of the theories/ideas of particular writers briefly

para 3; start to apply the concept, making close reference to your production to show how the concept is evident in it

para 4: try to show ways in which ideas work in relation to your production and also ways in which those ideas might not apply/could be challenged

para 5; conclusion

Again remember you only have 30 minutes and that you really need to analyse the finished production, rather than tell the marker how you made it

Structure for A2 exam q.1a

This was requested from the e-community; there are other versions elsewhere, but this is probably the simplest!

paragraph 1 should be an introduction which explains which projects you did. It can be quite short.

paragraph 2 should pick up the skill area and perhaps suggest something about your starting point with it- what skills did you have already and how were these illustrated. use an example.

paragraph 3 should talk through your use of that skill in early projects and what you learned and developed through these. Again there should be examples to support all that you say.

paragraph 4 should go on to demonstrate how the skill developed in later projects, again backed by examples, and reflecting back on how this represents moves forward for you from your early position.

paragraph 5 short conclusion

Remember it's only half an hour and you need to range across all your work!

Thursday, 20 January 2011

Clarification 14: Magazines at AS

From Margaret Ashcroft:
Could I have some clarification on images for music magazines. I know that students are required to include a minimum of four original images. My question is - is it possible for them to import images of artists from the Internet to use on, for example, the contents page or combine a mixture of original and imported.

The answer is no, all material MUST be constructed by themselves. They can create their own artists using images they have taken of fellow students

Thursday, 13 January 2011

Programme for Conference

All online, just click on the large image above to go to the site and see what's on!

Monday, 10 January 2011

MERJ- new edition out now!

MERJ Volume 1 issue 2
Richard Berger & Julian McDougall (eds)
MERJ offers a forum for the exchange of academic research into media education
and pedagogy conducted by academics, practitioners and teachers situated in all
sectors and contexts for media education. The journal aims to encourage dialogue
between the sectors and between media educators from different countries, with the aim to facilitate the transfer of critical, empirical, action and discursive research into the complexity of media education as social practice.

articles include:

Berger, R and McDougall, J, Doing WikiLeaks? New Paradigms and (or) Ecologies in Media Education

Skaar, H, Buckingham, D and Vebjorg, T, Marketing on the Internet: A New Educational Challenge

Bragg, S, Tales of the Classroom: On Making Media in School

For more info go to the auteur site

Monday, 3 January 2011

links used at INSET events

For easy access

- very well organised blog hub and good blogs (magazine work)
excellent individual blog (magazine)
well organised centre wordpress blog
blog that illustrates need to organise more effectively

teaching blog showing series of tasks building up (click any student blog to see them in practice) Though these students were on the diploma, they were all doing A level Media as their additional learning.

Two videos from here
Vixens video

Wix website shown at London event

Blog for Level 4 video example on the disk

Hollow Point