Monday, 13 February 2012

Writing an Evaluation

We make choices al the time, whether it be what to wear for a meal out, or which of the latest games to purchase. An evaluation is an important tool to show that you can go back, consider your work and see where improvements could be made in the future. The evaluation requires us to make careful choices, as it should not just be a rushed list of what was done to achieve the final results. This was the message conveyed in a previous lecture titled 'What is an Evaluation?'

When we write an Evaluation, we could consider: Costs, design (was the design effective? Did it reach out to the desired target market?), scientific analysis and possible recommendations for improvement. A good evaluation is not just you boasting about what went well, but what you have discovered through the process, and how you could take this experience to improve on the areas that weren't quiet as effective. It is good to acknowledge your strengths, being careful not convey arrogance.

With an evaluation, you should: Acknowledge what you have been asked to do, how you've progressed through the process, the quality of the solutions you created, your performance and ability to work in a team. You must not self praise, try to tell a story and give an example of what exactly you did, make comparisons with work of others (this includes measuring yourself against the best), talk about land marks within the process, describe how you overcame hurdles, quote the guru's (the professionals within the trade), and finally; what was the impact? How do you believe your work reached out to your target audience.

You should finish with an action plan. To do this, you should: Ask questions, respond to your own questions with an answer, analyse your work and reflect on it, and finally, act upon your thoughts/ make changes and improvements. We can use Bloom's Taxonomy theory to help us remember this. The theory  covers: Knowledge, understanding, application, analysis, synthesis and evaluation. When writing the evaluation, we should also organize our thoughts, perhaps using headings.

In conclusion, the evaluation is a key element of the learning process. We must use the written reflection to help collect our thoughts, and understand our strengths and the areas to improve upon. We must treat the evaluation as an academic piece of writing, taking time and care on the structure and organization of our thoughts. In the contexts of film and game, an evaluation can come in the form of a review. Even as independent filmmakers or animators we could receive feedback in the form of an evaluation, perhaps on our blogs. It is important that we take this feedback and use it to improve on our trade.

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