Debbie Williams, Computer Science, IT and Creative iMedia Subject Advisor
For our Cambridge National in Creative iMedia you must choose one optional unit to deliver. All the optional units are non-examined assessment (NEA) where students are required to complete a set assignment.
In a series of blogs, I hope to give you a flavour of each unit to help you decide which would best meet your learners’ interests and needs.
All the units follow the same process where students plan, make and review a product. The only difficulty you should have, is choosing which one to deliver – I would love to teach them all!
For unit R098, students must plan and capture photographs and moving images, and edit and process them into products to meet the client brief. Students will gain knowledge of using pre-production documentation, learn to use digital camera equipment and editing software as well as being able to apply the conventions of effective photographic and moving images. Finally, they will need to be able to check and review their work and suggest improvements and further developments.
Students need to understand and apply the conventions of both video and still images such as composition, visual style and lighting. They will also learn about camera shots and transitions and how to include content to meet a purpose. They also need to know about the equipment used for capturing images and video and the settings etc they may need to use.
This teaching content is vital to their success in this unit, but students do not need to be able write about the theory of the conventions. As it is a Cambridge National qualification, they need to be able to apply their knowledge and show it within the photos and video they produce as part of the NEA.
The mandatory examined unit R093 includes synoptic topic areas including client requirements, audience demographics, ideas generation and the planning of media products. This needs to be taught before or as part of R098. Without it, students may find aspects of the NEA difficult as it forms the basis of task 1.
Much of the content of R093, which applies to all media products, will need to be applied in this unit. For example, the teaching content for topic area 3.2 in R093 covers mind maps and mood boards. Students will need to have the understanding and skills to create a mind map, for example to identify ideas that meet the client brief.
When it comes to the pre-production planning for photography and video recording, students will need to use a range of techniques to plan. They should be able to choose from shot lists, storyboards, location recce and risk assessments. It’s important in the teaching phase that they have had chance to practice these methods.
We provide a template for the storyboard, recce and risk assessment documents to support students. Students should also be taught to create or source assets and provide details in an assets table. We provide a template for this and students should be taught to complete it and strongly encouraged to use it in their NEA task.
This topic area requires students to demonstrate their ability to use techniques and tools to take and process both photographs and video footage. It is important – and reflected in the mark criteria – that students create and edit photos before combining them. Their marks may be limited if they edit/create additional photos in the final product that they hadn’t prepared beforehand.
The visual imaging unit has two main parts, image processing and video editing. There are several options when it comes to which software to use.
For image processing applications you could consider using:
For video editing software you could consider using:
Lots of other software applications are available. If you aren’t sure whether the one you want to use is suitable, you could check the specification for the skills and tools listed and see if the software has the tools needed. If you are still unsure you could contact our support centre.
The specification (pages 84-85) lists the tools that can be used to edit the photos and video footage. You would need to teach students how to use these skills. Good practice would be to provide students with a copy of the specification during the NEA so they know which skills they need to evidence through screenshots to get higher mark bands. They don’t need to use them all, but we would expect them to demonstrate a wide range within the creation of their product.
It is not always clear what tools and techniques students have used during the creation of the product. If a student only provides their finished portfolio and video it would be really difficult to award marks above MB1 in strand 2a and 2b. Teaching how to use screenshots to evidence techniques used (but not a step-by-step guide) would be worthwhile.
Students will also be required to save and export their portfolio and video sequence in suitable formats. This again links back to R093 and topic area 2.2: (properties of digital graphics), so teaching for this needs to be done early in the course.
Once the portfolio and video are complete, the final task of the NEA is to check and review it before offering improvements and further developments. We provide a checklist template that students can use to check things such as the running time, volume, resolutions and file formats.
Students are required to write a review, assessing the appropriateness for the audience, purpose and client as well as conventions of the product. This needn’t be a lengthy document.
The final part of strand 3 is to identify areas for improvement (ways to make the content that is already present more effective) and further developments (what could be added, done differently, or reformatted differently in a future product). Students are not expected to correct any areas for improvement or make any developments, just identify and comment on them.
I hope this has given you a good idea of what R098 is all about. We also have a scheme of work that could provide further guidance on planning this unit.
If you have any questions, you can email us at email@example.com, call us on 01223 553998 or tweet us @OCR_ICT. You can also sign up to subject updates and receive information about resources and support.
Debbie joined the computing team in September 2022, bringing her knowledge as a teacher and subject leader for IT, Computing and Creative Media. She has over 20 years’ experience of education working in various settings including state schools, private specialist provision, local authority, and as a marker and moderator for exam boards. She has a degree in Technology Management, a PGCE and a Masters in Teaching and Learning.