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VCD: A brief overview and advice
« on: December 06, 2016, 11:53:27 am »
Due to extremely high demand (lel), I've modified a previous post to create this thread. VCD is a very nifty subject - one about which I was very passionate. But one of my biggest grievances is the relative lack of resources. Very frustrating. I hope we can start some good discussion on these forums. :)


Unit 3 VCD is titled ‘Design thinking and practice.’ To quote the study design, it focuses on “provid[ing] students with the knowledge and skills to undertake a successful design process.” In AOS1 (‘Analysis and practice in content’), students:

> Complete a range of design exercises to develop an understanding of the breadth of visual language employed in visual communication design fields
> Respond to stimulus material
> Increase their practical skills and knowledge with a specified focus on three areas of design: communication, environmental and industrial

And in AOS2 (‘Design industry practice’), students:

> Investigate how the design process is interpreted within industry
> Work on a broad variety of case studies that demonstrate different approaches to the stages of design process and practices of both contemporary Australian and international designers
> (Where possible) observe industry practices, interview local designers and interact with industry in an authentic experience

And in AOS3 (‘Developing a brief and generating ideas’), students:

> Apply design thinking skills to develop a creative client brief (this brief is then used in Unit 4)
> Undertake suitable research to generate a range of visual ideas
> Employ manual freehand drawing and visualisation drawing methods to present annotated ideas

Importantly, unlike the previous study design, students are not required to produce an entire folio in Unit 3. When I did VCD in 2012, for example, Unit 3 required an entire folio, and Unit 4 required an entire folio. I think it’s better now!

Unit 4 VCD is titled ‘Design development and presentation.’ To quote the study design, it focuses on “the final stage of the design process where final presentations are produced and presented.” In AOS1 (‘Development of design concepts’), students:

> Review the range of ideas developed in Unit 3
> Develop distinctly different concepts that address each identified client need and the requirements of the brief
> Apply creative, critical and reflective thinking to select ideas and refine them in consultation with the brief
> Consider the functional and aesthetic value of each concept using mock ups to support the preferred option

And in AOS2 (‘Final presentations’), students:

> Resolve two separate visual communication final presentations

And in AOS3 (‘Evaluation and explanation’), students:

> Reflect on their work and develop a story that articulates the merits of their final presentations
> Review their design process and annotations to extract evidence that will support their pitch presentations

SAC and exam skills and question styles:

I should preface this by noting that SACs may have changed slightly since I completed VCD. However, my SACs were a combination of practical application and theory. Some SACs required manual drawing, and producing an end product (2D) that adhered to a provided brief; others were theory-based that focused on design elements and principles.

The current course breaks up assessment in this way: Unit 3 SACs are worth 20%; Unit 4 SACs are worth 5%; the ‘School-assessed Task’ (folio) is worth 40%; and the end-of-year examination is worth 35%.

To be brutally honest, I found the VCD exam by far the hardest of my six. This might be due to the relative lack of available resources, but it may also be because coming up with a product or something artistic, as opposed to spouting off definitions, can be quite challenging. Particularly when you have finite time.


As above, I found the exam quite challenging. During the year, the folios (now folio in the singular) required a lot of work. A lot of work. If I spent as much time as I did on VCD on any of my other subjects, I have no doubt that I would have achieved a much higher study score than I did for this subject. In saying that, however, it’s mentally draining in a different sort of way. The advantage of VCD is that it doesn’t require that much mental effort in the same sort of way that is required in, say, Methods. A lot of the time I spent on my folios, I was thinking of other things.

Just a note here, though: if you have a bad back, you’re not going to like this subject.

The folio:

Start as early as possible. Experiment as much as possible. Don't ever throw anything out. If you test something and you hate it, use it. Explain why you hate it. Explain why you're not going to pursue it. This will give you a much deeper analysis that will lead to your final product. In the initial stages of your folio, don't worry about being neat; the main thing is getting good and new ideas onto paper.

Can you do 3/4 without 1/2?

I think technically you can. You probably don’t miss all that much from not doing Units 1/2, aside from familiarity with various pieces of terminology and the folio process. You might also need to catch up on technical drawing skills; however, that should be outlined fairly heavily in your textbook. I think 1/2 would be preferable more than say, 1/2 HHD or 1/2 Business Management, however.


VisCom is a good subject, and was one of my favourites – if not my favourite – throughout the entirety of Year 12. It can be very, very rewarding insofar as producing a final product and a folio. However – and this is rather a large however – if you’re looking for a ‘bludge’ subject, this isn’t it. If you want a subject that you can spend very little time on, this isn’t it.

In hindsight, I wouldn’t do the subject again, and my reasoning is this: I initially planned on a career in design, and VCD would have been conducive to that field. But it didn’t pan out like that, and I feel I could have been benefitted more, in terms of what I’m doing now, by another subject.

Food for thought, tit for tat. VCD is grouse and you’ll love it if you put in the effort. If you let it drag over your head, you’re going to have a bad time.

Oxford comma, Garamond, Avett Brothers, Orla Gartland enthusiast.


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Re: VCD: A brief overview and advice
« Reply #1 on: April 28, 2017, 09:44:13 pm »
How hard was last years examcomparex to the previous years? It scaled down less last yeae