This module provided an opportunity for me to explore topics on the digital world from different perspectives. My attitude towards digital media and platforms have changed, altering my approaches to maintain online identities and profiles.
I decided to use the reflective cycle framework created by Gibbs (Gibbs, 1988) to carry out an effective analysis of the module. I am able to reflect on my module experience, and identify any changes to my online digital usage.
Description – What Happened?
I enjoyed the flexibility of this module, completing most of the work at home. I felt the most comfortable writing topic posts in my room. I was able to research the topics efficiently using the Web, and asked peers/tutors for guidance using the #UOSM2008 Twitter hashtag.
The module structure provided us students enough time to write, comment and reflect on the topics. Repeating the learning process not only enhanced my knowledge, but improved my writing and analytical skills. I gained further perspectives on the topics investigated, and engaged in interesting conversations.
Feelings: What were you thinking and feeling?
Before commencing the module, the syllabus and course structure gave the impression that it would be ‘easy’ to write 300 words for a post.
However, I can assure you that this module was completely the opposite. I invested a lot of time in background research, to gain further understanding on the topics. Finding reliable, trustworthy sources took longer than expected. It required a lot of effort to produce interesting, engaging posts.
As s Computer Scientist, writing is not my strong point. I was quite nervous prior to starting the module, as I felt I did not have the capability to write posts worthy of a first mark. However, my skills have improved significantly over the last couple of months, especially my confidence in writing.
Evaluation: What was good or bad about the experience?
The module was an excellent experience, enhancing my knowledge on topics such as fake news and digital literacy. It made me realise that I take everything I have for granted – I never appreciated the components that make up a successful, resourceful digital world.
Furthermore, I improved my creativity skills, especially when I created infographics and videos. I had not used sites such as Canva and Piktochart before, so I found it incredibly useful to display information aesthetically. As a result, I will definitely be using these platforms for my future projects.
As this module was carried out online, it meant that physical peer interaction was minimal. I would have liked the opportunity to meet my peers in person, getting to know them on a personal level.
Analysis: What sense can you make of the situation?
At the beginning of the module, I completed a digital self test which identified my level of digital knowledge. My results changed, as I learnt new skills that improved my digital media use.
I realised the impact that online profiling can have, especially establishing my digital presence to expand my network connections. Using platforms such as LinkedIn can leave a ‘satisfactory’ impression to companies, which opens up opportunities and career prospects.
Furthermore, participation in the MOOC was useful. The course was available globally, meaning I was able to converse with individuals from different countries. This was exciting, as I was able to gain different cultural perspectives. I contributed on most of the course topics, and created my own Personal Learning Network (PLN) (FutureLearn, 2017).
I tried to come up with creative titles that would draw the reader’s attention, and this was evident as the module progressed. I was especially happy with ‘Checkmate’, as it was relevant to checking our digital sources regularly.
Conclusion: What else could you have done?
I feel that the overall maintenance of the blog could be improved. After reviewing other blogs, I realised my blog was not presented in a professional manner. Therefore, I would definitely change the blog theme and customisation, increasing its appeal to the reader.
Other forms of infographics could have been used effectively to display information. I decided to use posters and videos for most of my content, as it was visually pleasing. However, interactive resources such as quizzes could have been embedded into the post, reviewing the reader’s understanding and further consolidating their knowledge.
When writing the posts, I often found difficulty in structuring the blog consistently. If I communicated with my peers more frequently, then discussions on the module structure could have improved the overall blog presentation.
Action Plan: What would you do next time?
I would definitely spend more time researching the authenticity and reliability of sources. It was difficult to cite sources that were educational and provided by Google Scholar. When presenting arguments in my posts, information did not seem trustworthy.
Also, I learnt techniques to prevent identity concerns and problems. By expanding my network with only the individuals I know, it reduces any risk of identity theft. Furthermore, I am able to spot fake news easily, after my peers provided me with guidance and tips.
Participating in this module provided me an insight on digital profiling, and I will continue to adopt these practices in the future. As I go into my fourth and final year here at university, I need to ensure my professional profiles are maintained effectively, to increase job opportunities. I hope to continue blogging, expressing my opinions and maintain communication with my peers.
Farewell UOSM2008, this is definitely not the end!
Word Count: 903
FutureLearn. (2018). What is a Personal Learning Network (PLN)? – Learning in the Network Age – University of Southampton. [online] Available at: https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/learning-network-age/4/steps/303347 [Accessed 9 May 2018].
Gibbs, G. (1988). Learning by doing: A guide to teaching and learning methods. Oxford: Further Education Unit, Oxford Polytechnic. Available at: https://thoughtsmostlyaboutlearning.files.wordpress.com/2015/12/learning-by-doing-graham-gibbs.pdf [Accessed 9 May 2018]
UOSM2008 Conclusion. (2018). Directed by C. Cheung. United Kingdom: PowToon. Available at: https://www.powtoon.com/embed/bCC2JMTuR6j [Accessed 11 May 2018]