After four months of blogging my time on UOSM2008 has come to an end. To reflect on this journey I shall use Smyth (1989) ‘reflection on action’ framework.
So I was tasked to do four blog posts and four reflection posts on various topics. These were surrounding different aspects of how we use the web to live, including access and inequalities. To learn – and the literacies that enable us to do so effectively. To work – and the evaluation of using single versus multiple identities to present yourself online. Below is the cycle that I followed to complete this work:
Within my reflections part of the module was reflecting on knowledge learned from engaging with others on the course by reading other people’s blogs and commenting with questions to learn from discussion. Personally, I had never learned like this so it was a refreshing and different to any experience I’ve had at University.
As part of my 3rd year my degree course of Web Science (Social Science) has this as a core module. I had been told about this module in my first semester of my first year so I had somewhat an idea of what this module was about. However it’s a way of learning that I’ve never really engaged with before. I see myself as someone who benefits from having a lecturer or a small group to learn, being an audial learner I thought that I would find this module quite difficult. Indeed taking a networked learning approach turned out to be fulfilling and that I can learn this way.
This is my first blog (if you exclude Twitter) so I was nervous but excited to try something new.
After the module I feel like I have learned a lot about how I work online. I have learned both about the topics I was asked to explore but also (through a lot of reflection) on myself. Here is a quick video about what I’ve learned about each topic on this module:
There are two elements to my learning and that was about the topics that we were set each week. The second element is learning how to reflect on the topics and how it relates to myself. I feel as though this skill is one of the most important skills I’ve learned through the module and that it is a skill I can now take with me in life.
From this module I was most looking forward to wanting to improve my knowledge on the issues that we have explored, especially including maintaining online identities. I will be soon going in to the job market after graduating. This is a scary prospect and I wanted to understand how to maintain a professional online profile which could help me in finding a job. The experience in blogging and networked learning was also something which I wanted to achieve. From my digital skills self-test I did at the beginning of the module I made assumptions about my own digital skills. I thought that updating how I feel now at the end of the module will show you how much they have developed, you can find this below:
What values, beliefs and assumptions, impacted my behaviour?
My assumptions about myself are that I wouldn’t be so good at networked learning. This came in to play when doing the MOOC. As someone who struggles in self confidence I felt nervous at times in commenting and engaging in case what I was saying could be taken out of context or that it was wrong. However I realise afterwards that everyone has something to contribute and that the sharing of experiences and relating to the topic is more important than getting the right answer. This was also an issue when creating graphics, even for this post I feel like my general skills of graphic making has improved but that I still have a long way to go. Self-confidence was also an issue that was highlighted to me within self-assessment, I very often under-estimated myself and got marked higher than what I had done.
One thing I am grateful for from this module is that I have learned that actually my work may be better than I give myself credit for and that is something I can use within my evolving growth in self-confidence.
As I mentioned in the last section my self-confidence and time management in relation to this module have played a massive part in hindering how well I could have engaged with the module. I feel generally through the weekly deadlines that my time management has partly improved (though it still has a long way to go). Through practice and engagement with others, and reflecting on these experiences I feel that my self-confidence has also improved.
This will allow me to take more opportunities like this in the future and to stop doubting myself.
Overall I feel like this module has given me the skills needed to create a professional profile online and the motivation to do so, I do think maintaining multiple profiles is tough, but I am in a privileged position in digital access, a better networked learner than I thought and soon to be entering the job market – thus this module has been critical in improving knowledge on building a professional profile, my digital literacy in general and my reflective skills.
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Smyth, J. (1989). Developing and sustaining critical reflection in teacher education. Journal of Teacher Education, 40(2), 2-9.
Waring M., & Evans, C. (2015). Understanding pedagogy: Developing a critical approach to teaching and learning. New York: Routledge.