The Final Reflection of UOSM2008

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:

Read Sources.jpg

Created myself using Canva.

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:

charity(1)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.


Word count: 910


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.





Reflection on Topic 3

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A different approach…

After reading other blogs it became apparent that I took an alternative approach to others when using the theoretical work of Goffman and impression management as a way of evaluating the use of a single online identity vs multiple online identities. From this perspective the use of multiple identities is a natural phenomenon that allows us to maintain good impressions with different audiences, professional and personal. Bullingham and Vasconcelos (2013) uses this approach on the Web to argue for self-disclosure as our main aim for social media and that we disclose what information we deem appropriate for the audience.

Understanding through discussion

On Will’s blog he focuses on the advantages and disadvantages of both single and multiple identities. I commented asking about what he thought on the problem of self-censorship. In his reply he agrees that multiple identities do help because we can put different aspects of ourselves on each platform, thus allowing for better management. In turn this will also make self-censorship less of a problem as we will disclose more on different platforms but to different audiences.

Comment on Will’s blog.

Chloe commented on my blog highlighting the use of ‘Finstas’ as a recent phenomenon. ‘Finstas’ is a fascinating change where people can almost take on anonymous roles on the Web without facing embarrassment from future employers. It allows us to stay truthful whilst keeping other profiles professional.

Comment on Chloe’s blog.

Multiple Identities to impress employers?

There has been an overwhelming agreement that multiple identities are best to create a divide within professional and personal to impress employers.

Within my own use I believe that I still need to learn to manage multiple identities which is time consuming and learn what is appropriate on platforms like Twitter where anyone can see what you post, I’d argue that this isn’t very clear and I, like a lot of people self-censor in order to avoid the possibility on embarrassment.


Word count: 305


Bullingham, L. and Vasconcelos, A. (2013). ‘The presentation of self in the online world’: Goffman and the study of online identities. Journal of Information Science, 39(1), pp.101-112

Murphy, E. (2018) ‘Fake Instagram accounts or ‘Finstas’ are becoming the secret social media craze.’ Available at:




You can’t impress everyone…can you? Using Multiple Online Identities vs a Single Online Identity

One of the results of the Web 2.0 and the rise of social media has been identity construction in online settings. In the late 90’s and early 2000’s scholars studied ‘online’ identities versus ‘offline’ but in the last decade the surge in use of social media has meant that the distinction between personalities on and offline has started to blur (Cover, 2015). The rise of access through mobile devices and the physical distance between the user and the audience has meant that the notion of impression management has changed (Bullingham and Vasconcelos, 2013).

Impression Management


Impression Management is a concept introduced by Goffman (1959) who argues that within all social interactions we all have a front stage where we perform for an audience, these are known as our identities and they change depending on audience and to maintain good impressions of ourselves. If we fail in our performance we then ‘lose face’ (or get embarrassed) and our social relationships damaged or severed. This theory of presentation of identity has been heavily adapted to online and can be used to be a good argument for or against creating multiple identities.

Within professional identities, reputation is very important thus you want good impressions for a variety of reasons, but usually you want it to further your career.

Similarly within personal identities you want to make good impressions in order to seem authentic and maintain good relationships.

As you can see in figures below there are advantages and disadvantages of both perspectives.


Credit: Luke Gibbins (2018)


Credit: Luke Gibbins (2018)












Using Marwick and boyd (2010) and the concept of contextual collapse it is heavily regarded as beneficial to have multiple identities online as you can disclose carefully to a chosen specific audience. However single identities match more of a post-modern coherence approach where people expect you to narrate your life and be authentic and trustworthy.

van Dijck’s (2013) distinction between  ‘self-presentation’ and ‘self-promotion’ highlights where you can do both on social media.

If you’re serious about finding a job, definitely keep all of your personal profiles private in order for any innappropriate pictures to be seen by employers. Maybe think about creating a LinkedIn account. (Jones and Swain, 2012).

Word count: 330


Bullingham, L. and Vasconcelos, A. (2013). ‘The presentation of self in the online world’: Goffman and the study of online identities. Journal of Information Science, 39(1), pp.101-112.

Cover, R. (2015) ‘Digital Identities: Creating and Communicating the Online Self.’ London: Academic Press

Goffman, E. (1959) ‘The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life .’ New York, NY: Random House

Jones, T. and Swain, D. (2012). Managing your online professional identity. Bulletin of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, 38(2), pp.29-31.

Marwick, A. and boyd, d. (2010). I tweet honestly, I tweet passionately: Twitter users, context collapse, and the imagined audience. New Media & Society, 13(1), pp.114-133.

Patani, A. (2016) ‘Online Self Presentation: An application of Goffman’s Theory.’ [online] Available at: (Accessed 23 April)

van Dijck, J. (2013). ‘You have one identity’: performing the self on Facebook and LinkedIn. Media, Culture & Society, 35(2), pp.199-215.

University of Southampton (2017) ‘Learning in the Network Age.’ [online] Available at:

Reflecting on Topic 2


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On how to find reliable and authentic information online…

I found this topic an interesting yet challenging one. In addressing the topic it’s so broad it’s hard to focus on just one of the topics involved and in the word count. This led me to do a broad overview on the three literacies introduced in the MOOC ‘Learning in the Network Age’. These literacies are a lot more complex and connected then I first thought. I have summarised the tips repeated in my sources from my blog and created a top tips video available below:

Understanding through discussion

After reading other blogs and Tom’s comment on my post I question the use of the ‘three literacies’ as tools of educating people to find reliable and authentic information. For the students of #UOSM2008 we understand digital literacy but for the average person these concepts are not accessible and require an easier way of understanding how to tackle the problem of ‘fake news’ and being critical of finding information online. Games like ‘BadNews’ are trying to tackle this problem and making the audience aware of how and why people may share ‘fake news’ and I find this method of education to be more effective as its more relatable.

Comment on Tom’s blog.

Comment on Ryan’s blog.

Questioning my Digital Literacy

Looking back at the introductory topic post where I did the digital self-test the first section was ‘accessing, managing and evaluating online information’.

Digital Self-test

Before reading into topic 2 of evaluating the reliability and authenticity of data I had a basic view of what this digital skill involved. However after I have looked into it and found the SCONUL resource on information literacy (which almost resembles a marking criteria) I would mark myself much lower, at around a 2 or a 3, guilty of not being critical enough of the information I gather and share online.

Word count: 305


SCONUL (2015) ‘Digital Literacy Lens on the SCONUL Seven Pillars of Information Literacy’ [online] Available at: [accessed: 12th Mar. 2018].

University of Southampton (2018) ‘Learning in the Network Age’ [MOOC] Available at:


Effective Learning Online: The Three Literacies We Need

The Web has become one of the biggest sources for gathering and providing information in our society and an invaluable resource for students in all tiers of education (Walraven, Brand-Gruwel and Boshuizen, 2009). This means that digital literacy is as important as ever to practice and develop to ensure the information we gather online is reliable and authentic. A major aspect of digital literacy is learning to manage, access and evaluate the information we find online. We can practice these skills by developing our own learning networks (the way we use a range of sources), which means developing three major literacies: information, media and data (University of Southampton, 2018).


Created using Canva by Luke Gibbins (2018)

Media Literacy

Media literacy is best described in this video as it introduces the concept of ‘the media’ and ‘media’ forms we see online.

One of the most important aspects of media literacy is having the awareness that what we see needs to be evaluated. The infographic below refers to three forms of media which gives us unreliable/inauthentic information.


Created using Canva by Luke Gibbins (2018)

Information Literacy

Information literacy is the concept of growing your learning network, being increasingly aware of checking and evaluating the information you find online in many different forms through checking multiple sources. This includes in data visualisations and media formats.  There are seven pillars of information literacy which are useful to read through here (SCONUL, 2011). SCONUL have also applied a ‘digital literacy’ lens onto their study which you can find here (SCONUL, 2015).

Here is a resource which can help you spot ‘Fake News’ and false information.

Data Literacy

Data literacy concerns how we visualise the data we see online, we are all ready to believe in data visualisations straight away without thinking about whether or not the data visualisations can be reliable. An article by Collins (2015) shows how data visualisations can be formed in a way that purposefully or accidentally confuses the reader.

An example taken from Collins (2015) article.

Unclear and needs an X and Y axis.


This one is better, but the Government couldn’t get proper data sets and so manipulated the data (Collins, 2015).

The best way to become data literate is to check your information from multiple sources and read reports directly instead of relying on visualisations.


The three literacies are all connected, data is visualized and shared through utilizing the information and the media. The media is used as a communication tool for both data and information. The most important point to developing how to gather reliable and authentic data is to be aware and develop these literacies.

Word count: 330

Reference List

CrashCourse. (2018). Introduction to Media Literacy: Crash Course Media Literacy #1. [Online Video]. 27 February 2018. Available from: [Accessed: 11 March 2018].

Collins, K. (2015). The most misleading charts of 2015, fixed. [online] Quartz. Available at: [Accessed 11 Mar. 2018].

Dissevelt, L. (2015). Escape the Filter Bubble – [online] Available at: [Accessed 11 Mar. 2018].

SCONUL (2015) ‘Digital Literacy Lens on the SCONUL Seven Pillars of Information Literacy’ [online] Available at: [accessed: 12th Mar. 2018].

Sloggett, C. (2015). Research reveals Facebook ‘echo chambers’. [online] Available at: [Accessed 11 Mar. 2018].

The SCONUL Working Group on Information Literacy (2011) ‘The SCONUL Seven Pillars of Information Literacy’ [online] Available at: [Accessed 12 March. 2018]

Thoman, E., & Jolls, T. (2005). Media literacy education: Lessons from the center for media literacy. In G. Schwartz & P. U. Brown (Eds.), Media literacy: Transforming curriculum and teaching (Vol. 104, 2005, pp. 180 -205). Malden, MA: National Society for the Study of Education

University of Southampton (2018) ‘Learning in the Network Age’ [MOOC] Available at:

Vosoughi, S., Roy, D. and Aral, S. (2018). ‘The spread of true and false news online.’ Science, 359(6380), pp.1146-1151. Available at:

Walraven, A., Brand-Gruwel, S. and Boshuizen, H. (2009). How students evaluate information and sources when searching the World Wide Web for information. Computers & Education, 52(1), pp.234-246. Available at: (2018). IFLA — How To Spot Fake News. [online] Available at: [Accessed 11 Mar. 2018].



Reflecting on Digital Differences

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My blog post this week was specifically focused on technical infrastructure in the UK as an accessibility divide and more generally on common micro and macro differences. Ultimately what I have concluded about digital differences are that they are more complex and connected than what I first thought. Our individual usage of digital technology (micro) is heavily influenced from macro factors, which are traditional social divisons seen in the offline world (Race, Gender, Age, Disability). One thing I would have liked to make clearer in my post is what these differences mean for inequality. Where traditional social divisions exist, so does inequality. These traditional social divisions have transcended the offline world and are mirrored in the online world (Halford and Savage, 2010). This naturally means that there will be a ‘digital divide’.

Broadening my scope of understanding

Through reading other blog posts I have seen discussion on issues that I didn’t consider. Tom for example talked about cyber-bullying as a digital difference. Both blogs I commented on Stefan’s and Tom’s had lots of information on disability as a digital difference which blocks a lot of disabled adults from using digital technologies. Whilst writing my comments to these two blog posts, the engaging and interesting nature of each post allowed me to ask questions which helped me reflect and gain understanding of issues like methods of accessibiltiy and understanding digital access as a right.

Comment on Stefan’s blog.

Comment on Tom’s blog.

I am really grateful for everyone that commented on my blog and asked me questions about topics such as mobile infrastructure, net neutrality and digital access as a right. All of the questions prompted me to research more in to these topics and gave me a focused view on a very broad topic. This week has made me more aware of the importance of discussion in developing my understanding of the topic and I hope in the future to get better at asking questions and raising discussion in other blogs.

Word count: 316


Halford, S. and Savage, M. (2010). ‘Reconceptualizing Digital Inequality’ Information, Communication & Society, 13(7), pp.937-955

Digital Differences and Inequality

Digital differences refer to the factors which make our use of digital technologies different. As seen in the info graphic below, the factors are split in to macro (institutional) and micro (individual).


The ‘digital divide’ has been referred to as these macro/micro factors mirrors the social inequality that we see offline, with many of the same vulnerable groups in society not getting the same quality of access/usage of digital technologies.

Digital usage and access has been an issue that the Government has taken interested in, with the Ofcom Connected Nations Report 2017 being used to make them aware of access issues (at least from a technical standpoint). This has led to the Government issuing a press release saying that ‘high-speed internet’ should be a “legal right”.



Example of Macro/Micro Factors

A study by Davies, Eynon and Wilkin (2017) who tried to set up a scheme giving families with low-economic status access to home broadband access only to find that the families ran in to so many technical problems that weren’t fixed fast enough and teachers that soon lost interest in the scheme. In their conclusions they talk about how these families couldn’t utilise the technologies because they didn’t have the “power of choice” to change providers, demand for better service or change schools that were more adept at utilising technology. This exemplifies the digital divide economically and technically.

My Experiece

Growing up in the South of England and having access to medium-fast speed broadband since I was a child has helped me with my learning/access to information. Being a man, 21 and without any disabilities has meant that I have had an extremely fortunate use of digital technologies. With a Government that wants ‘high-speed’ internet for everyone as is a “legal right” and that also adopts net neutrality. I am extremely lucky to have the web access and digital usage capabilities I do.

Word count: 315


Davies, H., Eynon, R. and Wilkin, S. (2017). Neoliberal gremlins? How a scheme to help disadvantaged young people thrive online fell short of its ambitions. Information, Communication & Society, 20(6), pp.860-875.

Department of Culture, Media and Sport (2017). High speed broadband to become a legal right. [online] Available at: [Accessed 25 Feb. 2018].

Ofcom (2017). Connected Nations Report 2017 [online] pp.1-6. Available at: [Accessed 24 Feb. 2018].

Reflecting on the Introductory Topic

On ‘Digital Visitors and Residents’

Upon reflecting on my previous blog post I believe that I have gained a better understanding of my own use of digital technologies. Beginning with the digital self-test made me aware that my digital literacy was not up to the standard which Prensky (2001) would expect of a ‘digital native’ that grew up around technology. To analyse the results of my digital self-test, using the typology of Digital Visitors and Residents (White and Cornu, 2011) has allowed me to place myself on a continuum that has informed me of why my digital literacy experience is low. The use of the mapping process and looking at the other blogs for UOSM has allowed me to also compare my usage and confirm my understanding of what it means to be a resident over a visitor. I have found that I am mostly a visitor, which is not effective in practicing the two skills of creating and maintaining an online presence and building an online network.

Understanding through discussion

The comments given to me by Xavier, Megan and Stefan have allowed me to look deeper into my usage of digital technologies through asking ‘why?’ I mapped my usage as I did. Through discussion it informed me to think about temporal nature of the mapping process and how the mapping process would have to be done regularly as shifting between being a visitor and a resident on platforms is a common practice.

Improving Digital Skills

slides of a pitch deck-1One of my lowest scores on the digital literacy self-test was the creating my own graphics, maintaining an online presence and building an online network. Throughout my time doing UOSM2008 and in the future I wish to get better at using Canva/Piktochart needed to make info graphics and presentations and potentially trying to make video. I am currently looking into how to maintain a professional online presence using Twitter and will update my LinkedIn to try and develop these skills throughout the module.

Comment posted on: Xavier’s Blog

Comment posted on: Megan’s Blog

Word count: 315


Prensky, M. (2001) ‘Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants Part 1’. On the Horizon, 9(5).

White, D. S. and Cornu, A. L. (2011). ‘Visitors and Residents: A new typology for online engagement.’ First Monday16(9).


                                                                              Created using Canva (Luke Gibbins 2018)

Digital ‘Visitors and Residents’: Moving In

Prensky (2001) assumes someone of my generation must be a ‘digital native’ having grown up and gained a fluency in languages of computing and Web services to live, learn and work with. Whereas older generations are natural ‘digital immigrants’ with little experience of digital technology and require more education to become equally as competent.

After filling out the digital literacy self-test sheet (shown below) I am definitely not a ‘digital native’. as Prensky would define them.

Digital Literacy Self-Test

Digital Self-test

My results can be explained using the typology set out in a study by White and Cornu (2011) who built upon the rigid typology of Prensky. A more flexible approach, they don’t assume that age doesn’t equal competency or experience, and set out that these skills are gained with practise. The amount you practise depends on how engaged you are with various digital technologies.

The concepts are best described in this video:

Am I a visitor or a resident?

Using the JISC mapping process, I mapped out my engagement of digital technologies on a personal and educational level.

Introtopic-Mapping correct

Courtesy of JISC (2014)

As you can see with the result I am primarily a digital visitor for most technologies. One of the reasons this typology is superior is because it accounts for ‘moving’ in and out of engagement, being a ‘visitor and resident’. If I would have been asked five years ago my map would be dramatically different – I was extremely engaged on a personal level with many of these platforms. Now I find myself more of a ‘lurker’, somewhat engaged through reading and writing occasional posts, but not engaging completely.

Using the ‘resident and visitor’ typology I can see that my level of engagement isn’t good practise for developing my digital skills. I believe this module will be useful for me in order to become more engaged on these platforms and begin my journey of ‘moving in’ to become a resident, practising these skills and building a professional presence online.

Word count: 316


Jisc. (2014). ‘Mapping process’ [online] Available at: [Accessed 11/02/2018]

Jiscnetskills. (2014). ‘Visitors and Residents Available at:

Prensky, M. (2001) ‘Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants Part 1’. On the Horizon, 9(5). [online] Available at: [Accessed 11/02/2018]

White, D. S. and Cornu, A. L. (2011). ‘Visitors and Residents: A new typology for online engagement.’ First Monday16(9). [online] Available at:,%20Aslib%20Proceedings%202009.pdf [Accessed 11/02/2018]

If you’re interested in online participation and lurking:

Edelmann, N. (2017). Lurking in online participation and e-participation. 2017 Fourth International Conference on eDemocracy & eGovernment (ICEDEG).