I think it is important to clarify why I chose this course in order to be able to understand how I performed and felt. I chose this course as an elective because although I am of this generation I sometimes feel disconnected and out of touch to what’s happening around me. I am not big on social media and don’t particularly like the idea. It is important to note that I have no problem with technology as long as it is used “correctly” – making your life easier and safer not harder.
Going into this course I didn’t really know what to expect but approached it with an open mind and a willingness to learn something new and I was not disappointed. I was met by one of the nicest professors I have ever come across in my six and half years of university. The way the class is conducted is “proactive” meaning the students are the ones that do a lot of the talking. I’m not big on the whole sharing thing (I’m more of an “internal thinker” a listen before you speak kind of guy) but when I do decide to talk it’s nice to know your being heard and that what you say does actually matter. I relied more on listening to what people had to say and thinking about and relating them to other things.
The content was generally well chosen and built upon one another it never felt disjointed and I never felt lost. The few times I felt the content had problems I was able to voice my concerns and make my argument without ever feeling I was crossing boundaries. This brings me to the activities and assignments, the only slightly “negative” point I have to say about this is that tasks sometimes simply took too long. The end goal was simple but getting there was a challenge, you had to read an article, watch a video, do something else before you could actually write a blog. At the time I felt concerned but I came to realizes that although the process was long it was always very well thought out, it always seemed to either continue a stream of thought or complement a previously discussed topic aiding you in forming a bigger picture. This brings me to my next point doing the activities and assignments exposed me to many different things from digital identity to Soliya to Online games, wiki editing and everything else in between. I believe that everything one does is part of a process and that when you approach something with an open mind and just give it a chance and go through the process you’ll find you’re learning a lot.
I think having a blog also really helped, I remember when I was first exposed to blogs (this was in 2009 or 2010) I remember I never had anything to say and never really liked the idea. This semester I found that blogging could be very powerful and very therapeutic and because of how the class is structured you could actually get away with it. Dr.Bali placed no importance on things being formal (so no works cited page and no “academic” structure), the blog gives you power in the sense that you could write what you wanted and you didn’t have to think about the grade. This I believe is the single most important aspect of this course – being able to learn and get the work done without having to think about how you might get penalized. Also relating to this was the fact Dr.Bali is super flexible with due dates and when you show up to class (as long as you showed up at a reasonable hour of course). I believe she is more concerned on you learning as opposed of being a dictator. The class is usually very positive, inviting and very democratic, if something isn’t working we talk about it and change it. After a long semester I look back and honestly believe it was a good choice, I was exposed to a ton of new concepts, skills and material in general and this blog is a testament to that. In short the course did everything “it said on the can” and throughout the process I found that Dr.Bali really promoted a healthy learning environment and given the chance would definitely take another course we her.