I chose to make my final reflection into a video with drawings. Enjoy!
Find the video here
What I Learned in this Course
I do so much better on assignments that allow me to be creative. Or at least, I have a significantly greater amount of fun doing them, even if they are made to be almost entirely educational and THAT makes me work harder on them. Voluntarily. For example, in creating the game, the amount of work put in was absolutely brutal - but that brutality was a choice, and one I was happy to make because of how fun the idea was! I learned a lot about sensationalism in the process, much more than just the surface-level knowledge I carried over from high school. And the entire time it was fun! And in the end, the product was something I was very satisfied with. The same goes for a handful of reflections we did over the semester that I was allowed to be relatively informal for. I found that the simplest loosening of restrictions really impacts how well I work.
That I will use in my academic life
The first thing that comes to mind is definitely the use of non-copyrighted images. I’m very visual with my presentations and I never really considered that it might be just a tad illegal to use whatever I find on google images. At the very least it’s made me more conscious of the issue, which I find valuable for covering all my bases in the future (even if most people won’t notice). But it’s a good habit to get into, at least.
That I will use in my social life
I think I’ll probably keep in mind the whole issue of “Othering” that we talked about earlier this year. What we discussed, in addition to what I learned in my Psychology of Pandemics course, will be helpful in navigating some aspects of my social life. Or at least it will help me understand some more sensitive issues better - or just why people might act the way they do.
That I will use in my career
What won’t I use in my career? There’s a lot to choose from, but I think the communication skills I honed in this class will really help me. In Soliya as well as in general class discussions, I learned how to ask better questions, hold a conversation, and most importantly, speak up when no one’s talking. I also feel like the coded bias assignment will also be beneficial in the future in terms of taking action to prevent being biased. After all, it’s enough that we have unconscious bias - we can’t afford to be complacent about it when we’re aware. And finally, I have to acknowledge the digital literacies pathway project that helped me learn a whole lot about things like image creation and editing, gifs, and combining skills like writing with online mediums.
If I were to show someone my learning in this course…
If I could change things about this course...
I don’t have many criticisms, to be perfectly honest, but if I had to nitpick, it would be to say that the assignments without deadlines should at least be given suggested schedules. A sort of schedule to say that “by this date, it would be better if you had completed this much of the assignment.” It could be a quick announcement on Blackboard, since we did have reminders in class but I’m not sure how effective they were.
I would also suggest that you decrease the amount of time we spend in breakout rooms purely to discuss things because a lot of the time (at least as far as I noticed) the conversations tend to fizzle out quicker than if we’re all in the main room together. Or, if we do have breakout rooms, give us something to write. It’s a hassle to any student, yes, but it does help us keep talking to each other if only so we can get something on the slide/doc.
What kind of person should take this course?
Someone who has had bad experiences online and has to enroll in courses that deny any opportunity for creativity, but is still willing to put effort into a class they would enjoy.
What opportunities for choice did you value, which did you not
I cannot emphasize how much I appreciate having a choice when it comes to assignments because even in regular courses the best I can get is usually to pick between prompts for an essay, if even that. I don’t say that there were no choices I didn’t like because I’m being lazy in this reflection - I mean it sincerely. And that’s because, in all the opportunities for choice provided, there was always one I liked less or that I was less able to do. For the Coded Bias assignment for example, I didn’t have Netflix, so I appreciated the other option instead of having to jump through hoops to get access to someone’s account. For the game, I was similarly thankful because I would have to spend a lot of time on whatever subject it was on - it could have been unfathomably worse if I had been assigned a topic I didn’t like. I also liked the choice of working with a partner. Usually, assignments are you WILL work in a group full of people of questionable work ethics that you just met yesterday or you WILL NEVER let another student breathe in the direction of this project as you are to do it individually and there is no in-between. For this class, I liked having a partner, but there are so many other classes where I would have been so much better off working alone (even though I know working with random people is supposed to help me in the future...doesn’t mean I have to like it). But yes, in general, there were no choices I didn’t appreciate because there was almost always an alternative that I didn’t like. Being able to avoid what I don’t like while still accomplishing what is expected of me is very valuable.