Reflecting on the Blogging Experience
Contributing to this blog has been a fun and creative way to work towards the completion of this module though at first, it seemed quite daunting. Having entered into the course on an unusual path, with an HND and 4 years of working in practice, I had reservations about my abilities to effectively convey my opinions at an academic level. However, I have found that blogging has been essential in allowing me to build my confidence in my academic writing as well as open my eyes to areas of urban design I have not previously considered. Having an online presence is crucial in modern society and this unit has allowed the development of key skills required to effectively debate serious issues and topics.
Utilising tools such as Google Scholar and Scopus, allowed me to strengthen the critical arguments presented within my posts with strong academic research and case studies. This has in turn allowed for a much more in-depth and thought-provoking discussion. Furthermore, I feel providing and receiving comments with my peers has allowed discussions to bloom and provided a good variety of opinions.
At the beginning of the semester, I, unfortunately, broke my ankle and was unable to attend campus or blog meetings in person. I did maintain contact with students via email or Whatsapp to ensure I was able to be involved in the development of the blog. For example, produce text with another student to answer “How can we contribute to the realm of urban design?” on the website’s main page. After returning to campus in person, I have found attending blog meetings extremely useful. Particularly, receiving constructive feedback from Dilan as well as chatting with other students about their blog posts.
Adhering to the word count has at times, been difficult. Summarising the lecture or topic, providing a strong balanced argument and a critical conclusion is challenging. However, it has also allowed me to make more concise and direct points, something I usually struggle with.
I have tried to ensure the quality of my posts is to a good academic standard which has often meant, revisions after posting and occasionally a slightly later post. This is something I plan on improving in the next semester focusing on time management and my work/study balance to ensure interim deadlines are met. Additionally, I think I could have been more active on the course social media accounts to broaden the audience for not just my blogs but also other students.
Looking back over the past semester, I can recognise the vast improvement in my writing and research skills. Moving forward in my study of urban design, the critical analysis skills I have developed through blogging will be essential in my personal and professional development as well as providing crucial skills for project development. I have found that blogging has been an incredibly useful tool in allowing students to explore a variety of urban design topics and find their voice within the discipline.