I have continued to find the blog exercise a very powerful educational and developmental tool in my master’s journey this semester. The key benefits that I feel I have gained in this semester are:
First, I am more capable of identifying the topics that I want to explore and research, and I have further developed the skills to communicate my ideas clearly in a lay person language. This is central to what we are trying to achieve from writing blogs in this module as the focus is the broader community and how best we can inform them of their residential choices.
Second, I am a more confident researcher compared to where I started in semester one. Although I realised the importance of this exercise in the first semester, I struggled with identifying the relevant resources and extracting the materials I needed to advance my points. However, in this semester I find myself more equipped to identify the relevant academic literature and assess how best I can use the materials. Further, my citation skills and techniques have improved vastly this semester, which is not only important for this module but also for the other modules to come in the next academic year.
Third, writing comments on each other’s blogs has a number of benefits. On the one hand, it has allowed me to explore a range of interesting topics that are relevant to Housing Alternatives. And has also pushed me to conduct further research in order to ensure that my comment is helpful and adding value to the debate. On the other hand, this aspect of the blog exercise has allowed me and my other classmates to have meaningful conversations concerning the topics we have learned and the topics that we have decided to write our blogs on. More importantly, this is done in a respectful and professional manner, therefore, I find myself more capable of providing constructive criticism, supported by the relevant authoritative literature, when it is needed.
Finally, when I started my master’s journey, I did not have the confidence to share my views on many of the professional topics that I have learned in my architecture degree. Being required to blog as a part of the assessment gave me no choice but to do it and develop my research skills in order to make valuable points as well. i.e., not just to say something but to ensure that it is meaningful and useful not only to my other classmates but to the public in general. This was nerve racking at the beginning but now I am glad that I have been put of my comfort zone as I have gained many skills from this.