June 1, 2015
Going into the term I had very little knowledge of what popular culture really was, I had heard the word many times before but never really looked into what it really meant. As a result I didn’t really have a specific thing that I wanted to learn about pop culture just wanted to see what it was and how it can be useful. To me the class seemed like it could be very interesting because it dealt with essentially all the things that we consume on a daily basis as entertainment or education. As for taking an online course, my goal was to first of all save some time for my other courses but also to improve my communication skills with people that are not necessarily next to me. At first it was a challenge, I saw almost nobody in person but I had to have group conversations, post and reply to other peoples ideas. This proved to be challenging because, the replies to questions were not always instant. There was also a challenge in finding instructions for the course, I am used to a format where the instructor tells you in class what is due and when it is due. With this course it was very different, I had to search for instructions myself on the D2L page. I found that often I would miss something and would have very little time to complete something before the due date. Over the course of the term however, these challenges began to fade I learned how to better communicate with people virtually and I learned how to be more organized and find out information on my own.
One example of a group virtual communication was the mentor-writing group workshops, here students was separated into groups and had dissuasions on various things through the term. Whether it would be peer reviews on each other’s papers or discussions of class goals, each student had the opportunity to give their input and receive other people’s on their own work. This is an example of one of my discussions and some replies to it.
“I believe that I am good at communicating through writing; I have done fairly well on just about all of my college as well as high school papers and other writing assignments. Others often tell me that I state my points and ideas clearly in my writing, to the point where it is easy to understand. I believe that this also translates into oral communication, especially in a preplanned speech or presentation. This term I think there will definitely be plenty of opportunities to improve communication through writing, whether it is an essay, e-portfolio or the discussion and blog posts. These assignments are writing intensive and are based on communication through writing. I don’t see many options for improvement in communication through speech, graphics, numeracy, etc. This is expected however in an online course. I would like to improve on working in groups this term, although it is a bit hard to accomplish this in this online course, nevertheless it is a very important trait to have and I am starting to see that just about every job or internship values people who have good communication skills, especially in the field of group work.”
“Suggestions (Ground Rules):
1) Good posts should contain clearly stated ideas; they should be easy to follow.
2) Each member of the group must post and reply on time, to not hold back other members from completing the assignment.
3) Feedback should be valid and constructive, not made up because it was a requirement.
4) Posts should not be deemed incorrect because of contradictory beliefs.”
I envy you when it comes to writing, because it is one of my weaknesses. This is one of the main reasons why I chose to take this course online. I feel like it could benefit me.
I agree with you that everyone should post and reply on time. It really is unfortunate if other people can’t complete their own assignments, if we don’t have posts to comment on. I think that is an extremely good ground rule. And I agree that posts should be seen as incorrect. Because a person’s post is a person’ idea, and it’s their thoughts.”
I have definitely improved my role as a reviewer of people’s papers. In the past I tended to simply correct the grammar mistakes that people made and point out sentences that don’t make sense. This term however I realized that although important, most of the grammar mistakes could be corrected by simply rereading the paper a day or two after writing it or running it through a spelling and grammar checker. In the peer reviews do on the Looking into the Mirror paper I decide to focus more on content and if the paper flowed, versus simple grammar mistakes. I believe this is far more useful. Here is an example of a part of a peer review I did this term.
“…The paper has an intro, body and conclusion. The introduction could be a bit more organized, I would try my best to use that paragraph to summarize the information and arguments that you are going to present, and this way the reader knows what they should expect to hear. The body could also use some work on continuity, I find that some of your paragraphs seem incomplete, lacking a good intro or conclusion; some paragraphs should just be part of the previous ones. Try to introduce the subject of each paragraph sufficiently and at the end of each paragraph, maybe hint at what you will talk about in the next one, but only in the next paragraph provide a full intro to that subject….”
Application of Skills
I will be able to focus my improved skills in my professional life; I believe that as an engineer I will definitely have to communicate with other people virtually whether it would be through email or online forums or other online communication methods. Engineering in particular is a very group work heavy field so I will definitely be taking these skills that I have described further in life with me.