This was my first experience of writing blogs as part of a unit. I was initially unsure of what to write but very quickly gained confidence. For example, the ability to read my peers’ blogs outside of the classroom and to digest other people’s views in my own time was of great benefit, especially if I was struggling with a particular concept or view by the author. With increased confidence I found myself engaging with my peers’ blogs and the tutorials more than I would normally.
The process of writing a blog ensured that I spent more time understanding the readings. While this did add another level of complexity to my study, it was overcome with good time management and discipline. In my case I found myself better prepared and organised than any other subject during my study. We have all at some point in our studies been guilty of skimming readings just before (or even during) a tutorial. Which in reality is only detrimental to the discussion, the group and the overall learning experience.
The process of having to read and then write succinctly in a short period of time has enhanced my writing skills. For me, the very process of writing the blog means that I have digested the subject matter rather than highlighting a few lines and scribbling a couple of notes in the margin. The fact that I was writing a blog which was also being assessed, meant that I took ownership of it as well. It meant that I had to allow time to read the material and take care in what I wrote. This enabled me to go to the tutorials with more confidence and purpose.
Generally I do find tutorials difficult to engage in because I either lack the knowledge on the subject or due to my introverted nature, I prefer others to speak. I found that the tutorials in this unit were more engaging. This was significantly due to having to contribute a weekly blog which included our own contemporary question. These questions and our engagement of them, enabled us as a group to further understand the subject matter.
In closing, while I did find my workload increase with writing weekly blogs I certainly reaped the benefits from the process. These blogs ensured that I took more time in digesting and understanding the readings. They provided me with a new skill of writing concisely and allowed me to communicate my views in a format in which I am more comfortable. The results was a deeper interpretation of the subject further enhancing my education and skills.