There is just something different about BCM subjects…
Completing a double degree with International Studies, I get to see a range of different students. While INTS may still be in the same faculty, the way tutorial groups behave/ interact is still very different to those in BCM. In BCM there’s an engagement with the content and with each other that I see on a whole other level. And a part of me thinks this may be due to the blogging assignments. Our interactions in the lectures and tutorials sparks discussions, not unlike other subjects, but this then leads to that weekly post where your discussions develop into something more. Something that is publicly presented.
While writing for this blog, I have never done so with an audience in mind. I tag the posts only with #BCM240, so unless someone is stumbling across that tag I would assume the only people seeing my posts would be those who are in this course. Has this had an impact on how I write these posts? Maybe.
I try to make my style of writing as conversational as possible, because although very academic and serious sounding pieces of writing can be wonderfully informative, I think they are boring as hell to read. The kind of rule I tried to write by is ‘If I would hate reading it, other people would too’, and I don’t think I could rest easy knowing that I had subjected someone the something terribly boring. (Although, this could be/ probably is pretty boring to read, and I’ve just totally ruined everything ).
While this approach may produce more engaging content for the weekly topics, I find that sometimes the disjointed nature with which I form ideas for my pieces is often visible in my published work (probably through my poor proof-reading).
Until this subject, I had never really invested a great deal of effort into the design and functionality of this blog. I had seen it as a medium for which my assignments could be viewed and graded, and nothing more. Having the blog itself as a marked component for this subject (for obvious reasons) I needed to change my outlook on the role it plays. It has always been very easy to just writing something, press publish, and upload a link to Moodle on the due date (which I guess is exactly what this will be like…). But I now have to look at this space as a place to engage readers, not just through the content I am producing, but through the overall experience that this site can offer someone who visits.
(I am still yet to settle on a format/ design that I feel satisfies my need to simplicity, while still being functional, but I sure I will find one soon.)
My favourite part of these blogging assessments is being able to read and engage with other people who in some cases are just as lost as I am. The ability to view other people’s writings has definitely made me not only a better writer; both in my expression of ideas and the concepts that I explore, but has also made me more engaged in these topics. The fact the there is a wide range of views being posted in the #BCM240 tag, has aided me in informing and crafting my own perspectives on the topics.
I think that our ability to praise or be critical of our peers work is wonderful tool, and makes the blogging experience so much more enriching than having to do the usual sending in a word document.
Engagement, engagement, engagement. In my eyes this has perhaps been the single greatest part of the BCM240 subject. From both ends of the process, engagement is key. You need to be engaged in the weekly topics, and this is something I have found incredibly easy to do. Not only because the subjects that we are exploring are interesting, and very much applicable to our lives. But also through the support in the tutorials both from other students and from a tutor who is totally invested in these topics herself (shout out to KB).
The other side of engagement comes from the very blogs that we are writing. I would consider a successful blog post one that satisfies the reader, but leaves them wanting a little more *wink*. So crafting something that will keep the reader engaged while still exploring the subjects effectively is of absolute importance.
While I have come to really enjoy this form of assessment, my greatest weakness/ the bane of my existence is my time management skills. A regime of posting regularly at the start of the semester just fell apart as usual. Unfortunately I think this may lend itself to more casual style that the blogging format affords. As much as I tell myself it won’t happen in week 1, it is just inevitable.
So here’s to Audience, Media and Place, a subject that has made me explore and engage like no class before it.