Week 6 – Reflection #crit101

Originally published here.

I have enjoyed the course of developing my interdependent skills, because firstly it was unlike anything I have taken part in before. I have learnt that the world of online courses is one that I should explore further, and that the badges are a good acknowledgement of your achievements. I found my first experience of a online course good and I am therefore keen to try others. 

I believe my progress as an independent learner has progress some what, because I was encouraged to go away and conduct research and blog posts by my own with self motivation. I think this was a good achievement because only a number of the participants managed to complete the course this far. 

As for my interdependence, especially working with those that I don’t know, has improved greatly. Due to the weekly time constraints I was encouraged to take control and allocate positions within the group. This skill is not something I perhaps would have previously always done in the past. I have definitely learnt that greater efficiency within a project is division of labour and working online at the same time.

Clearly I have gained the new skills taught in each of the weeks themes, which are already helping me with school work, such as evaluations. But I have also acquired greater leadership skills within a group and time management skills. These will be especially important to me in higher education. 

Thank you very much James Michie for creating #crit101, I definitely found it beneficial! 

Week 6- Due Sunday 21st April 2013

Originally published here.

What challenges did you face and how did you respond to them?

One challenge I faced throughout the course was uploading and sending my video (week 5) to my other group members. I found this difficult as editing and uploading videos is a totally new skill. I responded to this difficulty by asking my teacher for help and then googled the advice they gave me. I then watched a you tube clip on how to convert videos. This helped me as I was then able to upload my video clip and I learnt a skill for the future. 

What obstacles got in your way and how did you get around them?

An obstacle I faced was I was away for one week and it was difficult to still participate in the activity whilst being away. I overcame this difficulty by managing my time and prioritising the task. I completed the task by doing little bits at a time. 

How much effort did you put into the course and what did you get out of it?

I put a lot of effort into the course and tried to make every weeks assignment the best i could make it. From this I have learnt lots of new vocabulary and learnt to read much more complex material. I have also learnt to be adaptable to every task I come across

What feedback (criticism) did you receive and how did you take it?

I received criticism that in week two we didn’t have any secondary knowledge. We lacked secondary knowledge as we lacked teamwork. Overall, I did most of the asssignment and I though that another team member would have added to my work. Instead, one member of the team just put my primary evidence into a table. I found that week 2 in particular I did majority of the work. I responded, to this criticism by reading articles on triangulation and the best ways to find and attach secondary evidence. 

What success did other participants have and how did that make you feel?

In week 5 Nadia edited our groups video extremely well and to a very high standard. As I was so impressed with the final video i sent her a message on the group document saying how good I thought it was and telling her how well she had done.

Your progress as an in(ter)dependent learner?

Overall my progress as an independent learner has been good as i have had to manage my own schedule and complete all of the tasks to my own accord. Although, the first few weeks i found the in(ter)dependent aspect difficult as I wasn’t very confident in starting the discussions. Instead, I would just wait for other team members to start it. Although, in week 5 I made a great effort to get involved in discussions as give some ideas. I found this really helped my confidence and my input into the group task. 

What you believe you gained out of completing the course (skills, attributes…?)

I think I have gain a sense of self motivation and my confidence levels have improved in teamwork situations where I do not know anybody else. I have also developed my reading skills, as I have read different genres of writing. As well as that, I have expanded my vocabulary as majority of the articles were more sophisticated then ones I would normally read. 

What you will take away with you and how/where you think you will use it?

I will take away with me the self motivation and determination to find my own answers. I think I will use these skills in A levels or work life where independent learning is key. Also, I have learnt how to work in teams with strangers and be confident to voice my own views. I think I will use this is later life when applying for a job or when I am in a working environment. 

Synthesis and Evaluation

Originally published here.

This week’s project involved working in a group of three to complete a collaborative video under the title of: Chicken or Egg?
The assignment was quite unusual and challenging as it involved the 3 of us creating different parts of a video and then merging them together. As neither of us had ever had any experience making videos before, it was certainly interesting!
Firstly, we had a discussion to decide what each of us would contribute to the video, and decided on 3 main subjects: Theology, Science and the Cyclical View of Time. 
I took on Theology and the different ideas religion has about whether the chicken came first or the egg. For example, from a creationist’s point of view, (religions such as Christianity) God create all animals in one day. This would include the chicken. Therefore, the chicken came before the egg.

Unfortunately, I had some technical difficulties when attempting to share my video and therefore my part has not been added to the final project. However, making my part of the video itself was useful in helping me become a more interdependent learner as collaborating with strangers and learning to use tools outside of what I would normally refer to has given me the opportunity to explore all areas of learning. 

The final video link is:


Week Five – synthesis & evaluation reflection

Originally published here.

This weeks project was very different to anything I have done before for a project. It was a fun project to research and learn about, and once again this week I found that I was learning new technological skills. I learnt how to create a voiced video that films my screen, which will be a very useful skill for other presentations I will make later on in life.

As for the collaboration with the other participants, we discussed our ideas effectively, and together split the work evenly between us. Myself and Lou created our videos and they were pieced together, unfortunately Sana has been very busy, and we have not yet been able to include hers.

Furthermore, this weeks video collaboration helped strengthen my interdependent learning skills, as collaborating with others I have never met before, encouraged me to voice my opinions and engage in research to contribute to the project.

Below is the link to our video: https://www.dropbox.com/s/ttus5b2ystz53ky/Chicken%20or%20Egg.mp4

Week 6 Reflection

Originally published here.

When I initially started the course, I had a few basic understanding of some of the skills and ideas involved in being an in(ter)depenent learner, but never really had a chance to try and practise and improve these skills. I had previously worked in group projects at school and such but never really to a level that was as challenging as to make me really use skills that I for instance have acquired during this course, such as synthesis and evaluation. This course has given me a much deeper understanding through each weeks assignments, which each week built from the last, and took me through different stages and skills that were involved in independent learning. It has helped me gain a new insight into the traits of being a good in(ter)dependent learner and also how hard it can be to master these skills.
I think that the course has helped me show for starters that I can be committed to finishing things! Many of the tasks were time consuming and did require me to manage my time well to fit them into the week and complete the tasks. It required a great level of extra reading and research and it has helped me build on drawing from other accessible resources to help aid my task. It has further helped me realise that everything can be critically analysed and that I should be careful to assess the extent that I can trust a source by inquiring it’s reliability and validity.
I will finish the course coming away with many new skills that will most certainly add to value to my future work. I hope to study pyschology at university in a few years and these skills especially critiquing and analysing research and sources will hopefully greatly help me in this subject as much research is involved. Generally I feel that the course will help equip me better for further education as I can now identify how I feel I work best and also my strengths and weaknesses. So for example I feel I am good at assessing validity and reliability but I am not so good at drawing overall conclusions. All in all I am glad I took part in this course as I know that the skills that I take away will be very beneficial and I believe I now have a head start compared to others in tackling university and further education.