The MAUD Urban Design Blog 14-15 has given me my first experience of using a blog, the idea and concept of blogging is an idea which appeals to me greatly. The introduction of the blog into the module encouraged me to consider and look at other blogs related to design. By reading other blogs I was able to develop an understanding of the language and approach people took to blogging.
When constructing my first blog post it was useful to refer back to other blogs which I had read. Writing blog posts was a different style of writing and presenting an argument, to what I am used too, I tried to use short sentences and an more informal style than essay writing to make sure posts were both informative and engaging. The requirement to include academic references in blog posts at first presented a challenge, other blogs that I had looked at often didn’t use direct academic references and presented a more personal argument. However as a requirement of the brief, I came to understand the importance of including academic references within posts. In order to ensure that my posts included accurate references, after deciding upon a topic for a blog post I would undertake research already completed upon the same topic or similar, this allowed me to reflect and be critical of my own personal understanding and opinion in relation to theory and fact. In turn strengthening the arguments and viewpoints portrayed within my blog posts.
Maintaining the regularity of blogging presented a personal challenge, as the workloads for other modules increased, I prioritised other work before blogging. Recognising that I was not completing blog posts as regularly as I had hoped, mid-week through the semester I began to note down inspirations and thoughts regarding possible blog posts from lectures, tutorials and feedbacks. By creating a resource which stored ideas I was able to produce blog posts at a quicker rate and I began to use the blog at a more personal level, reflecting upon my own personal experiences as part of completing the Diploma in Urban Design. By almost using the blog as a diary to record module progress and considering weekly learning in combination with the blog, I began to find the blog less of a burden and more of a way to record my progress and my design development future requirements.
Completing the blog alongside the whole of my cohort was extremely beneficial. By organising a range of self directed meetings as a class, problems with the blog could be discussed and overcome to ensure it continued to run smoothly. I do however believe that such meetings could be utilised more; group discussions should be used to develop ideas and ensure group consensus in regards to the elements and maintenance of the blog – for example responsibilities to arrange meetings and take minutes could be shared more equally.
As all members of the class undertook the same modules, often blog posts by different individuals were very similar. Discussions could be used to ensure that similar topics are explored from different angles, this would add variety and depth to the blog overall possibly increasing ‘outside’ interest.
Overall completing the required blog posts has enabled me to explore an innovate way of learning. In hindsight I would continue to use the approach of noting possible blog topics throughout other learning opportunities and use posts to reflect upon experiences If I was to do the blog again I would try to continue to develop a more ‘blog efficient’ writing style and consider different ways of presenting arguments. In conclusion I believe overall that, I have developed my learning through completing the blog; however completing the blog alongside other work pressures is often difficult; therefore more efficient time management is required.