CORE 2096 Spring 2021: Final Reflection

As the semester draws to an end, I write this reflection looking back at the most memorable, useful, enjoyable and maybe not so enjoyable moments that I had in this course. This reflection is going to be separated into 5 main sections, each discussing a point from the reflection guideline.

What did I learn in this course? (whether you gained knowledge, skills or attitudes)

Let me start by saying; what I enjoyed the most about what I learned in this course was how diverse and unique the course content was. Meaning that every class, I would be excited to see what new topic was going to get introduced, and in what way were we going to try to understand it (Either via the slides, a video, a group activity, on our own or even a mix of everything). This was particularly important to me because I often find myself struggling to focus with instructors who tend to be rather un-engaging and repetitive.

Moreover, most of the things that I have learned throughout this course are ones that would benefit me, not just during my academic life, but also throughout my career. The best example that I could think of, are the Soliya sessions that we were advised to participate in. Programs like these are something that I would normally never even come close to participating in. Soon after, what started as something that I was doing solely for the course turned out to be not only fun, but also super beneficial. I am saying this because 2 or 3 sessions in, I genuinely felt 10 times more comfortable speaking and presenting in English without reading from notes or anything of the sort. These sessions, mixed in with the various group activates that we frequently did also helped me a ton with developing my social skills, as I know feel more comfortable being myself around people that I am not really close to.

In addition, this course redefined for me what certain tools like PowerPoint and Google Forms are capable of. It also introduced to me new useful tools and sources of knowledge like All Aboard, Background Remover and Color Contrast Checker. The course also cleared up a lot of things that I did not fully understand about the different public copyright licenses. These things are all bound to continue to of great value for me during the rest of my academic life and beyond.

Finally, I also have to mention the multitude of different topics that we dove through during this course. These range form cyber security and digital footprint to personal mental health and wellbeing to technological racial issues to stories from our neighboring Arab countries. All of these were extremely interesting and enriching to delve into and learn more and more about.

-If I were to show someone my learning in this course. I would use these three things that I created.

If I were to do that, I would definitely start with my blog. The blogs for me are a great way to track my timeline throughout this course. This is because for each main assignment, there is probably a blogpost. The same could be said for studio visits and readings. In addition, my favorite thing about these blogs, is how everyone choose to decorate and design his or her blog. This added a different level of personalization that I don’t think could have been found anywhere else.

The second thing that I would show, and the thing that I am most proud of from this course, is my game that I had to create for one of the assignments. This to me perfectly symbolizes all the different aspects that we learned, improved on and untiled in this course. We first began by scouting the different topics that we could create the game about, this symbolized the freedom we had in this course when it came to assignments and tasks. We then researched the topic that we choose, which symbolized the aspect of getting trustworthy and reliable information (Something we learned about in the course). We then used different tools to turn the information to an interactable game, this was a great way to stress on the creative aspect of the course. Finally we collected peer feedback from our colleagues and tweaked our games accordingly. This emphasized the importance of groupwork that was a common theme throughout the course.

Last but not least, I would show my friend this course’ website which has helped get to know the course that much more. This website is almost like a wonderful phot album that contains all memories from times past.

If I could change 2-3 things about the course to improve it, I would change these things…

This one is really tough. Digital literacies in my opinion is a huge subject, and this course does a wonderful job of covering it over such small number of classes, while keeping it both fun and interesting. So, if I had to mention at least 2 things to change about this course, pardon me if they are not that major.

The first thing that I would change if I HAD to, is the way the well being assignment is conducted. This is because for me, I feel like the ability to change activity that you are blogging about (Gratitude Journal, Circle of life, etc.) 2 or 3 weeks after starting to do it is pointless. I am saying this because I believe that for such habits to take a noticeable effect, they would need more time than that.

The second thing that I would do, is to replace ds106 from the Tinkering Path in the digital pathways assignment. This is because I feel like most of the assignments on ds106 do not offer or teach skills and information that would prove useful in the long run.

-In one sentence: What kind of person should take this course?

I would almost everyone should take this course, as it lays out and enforces all of the basics and some of the intermediate knowledge / skills regarding digital literacies.

-In this course, you were given opportunities to make choices over what you focused on, and how you presented your learning – what did you think of these opportunities, which ones did you value, which ones were not valuable? Why?

I feel like this very much also resembles the 3rd point that was mentioned in this blog. This is just mainly because I can not think of a lot of things that I would change about this course.

However, to focus on the positive aspects of these types of assignments, I feel like for the most part, these opportunities prevented the tasks from being dull, boring, everyday assignments that we students often get in the habit of mindlessly doing. They instead allow us to be actively thinking about the contents of the assignment and even give us the opportunity to showcase a little part of ourselves with the assignment.

One thought on “CORE 2096 Spring 2021: Final Reflection

  1. thanks for this, Islam.
    It’s very funny that you are suggesting maybe removing the ds106 tinkering path – most students tend to enjoy it; I used to have it as a “bonus assignment” but students enjoyed it so much, that I integrated it into the Digital Literacies Pathway… I guess that it’s good that I never made it “required” because some people don’t think it’s as useful… so thanks for confirming that I need to keep it as a choice not a requirement.


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