It is now 10:55 am on May 25,2021. The student Adham is now in an interview regarding his feedback on this course.
Interviewer: Student Adham, kindly explain what you have from learned from this course?
Adham: There are a lot of different things that I have learned from this course which can be categorized into 4 main areas (Learning about myself, Professional Skills to use academically, skills to use in my social life, and professional skills to enhance my career)
Regarding learning about myself, this course has allowed me to self reflect over 3 different times and write various blogposts about things I enjoy. Ever since I was a freshman, I always had this doubt of choosing the wrong major. This course has truly shown how I actually enjoy such a subject and enjoy educating people about it to the point I made the digital narratives A Construction Manager’s Day (google.com) and a blog post about the how COVID drove digital transformation within the industry by utilizing end-end project management platforms.
Regarding Academic Learning, this course made me understand how to attribute pictures and media in general in my work.
Interviewer: Aren’t such topics covered by AUC?
It was never covered in our RHET 1010 and CORE 1010 classes. It also covered the different types of licences and how each type is to be used. This is important to ensure that, if I am to write a paper in which I insert some images, to ensure that my work is original or attributed to others.
Regarding Use in Social Life: I am more determined than ever to become more active on social media. This course, for the first time ever, gave me a systematic method to approach to identify fake news (no formal assignment, an in-class exercise) and write our opinions freely online. It was my first time ever to advocate online for the Palestinian cause by re-sharing stories and writing my opinion regarding some of the recently developing news on Instagram. I took it even further a notch to talk to some of the colleagues I made from the international student orientation last year to explain to them what the cause is about and to educate their peers and circles in the US 🙂
Regarding Use in my career, There was an interesting assignment about creating a CV to introduce myself to people not on professional achievements but things that matter to you the most. While introducing myself in any new company to peers, rather than focusing on my professional achievements (which are not a lot yet), I can use the ALTCV to give my colleagues an insight on who I am and what can they expect from me.
Interviewer: Give me 3 examples that highlight what you learned in the course?
Well this course was full of learning new content and ideas. For me, I believe that Soliya was a unique experience in my 4 years at AUC. The main reason for being such a unique experience was the diversity of the students enrolled. Getting to exchange ideas with different people around the globe and understanding the cultural differences was informative. It further allowed me to better communicate with my Indian, Italian, and Canadian co-workers in Teknobuilt and having more friendly conversations, understand different POVs and empathize with them.
Interviewer: What nationalities were present?
There were 3 Americans, 1 Moroccan, 1 Jordanian, 1 German, 1 Greek, and 2 Egyptians (the moderator and I).
Aside from such, it was the commonalities that we had as a group which made us closer and comfortable.
Interviewer: Are there other things that you wish to share?
Adham: Yes definitely. Another interesting aspect I would like to share is how far I developed and improved is informal articulation of my thoughts into a piece. The epitome of such an achievement was this piece whereas I wrote freely about how I feel. What I enjoyed about this assignment especially was the fact that I was able to choose a prompt of my choice and describe and reflect upon my feelings. On a separate note, this course definitely reshaped my view on the internet and data privacy. Watching the Coded Bias documentary, reading Engine Failure: Safiya Umoja Noble and Sarah T. Roberts on the Problems of Platform Capitalism, the Internet Health theory assignment, these have emphatically shown that profit is the main driver for big tech companies whom disregard the implications of misinformation and the fact there practices tend to polarize people and not connect them. There algorithms focus on increasing ad revenue only and not delivering factual content. The same is to be applied for search engines as well. There is no need to mention that your data is available and can be used for malicious purposes. Focusing on this, I became aware that Facebook has a dedicated page whereas they show you what data they have about you which I deleted all to ensure that I do not leave traces.
Interviewer: What would you recommend changes for the course to improve it?
Adham: We needed at least one on-campus class to get see our peers and professor even if it was for 1 day. It would have been great to see everybody in real life and actually get to know the person behind the screen. This might have encouraged us to work more in pairs rather than working alone in the project since I simply didn’t know the other students well enough. I know the pandemic forced us to have an online experience; however, Dr. Maha designed the course to be flexible and is fully adaptable to be online. On a separate note, the Digital Narratives Game should be more focused on having a complete experience which include video editing and animations and sound effects to truly develop one’s digital literacies and content creation. Maybe having groups would be a good idea to ensure a easier workload. Learning how to use these video editing software would have been great and would enhance our digital literacies. Also, I believe that we need to have different platforms to create such a game since Google Forms and Google slides were not the best platforms; yet sufficient in my case.
Adham: Using a lot of forms of communication sometimes confused me… Yet increased accessibility. I won’t elaborate on this point but food for thought. Maybe we need to standardize or not? And 3 Self Development posts in 3 months is a tad too much. The developments I have are purely professional and I do not want to dump some technical jargon in a post to fulfil the requirement. Maybe if we could have mix between the gratitude journal and self development posts, this would be a great way to achieve some balance. I still am thinking hard about my next post should be and I have already finished the Final Reflection i.e. the course.
Interviewer: Which type of person should take this course?
Adham: Everyone should take this course. This is an imperative course which gives people the required tools to develop one’s digital literacies, become empowered thinkers, creating digital with various tools and be aware of how to best consume online data and information. This is the 21st century version of “محو الامية”. Please give me an extra point for this description, I need it 🙂
Interviewer: 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?
Adham: The Digital Literacies assignment required us to make countless choices. This was a valuable learning experience as one had to self reflect and identify his weaknesses and chose a path that best enhanced his skills. Focusing on enhancing content creation, I focused on following prompts that focused on the theoretical aspect of internet health, reflecting on one’s experience in to enhance blogging skills and digital content creating involving GIFs and online photo editing software. This exercise empowered us to discover different understandings of digital literacies and develop our own literacies in accordance to our understanding of the course. *Gulp of water*
Adham: What I did not enjoy was the digital narrative game creation. It was too open ended. I was lost. I struggled to create a creative idea. This is where I needed help. This is where having too much of an open choice harmed me. I need to appreciate though Dr. Maha’s support for having flexible deadlines and supporting me throughout the way.
Please don’t deduct points for being too wordy. I just wanted to share my honest, unfiltered opinion on the course and its outcomes 🙂