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This module presented a very unique opportunity to reflect upon courseware learning via blogging. Prior to the module, blogging was a very foreign concept for me; where I faced many rewards and challenges along the way.

The first challenge I encountered was simply adaptability. Primarily producing academic-style writing in my undergraduate, it was very difficult at first to write in a different style towards a very different audience. Blog writing is typically much more informal with shorter paragraphs and phases to make it easier to read. Being an urban design module, it was also very important to communicate visually through integrated photos and graphics.

Another big challenge I encountered in blog writing was topic selection and presenting posts in a way that would be interesting and engaging to my audience.  This was highly stressed in the guest lecture presentation by Student Union blog expert, providing tips towards successful blogging. In this period, I struggled with selecting capitative material that would make visitors want to read and connect with my posts. I do find this got much easier once I gained experience in the process.

In blogging, I became much more reflexive in my learning process. I found myself really engaging with guest lecture presentations that occurred throughout the module, as opportunities for blog reflection. This was also the case when traveling and experiencing various elements of urban design complementary to the module.

In this experience, I  really enjoyed the ability to share my thoughts and interests with others. I felt Iike I was really able to really connect with my audience via blog postings and enjoyed reading the reflective comments of others towards my topics and ideas. With the opportunity to provide my own reflective comments to others, I felt this really shaped a positive online community.

Based on my experience as a blogger in this module, I came up with a list of tips and suggestions for anyone considering blogging in the future:

  • Let readers get to know you adding personal reflections and experiences to your posts, I tried to do this frequently by discussing my experience traveling and studying abroad in a different country
  • Provide an opportunity for readers to engage in your material by posing questions and thought evoking material, I found this to be a great method in allowing users to easily connect with your posts
  • Make posts interesting by integrating complementary graphics and case studies, visuals and exploratory material makes posts more captivating
  • Really understand your audience and who you are marketing towards
  • Increase user engagement by maintaining consistent and diverse postings, this is very critical to any successful blogger.

Overall, I really enjoyed my experience blogging this semester and encourage anyone interested to give it a try. In the end, I found it to be very rewarding and hope to continue the practice of blogging throughout my urban design journey.

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School of Architecture
Planning and Landscape
Newcastle upon Tyne
Tyne and Wear, NE1 7RU

Tel: 0191 208 6509

Email: nicola.rutherford@ncl.ac.uk


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