In the first semester of MA Urban Design, practitioners from various specialist fields in the built environment were involved in the module TCP 8090 Principles and Practice of Urban Design to introduce a series of urban-related theories and topics, which is an inspiring learning process that opened my view to both theoretical and practical issues. Two blogs need to be posted to respond to selected lectures from the module, I like the fact that we can choose the topics according to our own interests. Blogging is a unique and innovative learning task that I have never experienced before, differs from normal academic essay submissions, blogging encourages the exchange of thoughts with our classmates and creates a sense of community. I enjoy reading other people’s blogs as there is always something interesting or inspiring in each blog, which is a very good way of learning. Commenting to other blogs also stimulates our communications about a certain topic, it is interesting to get comments and feedback from our colleagues; different opinions and perspectives remind us to think critically and investigate deeper into the subjects.
Although I was a bit confused about the format of writing at the beginning due to the difference between blog and academic essay, I learnt some useful tips about blogging to share ideas with a wide audience. For example, adding a feature image is an effective way to make a post more appealing to potential readers. Tags with keywords of the writing topic allow people to find our blogs easily. Furthermore, sentences that are too long should be avoided as they are difficult to read.
Additionally, student-led management also makes the blogging special. We have group meetings every two weeks to make sure everything goes well, we can bring up any issue or questions and discuss them together during the meeting. Besides, each one of us is assigned two weeks to post blogs, thus to ensure our blog is regularly updated. In addition to blogs, we also post photos to share our course-life.
Blogging is a feature of our school. When I was applying MA Urban Design at Newcastle University, looking through the blogs written by Urban Design alumni allowed me to have a general idea about what they are thinking and learning. Our blogs might also help potential students and the public to have a better understanding of our course and our learning atmosphere.
Overall, blogging is a fruitful learning journey to me, it let me understand information sharing and discussions with others are good ways of learning. The comments to my blogs provide me new ideas and thinking perspectives that beyond my limited knowledge. I look forward to exploring more thoughts and ideas by blogging in the next term!