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I was always curious about why the assessment is blog not essay. Now I guess the answer is my reflection on my blogging experience in semester 1. There are distinctive differences between blog and essay, like the quantity of topics, process of writing and form of feedback. In my opinion, those differences make a big difference to my study of urban design.

1)To find my academic interest

As most of us have not yet decided our topics of dissertation, writing blogs help us find our academic interest. In the TCP8090, I got more than ten topics in the field of urban design and further studied at least two of them in writing the blogs, which help me broaden the scope of academic interest.

2)To exercise my abstract writing skill

Personally, I prefer to taking an example to explain or demonstrate my thinking. However, it is hard for me to clearly present my thoughts in 500-800 words. In fact, the length of blog is close to the length of abstract in a dissertation. So, blog can be regarded as an exercise of writing abstract.

3)To improve my critical thinking

Blog helps me improve my critical thinking by not only rethinking what I was taught but also commenting on other blogs. When rethinking the lecture, I tried and found some research gaps or relevant topics. Making mutual comments gave chances to further discussion on the specific topics. What’s more, blog is like online seminar, where I got multiple feedbacks from both tutors and classmates.

4)To enhance the relationship and atmosphere between classmates

Blogging is the most important thing we need to do, including regular meeting, volunteer contribution like photography, UI design and being chair, all of which are beneficial to being an integrated urban designer. Although I didn’t get much involved in the blogging process, I appreciate what my classmates have done and learn from how they took charge of blogging. Hopefully I will challenge myself to take charge of the blogging next semester.

Time flies by. It’s a pity that I should have done better to make full use of the blog.  For example, l should make plan and choose the topic ahead of time to make sure that I can finish it on time and on a regular basis. Whatever, regularity is the predominant thing to popularise our blog. I feel happy that our blog has been running for 8 years but a little disappointed that it serves as an “open blackboard” to some extent. As a whole, we should think and discuss: what kind of social media are the blog going to be? How can we work together to achieve the goal? As far as I am concerned, blog should be open and known to people who are associated with or interested in urban design. But the precondition is to make our blog more attractive and then more popular. I came up with an idea that we should categorise all blogs by tags or topics rather than by years. So it looks like a “dictionary”. When the visitor selects a topic and then he can go through all relevant blogs and case studies just like looking up a word in the dictionary. All in all, everyone involved should enhance the sense of ownership to the blog.

So, why not BLOG?

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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