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I never thought that as part of my University experience I’d be involved in running and writing a blog. So, discovering that this was part of the Urban Design module was a nice surprise and I was excited to see how I’d find it.

I will admit that it proved to an interesting challenge trying to write in a relaxed and easily digestible way whilst still being academic at the same time. But that’s one of the reasons I think this module is such a success. After graduating, the likely hood that we find ourselves having to write academic papers is very slim. Instead the need to be able to successfully pass on and share information, more often than not to people who work in other sectors, in a concise and comprehendible way is almost guaranteed. This experience has, therefore, provided a fantastic opportunity to start honing those skills and I would like to continue to develop and refine this writing style going forward.

Being student led helped us make it truly ours and has been a useful insight into running and managing a team, seeing what people respond well to and what they don’t. I was pleased that my suggestion for being able to comment directly on the posts, rather than as a separate post, was well received and seen as a positive improvement. Likewise, being in charge of organising the profile photos for the blog provided a great opportunity to get to know the whole team right from the start.

I have particularly enjoyed being able to read and engage with other student’s posts. Especially as we all come from different backgrounds. I feel I have been able to gain an understanding on a far wider variety of topics and views than I otherwise would have as a result. Likewise, I thought having an Instagram page to support the blog was a great idea and enjoyed sharing extra content through it. One of my overall favourite moments was in fact receiving a very engaging and in-depth comment on one of my Instagram posts. Knowing that people outside of the university were coming across our work and engaging with it was very exciting.

Whilst being student led, I do think it would have been useful to have a check-in session with the tutors before Christmas to clear up any unresolved technical issues or queries to avoid inundating their inboxes with emails. I also don’t think that the Pinterest link worked as well as hoped. Despite pinning things, they didn’t show up on the page on the blog, with the previously pinned posts taking precedent, which made it a less enjoyable platform to use. In hindsight it may have been better to have just linked the Instagram account to our ‘Through the Lens’ page and focussed more attention on directing more traffic through that instead.

Overall though this has been a fun, enjoyable and interesting module and I look forward to seeing how the blog continues to develop!

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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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