During the course, I was able to connect thoroughly with personal life issues I face on a day to day basis. I would probably say things I have barely found the courage to research about and eventually solve one day. Linking to real life issues was easier in the course as we were always encouraged to delve into interesting topics and express ourselves in various ways like reading articles and watching videos. I believe the most interesting part of the course was during the different steps of making a game. For instance, through trying out different games in the beginning and understanding how to deliver meaningful content such as knowing more about fake news yet still formulating it in a fun way for everyone to easily understand.
Also, I was very interested in the topics relating to identity and our sense of self individually and in contrast to an entire community. This helped me know myself more and feel grounded and more accepting of my personal identity that I was able to express in different ways. I think I was able to tackle that in the beginning while designing my ALTCV. This was helpful because looking back, I feel like I could add much more to it after our discussions in the course. The changes mainly took place as we started discovering more digital tools across the semester. Personally, I feel like I will use them onwards in my future courses or even post grad! For instance, having slack as a professional tool of communication without having to share personal platforms like whatsapp was a huge discovery for me that I believe made everyone’s life easier.
I am grateful for the course that helped me discover a lot of issues while designing my game. Mental health has always been a taboo within my circle and stopped from tackling issues that would be of great use to myself and the people around me. By choosing depression as my main topic, I was able to delve deeper into the symptoms and have a professional view of the issue. As a result, it was beneficial to understand proper ways to help someone suffering without being impulsive and following my emotions right away. The game for me is a never ending subject that I choose to develop on for as long as I can. It feels like an open ended project that I chose to pursue for the sake of everyone I love. During this phase, I also had the chance to improve my digital skills and explore Google Slides differently in the way we transformed it into hyperlinks and games.
In this course, I was able to experience things for the first time and learn to develop my skills by taking part in different experiences. This took place through the topics we have discussed and the connection it had globally with other countries we never thought we would relate to. Also, the dynamics of the class and the activities we have participated in helped me to always feel heard, appreciated and included in the discussions. The doctor was always a main supporter for each and everyone of us and would always give feedback that boosts my thoughts and helps me become more creative in different phases of every assignment.
Creating a digital narrative game was new for me in several ways. It was challenging at the beginning and a little overwhelming for me to do this assignment within the given time frame. Honestly, I had no idea I would create all that in such a short amount of time. While creating, some phases would make me feel emotionally down, sometimes anxious because I had no idea if my game would respond to important mental health issues and become sufficient. It was also overwhelming to read sometimes since I have personally experienced all the scenarios with a close friend. I believe this is why I named it: When Someone You Love Is Depressed. I feel like the title could help people feel safe to play the game and end up feeling someone has related to their feelings and acknowledged them. I also thought that not only the player can benefit from this game, it is also a fun way to collaborate previous research and share it with anyone who wants to continue further with the studies.
Another blog I want to discuss is my self development post. I respect how this course attempted to help us delve deeper into mental health issues and discover what meditation really means. Personally, one of my favorite classes would be when we had a hands-on experience of a collaborative in class meditation session. Meditation did not only help me split my big chunk of grief gradually when I lost a family member, it also helped me keep up with my courses that I have not been paying attention to during this phase.
Another assignment that really impacted me was the Digital Literacy Pathway reflection. Personally, I chose to do the tinkering oath assignments since I wanted to challenge myself with different assignments and explore my creativity. They helped think in different directions other than my field of study such as photography, media, marketing and fashion. In that sense it helped have a fresh eye to different fields and critique them from a much better perspective.
In terms of things that need to be changed, I don’t think there is much. Ironically, I feel the way by which the course is organized is a true example of how a proper class environment should be. Personally, I believe that the class could make better connections with the outside world. For instance, More outdoor classrooms in the gardens. Most of the classes help us question our surroundings and reflect so it would be fun to have a hands-on experience. Also, I still remember the way we got to know each other through the walk of pride game. I believe these are the things we all got in contact with each other while performing. Another way to engage with outdoor learning could be through organizing field trips together that help us understand more of the topics discussed concerning digital literacies. This could be by attending conferences together such as Soliya but something that includes all of the class and helps us stay engaged and reflect.
Another thing that could be changed in the course is the way we have our Soliya sessions. For instance, we can use a randomizer for topics related so there is something to talk about when we run out of ideas and engage the class. A lot of people were not opening the camera or talking. Moreover, we can Make the time of the lecture less, have sessions not in spring break or Ramadan and hold more activities, not only discussions.
I think if anyone is going to register for the course, they should be flexible to go through change and discuss a variety of topics that would eventually help alter their mindset. Also, the courses demand effort and a constant willingness to learn new digital skills. It was important to keep teaching myself how to use different tools in order to express myself differently in different phases. In that regard, we were able to create a game in the end that helped us develop both digital skills and creative approaches respectively.
What I feel grateful for is the ability of the course to always provide options even in assignments. I was always glad to have the choice either to read, watch a video or annotate on a certain topic. I think this helped all of us with our different interests to take part in different activities within our area of preference and still be prepared for the next class. In that regard, I was very glad that the assignments we did were always before class time. This helped us discuss and reflect more on our outcomes and share it with the entire class. Also, it felt that we always had insights to share with everyone based on new topics we have delved into. In that sense, my favorite assignments were always the videos we watched. One of my favorites was ‘Don’t ask where I’m from, ask where I’m a local’ TED Talk by Taiye Selasi. I feel like the ted talk discussed important issues that should be shared on a global scale not just within class. Moreover, I think the course is very adequately designed in the way to include the same content across different activities done depending on the choice of every student. I believe it must take a lot of effort to make sure the message being delivered is constant across all mediums. For me, although the class was an 8:30 course, it has never felt like one. The course is not the typical -watching slides- type of experience we usually do not enjoy in most courses, however, it always kept us entertained by dividing the class time so it fits different activities which helped everyone stay focused and engaged.
Personally, I feel that this reflection helped me delve into what I am thankful for experiencing in this course. It allowed me to discover a personal “gratitude journal” that is custom to my experiences in the course. I come to appreciate the effort and feedback I have received throughout the entire semester from Dr Maha and something I am very proud to receive one semester before graduation. It is definitely an experience I am lucky to have during my last months in university.
Leave a Reply