“My Social Network” from CLA Tookit; Overview & Closeup.
My contribution to the learning community this semester
In Week 2 I was very aspirational about the role I wanted to play;
‘I would like my profile to be professional, respectful, organised, connected and visible. I aim to be an active participant within “reflection and critical discourse that is the core dynamic of a community of inquiry”.
I achieved my aim of being an active participant as I made over 75 comments on my peers’ posts, averaging over 5 per week. However I feel I did not participate fully in all 4 phases of the cognitive presence in the Practical Inquiry Model; triggering event, exploration, integration and resolution – despite having sentence openers taped next to my computer! Triggering events and some exploration were met by sharing an interesting article relevant to a post I had read and also asking some questions, but I felt a lot of my posts were agreeing with and complimenting upon the erudite musings of my peers. I was definitely wary of confronting differing ideas and promoting a critical discourse. This participation in all cognitive phases needs improving so the sentence openers will remain up!
I signed up for CLA Toolkit to assist documenting my contribution metrics however the data scraping was not 100% reliable; only one of my Twitter chats appeared and the number of my comments on Blog posts was also awry. How do I know this? Old fashioned tally marks counting my comments and tweets! I regret not comparing metrics earlier so I could have given more timely feedback. Despite this the trends shown in the reduced data in the Toolkit with respect to Sentiment and Community of Inquiry: Cognitive Presence I think mirrors my reflection above. My sentiment was mainly positive (85%) with negative sentiment only 4.3%, the reminder being neutral. My cognitive presence was mainly triggering (62%), with the rest being Other and very minor resolution and exploration (5% each).
However I did very well with my social presence, as my comments were spread over 26 of my peer’s blogs and I received 33 comments in return (which I also replied to). This can be seen in the reduced data ” My Social Network” CLA Toolkit picture at the beginning of this blog. With respect to my teaching presence I felt I learnt more from others than I contributed, but as I was an active participant on the unit site as well as my peers’ posts I contributed to extending conversations and learning.
Factors that influenced my postings included interest in the subject, admiration for the post and connection with my peers. Having said that, time and happenstance was a factor; if I did not comment it was not that I thought it was unworthy rather it was that I was out of time to craft a reply or I simply missed reading the post thoroughly. I made a conscious effort not to read any posts on a particular subject until I had posted my own so this cycle did somewhat preclude me from reading and commenting on others. My comments were topic agnostic as I made an effort to be interested in all weekly topics.
The use of social media in this unit was designed to promote connected learning and I was actively “curating, creating and sharing” my learning with my peers.
I was excited about using Twitter as part of this course and the concept of a PLN, however I had concerns about how to have a meaningful dialogue with Twitter. To ensure I learnt how to use Twitter properly I made an effort; I participated in all class Twitter chats, lurked in some ALIA chats, followed industry people and fellow students, asked queries about the course on Twitter and avidly saved links to My Reading List to read later. I did feel overwhelmed sometimes in the chats and was relieved to learn others did too, Storify helped a lot reviewing the chats. I averaged 28 Tweets per chat
I also used Twitter outside the Twitter chats, averaging 5 Tweets/week where 50% was ifn614 related and the rest social tweets (mainly with my peers).
I think could have posted more links to readings with my tweets – again part of the exploring persona I wished to embody for this course. Having said that, when I added one after the end of the research support Twitter chat it was still being retweeted 15 days later… (and all over the world).
— anitra (@AnitrarossB) October 10, 2016
I am still not a fan of retweets, the tweet above has led to me being “followed” by bots and others that I really have no interest in, so that has been good to remind me of the public nature of Twitter. I absolutely love Twitter as a PLN- the links I have saved and read have helped immensely in helping to understand this new profession. From Twitter I found Deb Mile’s presentation on Trends in Mobile Library Services for our assignment and when I heard her speak at the 2016 ALIA QLD mini conference I had already downloaded the SLQ report about Creative Spaces.
I will be using Twitter in the future for professional purposes however I suspect not as much for personal use (although the message mode is great). I am busy “curating” who I follow as although I like some personal asides I like to read a wide range of articles (without too many retweets!).
My learning in the unit
My key learning has been how to absorb information in a completely different environment and profession since I finished my geology MSc 15 years ago. Communities of inquiry/critical thinking/blogging/Twitter – though initially daunting have been good exercises in learning. Thankfully I used the wonderful services online at the QUT library to scaffold this learning process and the articles/ideas posted by Kate on our unit site helped too. The importance of this was a “lightbulb” moment when we were online in the reference Twitter chat and a few of us (including myself) were ambivalent about asking Librarians for help. I realised that in order to become proficient in this profession I need to “own” this space.
A2 As future professionals i guess we need to be all over this on & off line #ifn614refchat
— anitra (@AnitrarossB) August 8, 2016
This commitment to lifelong learning has included to date; joining ALIA, joining VALA, using Twitter as a PLN, using EndNote to catalogue my readings, applying for free registration to the QLD ALIA mini conference, and planning to undertake the online AIRS modules and learn coding with Lynda.com in the holidays.
As well as “how to learn” my critical thinking was enhanced by the weekly rigour of readings, Twitter chats or classes, writing blogs and engaging in my peers’ posts. With respect to the unit topic library programming and service delivery I also found the experience of reviewing a service and a program beneficial and good background for Assignments 2 and 3. It all “came together” for me when I watched Jo Beazley’s talk on Purposeful Programming and listened to Kyla Stephan’s presentation at the ALIA mini conference. Watching these professionals share how they designed, developed, implemented and evaluated their programs was inspirational.
Reflection upon my work
I am good at following instructions, reading recommended readings, exploring extra readings, referencing, and keeping to the word limit! If I do not understand something I am quick to ask for clarification (sorry Kate and Clare) and will often tease something out until I understand it. I like to summarise information and think about the bigger picture. I have learnt not to be afraid of new ideas and techniques and to think about how I can enhance the learning process. I have also learnt to be comfortable with online and have found quality interaction does not need to be face to face. Maybe my next group assignment will be done with peers not in Brisbane!
However I am slow, can be very pedantic and my writing can be pedestrian; I find it tricky to go off-piste and be inventive. I found it difficult brainstorming ideas for Assignment 2 and 3. I need to practice my writing to become more engaging and passionate and this can be seen during the semester how the number of comments on my posts decreased over time. I have started this process by reading Ros Petelin’s 1992 book on Professional writing and I am on the waiting list for her latest book as well. Also revisiting critical reflection articles and actively twisting/reframing my writing will help to address these weaknesses.
I think the nature of my posts were partly due to the online nature of the course, I had never participated on an online community before so was very wary of the public and written nature of the medium.
This unit has been challenging, engaging, occasionally frustrating and very rewarding! I look forward to furthering my studies in 2017.