I have been postponing this for a while because I don’t know from where should I start. Since the semester is coming to an end and I’ve finished all of my finals and submissions this will be the last thing that finishes off my semester. I thought a lot about how would I divide my reflection and what will I be reflecting about. I decided that I will reflect on the content, the class, the professor and most importantly myself.
I will start off the reflection by talking about the content. There is no other word to describe the content better than “diverse”. When anyone asks me about this course I immediately say it’s a variety of anything and everything. There are no constraints and people always feel free to share whatever. By beginning the course and getting introduced to the syllabus it looked overwhelming to be honest. The amount of assignments and due dates written on it made my a little bit nervous. Not to mention all the different topics and unrelated subjects that were written on there. Once you start with your first blog or assignment you get the hang of it and it flows in naturally. The content itself was pretty interesting but what also gave it an edge was the different platforms were were exposed to. Instead of having to read an article and write a reflection on it just any other course, we were able to annotate, do podcasts, tweet and discuss. Some of the platforms were completely new to me which makes you notice how there is a lot to explore yet. The course created an identity for itself, “identity” I don’t think I have ever described a course using that word. It formed some kind of a community around you by using #equitybound and slack for example. It made you feel like you belonged to a bigger entity other than the classroom/AUC. We discussed a lot of things from privacy, bias, equity, fake news, others well being and the list can go on for a while but lets not get distracted. I really loved the video of Blaxites; it delivers the message in a very fun to watch way and leaves you thinking how this is almost the case nowadays. What I also really enjoyed watching was the video of the trolley cart dilemma. I actually found myself discussing it with my group of friends outside the class. I also enjoyed the reading Othering & Belonging which I reflected on my blog.
If I were to show someone anything from the course I would definitely show them my game. The idea of having something that interactive and delivers the message is amazing. I want them to get introduced to the things one do with google slides. I will introduce them to Soliya’s platform. I missed two sessions unfortunately and I truly wish I can make up for it. It was something I really enjoyed and I will discuss how it affected me later in this reflection. A lot of people said that they wanted less videos in the class time but I actually had so much fin watching videos and then discussing them afterwards in class. If I would suggest anything to be changed is that the amount of assignments given is less with a higher grad weight. This would help students focus more on each one and getting into the topic on a deeper level. I would also suggest to increase group activities in the beginning of the semester in order to help students get to know each others and comfortable around each others quicker.
In this course, we were given opportunities to make choices over what we focused on. In a lot of the assignments it would have three different branches and you get to choose however you want to do it so for example Contribute to digital literacies in Egypt; there were a list of four things you can choose from. From writing a tory, conduction an informal awareness session, conducting surveys, blogging or you could present in front of the class about an Egyptian social media account. This wasn’t the only assignment like that, in fact most of them were like that. It helped us explore the same topic in whatever way we’re comfortable with which to me made it much easier to absorb the info. The diversity of the options was suitable for how diverse the students were.
Anyone who is willing to listen to new thoughts and opinions, Anyone who is an open-minded person and likes to explore different things and Anyone who wants to get exposed to a diverse group of people should definitely take this course!
The class had very diverse people from different backgrounds. You see each and every person relating things to his own experiences, many time to his major for example which made it so much interesting. The people were very respectful of other opinions and they made you feel like you are listened. The interactions between people were always friendly! A lot of people made really good points that I would never thought about which made me think outside my thought zone.
The professor was honestly one of the most caring professors I have ever seen. I feel like the professor is the base of the course like he has the power to affect how students view the content, the class and the people surrounding them. Dr Maha Bali helped in creating a safe environment where people actually cared. In the syllabus there was an “Emotional Support” note. I have been in uni for four years now and never have I ever seen a professor who actually cared about the student mental being. By having her doing that she made her students want to impress her and excel in the course.
Last but not least I want to reflect on myself. This semester was one of the toughest ones. I had my Graphic Design thesis and had my concerns whether I will be able to balance or not. The course and the Dr made it easy. Of course I could have performed better in the course and there is always room for improvements but I noticed several things about myself. I am an over thinker; during any discussions in class when I usually want to share something, I think about it more than once before actually speaking up. I don’t think I lack the confidence but I feel like it’s more about does this sound right or wrong? what frustrated me is that 2 minutes later I find someone sharing exactly what I wanted to say. I tried to break this barrier several times and I actually spoke up! This wouldn’t have happened if I was in any other class but because they made it so easy for me, I did. What I also noticed is that I loved participating online. In Soliya I actually did speak a lot and shared a lot of my thoughts. I even sometimes was the one who started up the conversation. It was so weird seeing myself able to open up to people I have never met through a screen than in real life. I didn’t know that about myself before because I was never placed in the situation where I’m speaking to foreigners from the other end through a screen. I also loved how I enjoyed reading short articles and watching the videos related to the course. The videos were amazing especially the one we watched for the session with Sava because it left room for interpretations and I loved how each person was adding on with their own observations. https://www.sscqueens.org/projects/screening-surveillance/frames
If I would go back I will try to attend more, participate more , take my time while doing anything and actually try to enjoy the process. It was so much fun and I actually enjoyed and paid attention to the discussions that were taking place in class.