Final Reflection: Course Reflection

When I first signed up for this course, I didn’t think anything of it since I didn’t really understand what digital literacies means, which is the course title. Initially, I just wanted to take a core course to finish my requirements and upon a friend recommendation it seemed easy. However, this course allowed me to learn and understand more things about myself, learn more about digital literacies, and new tools. I find that the most important outcome I got from this course is learning to become more empathetic, understanding and open-minded. The combination of class-discussions, readings and videos gave me the chance to connect with the human side of learning, unlike other courses which are purely academic. The first video we watched together that left a huge impact was the microaggressions video as it was my first experience with this terminology. This video helped me reflect back on my actions and evaluate my interactions with other people around me, moreover it helped me learn that a single word that I may say unintentionally or carelessly holds a deeper meaning and impact on the person in front of me. I also liked how Dr Maha didn’t just limit the learning of this topic to theory, but she took us to a further step where we were divided into groups and had to act out scenarios of microaggressions in order to meaningfully understand its meaning. Personally, I liked when we did activities in class that required physical movement or practical implementation since I tend to remember them more. Another activity that I still remember till now is the “Privilege Walk” in which Dr Maha took us outside the classroom and we stood in a horizontal line, taking steps either forward or backward if the statement applies to us. This activity helped me acknowledge the number of blessings and privileges that I live in that I thought were just normal to be there. Moreover, I believe that acknowledging them will help me utilize them better in the future, and to try and employ them in the right direction. It also helped me understand the concept of “الرزق”, and that it is indeed divided upon by Allah in a fair manner.

I also gained different skills upon taking this course that will help me not only in my academics and career but socially as well. One skill that I have learnt from this course is to think outside of the box or the regular manner, thanks to the different activities we did in class such as the scarf one or the activities in the beginning of each class. Another skill that was definitely enhanced was speaking my thoughts confidently and outloud, this was due to our various class discussions, and definitely because of participation in Soliya and communicating with people out of my comfort zone. I also learned not to be afraid to take the initiative in dialogues or in presence of other people, which is definitely something I lacked the confidence for before.

 Needless to mention the various digital skills that were added to my learning, the tools for learning, such as which taught me how to carefully choose what I want to annotate, or my comments in order to help benefiting or adding to those around me. I also learned a lot from the taught pathway presentation module which I’ll definitely be using forward in courses and definitely in my career. Also when doing the tinkering pathway design assignment, I felt that I learned hands-on what digital literacies actually means, how I can utilize it in my field (Marketing) in order to deliver the correct message to the correct audience through a correct medium. Finally and most importantly, I learned from Dr Maha to not only be receptive to feedback and evaluation, but also to be very keen on receiving it. She showed me at many moments how she continuously works on the feedback to deliver better work. I believe that this skill is very essential in life, not just work.   

If I were to show someone my learning in this course, I’d show them the ALTCV, pathway pieces and my personal blog.

Initially, I chose the ALTCV because this activity demonstrates what this course is about for me. The ALTCV required us to present ourselves in a creative way using a digital platform. I want them to understand that this course was about us as humans and our progress as much as it was about digital literacies and academic content. Secondly, I believe that the pathway pieces show our individual progress in this course. I liked this activity’s technique of learning which is a mixture between hands-on learning (tinkering paths), and theoretical (taught paths) through reading the articles and watching the videos. Also, I was very proud of the results of the tinkering paths assignments as they allowed me to think about my emotions and create something purposeful out of them such as the letter to my younger self or my family’s video. Lastly, when Dr Maha first told us that we’ll be creating our own blogs, my first honest thought was that I’ll definitely not be able to do that. Yet, using wordpress and the guidelines she gave us made the process very much manageable. I used to dread writing in general, however I learned through the blog that it could be fun indeed, or at least easier.

I really enjoyed the course, yet if there’s something to be changed, I’d choose making assignments that are worth more grades in the beginning of the semester. I really enjoyed the assignments we did in the beginning and I liked that the course had both high weight and low weight assignments in terms of grading, but I feel like having more assignments that are worth higher grades in the beginning where everyone is still energetic would make the experience less stressful at the end. Also I feel that, especially in the spring semester, Soliya sessions would not be the best option since not only will the class clash with Ramadan but they are also far too very long. I would suggest that during semesters where it would clash with Ramadan, you can replace them with sessions with Zan since they serve a very similar purpose. 

I feel that the right fit for this course would be people who are looking to go beyond just academics and strive for self-development, someone who’s eager to learn and put in the effort. 

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