This blog is the last I will be making for my MA blogging assignment, however, it’s not
going to be my last ever. Thanks to this assignment, I have caught the blogging bug! I didn’t expect to enjoy this so much. I admit to feeling a certain level of dread, at the outset, at the prospect of committing my thoughts to such a public medium. I wondered if I would have enough to say, would anything I wrote be worthy of reading and how I would write engaging blogs in the limited time I have available to me.
As a part-time student, I have undertaken this MA over the course of 2 years. I completed the Flash, XML/CSS, Dreamweaver and interview-screencast assignments a year ago and therefore It was incongruous to discuss these assignments in the blogging process as they were not experiences that were current and relevant to my experience of year 2 in this MA.
Whether any of what I have written has been of value, either in terms of content or style, is for the reader to judge, however, as it turns out, there has been no shortage of topics for me to talk about. This course has opened up so many areas of interest to me that I had greater difficulty in reigning in the lengths of my blogs than I had in finding material to fill them.
The process of blogging enabled me to lay out my train of thought and construct understanding and meaning around subjects that were new to me and which warranted closer examination. By taking the time to write down the learning that I was experiencing I was able to contextualise it, with reference to the broader scope of the learning contained within the course. I could take the learning from each of our modules and locate it within the realities of the workplace. This process of metacognition has been invaluable to me and has certainly enriched the overall MA experience for me.
Something else that I enjoyed about this blogging experience was the outlet it provided me to indulge in some informal reflective writing, quite removed from the formal writing styles that are the bread and butter of the technical writer/instructional designer. The formality and conciseness of the expected writing output of any self-respecting technical writer were something I grappled with in the early stages of this course. In my previous experience, working in the community and voluntary sector, the more detailed, elaborate and, frankly long winded, you could be when developing documentation, the greater the chances of success in attaining grant aid or some other type of state sponsored support for whatever individual/group you were advocating for.I continued to strive for a high level of coherence, readability and conciseness with my blogs; that infernal passive voice was something that I continued to strive to avoid at all costs.
Microsoft Word conspired to bring about my downfall in this area. I had been happily writing blogs and other assignment content, satisfied that the lack of any alert by Microsoft Words’ proofing mechanism to the presence of passive voice meant that I had finally won the battle. What I hadn’t realised was that Microsoft 2016, to which I updated this year, no longer proofs documents for passive voice! Luckily, I figured this out before it was too late and managed to install Grammarly, which has to suffice as my proofing mechanism until Microsoft Word sorts out this major faux pas.
My hope is that I can continue to blog with my current fervour. I aim to continue to add to this blog-site, with reference to my summer thesis and, hopefully, after that, to the subject matter related to my career as an illustrious technical writer/instructional designer/educational technologist!