The “hybrid” approach to learning is definitely a style that is new to my academic experience. This course definitely seemed to have connected my home realm and work realm more than any other course I’ve taken. The implementation of our class blog and wiki has made me feel that I can be “connected” to this class wherever and whenever I want to be. Other classes like this at UW Madison are language courses and Vampires in Literature. For example, my Spanish class last year met four times a week, and we also interacted on a blog. However, the course lacked a “lecture.” It was more like a daily discussion. Vampires in Literature is a class my friend is taking, and she says they have an in-person lecture, discussion, and Facebook page that they are required to post/comment on weekly.
Overall, I felt that the online portions of this class were connected to the in-person portions. There were a few “Over the Weekend” assignments that I felt were a little irrelevant and random, but for the most part they were relevant. In terms of my personal effectiveness, I felt that I was a more effective student in my offline interactions. I therefore think that I was able to learn more about my fellow students from offline. This is because interactions in discussion were a lot more meaningful and genuine than online interactions. This is because being forced to comment on other people’s work can hold some ambiguity on how genuine the comments are. You don’t know if the comment you received was thoughtful and posted with effort, or if it was a rushed, “let’s-just-get-this-done” attempt.
Through the use of online platforms, I do feel more comfortable using blogs and wikis. I feel they are a beneficial additional resource to a class and that UW instructors should increase their use of online components. I have found online work to be very convenient because when I go to the library, I have the majority of my resources on one device—my laptop.
This class is definitely one of my favorite classes I have taken in my life. It is very relevant and interesting and I have told so many of my friends and family about things I’ve learned through it. The great thing is that the material and content can be applied to almost everybody, because so many of us are technology users today. This course definitely gave me some insight on everything having to do with ICTs and I like that I am more confident in a subject field that is so relevant to my life.