As iChamp for the Faculty of Social, Human and Mathematical Sciences, I was invited to conduct a workshop for 70 final year undergraduate students in Politics and International Relations on blogging for academia. Many students read, write and participate in online blogging, however, the ability to tailor their rhetoric for research-style commentary was lacking. Many students were unsure on how to reference within blog posts, what was expected of them with regard to “contributions to the web” in their field, and what they could gain personally from the experience.
As a guide for the session, I dissected one of my own blog posts and created a flow chart to visualise the thought processes and methodology behind writing a short academic piece. The students were asked to use this as a guide to create their own weekly blog posts which were assessed as part of their module. Each post had to be between 300-500 words and be focused on the content of their research within the course. After the session, I provided students with my email and Twitter account so they could contact me with any questions on their assignment and the technicalities of writing on the web.
The module lecturer and Associate PVC Education, Dr. Russell Bentley, reported improved performance on assignments and engagement in the topics after the session. Overall, the experience allowed me to develop my confidence in teaching and public speaking, and allowed me to utilise skills I’ve learned in my role as an iChamp to help other students within the university. I have since been contact by staff members across the Faculty to help on similar projects associated with digital literacy and establishing an online profile for research.
I am currently working on more strategic work for the University including a cost-benefit analysis for the PVC Alex Neil.
– Rebekah Kulidzan
Find out more about me, and my role as an iChamp on my website.