Digital Portfolio Reflection
1) Reflective Introduction (20 points)
a. Describe how the work in your digital portfolio meets at least three of the outcomes stated on the syllabus. Cite specific examples from your work (5 points)
One of the biggest challenges in this course was to acknowledge the audience of my writing pieces. Outcome 2 and 8 incorporate this. In today’s world, it is crucial to study the how the writing will be consumed in different contexts. In order for my writing pieces to have the impact that I designed it have, it must be written in a certain way and presented in a certain way. With the social media, my audience was both the public of UCSB classroom and the public of my Google+ community. Within the classroom, the audience was academic learners in the same caliber. It was “safer” to produce writing in this public because everybody was out for the same goal. This public was helping each other get better in each other’s writing.
The public of my Google+ community was broader and “riskier”. It would be a lie to say that I was confident in posting my Op Ed on Google+. It was my first piece of writing that I ever put on the web. I was scared of the criticism and disapproval that was coming my way. In preparing for this, I had to use different strategy to write a piece that I felt somewhat comfortable putting on the web. My writing was carefully constructed in order to produce my best piece. Every word and phrase was carefully proofread multiple times. The writing reflected my reputation as an academic scholar and as a student in the UCSB writing department so there could be no grammatical mistakes or structural mistakes.
This ties into outcome 8 in tailoring my writing to meet the requirements of an academic and professional writer. Every piece of writing gets criticism. My writing was bound to get criticism as well. However, it was job to produce a professional piece that other scholars wouldn’t call “sloppy”. One of the strategies used in producing this fulfills outcome 3 in using evidence to support my arguments. Racism in Hollywood is a very sensitive public issue today. Supporting that it is not racist is a strong stance I took. But I made this stance with solid supporting arguments and evidence to showcase another side of the common belief.
b. Describe how the work in your digital portfolio answers, complicates, or broadens one of the “guiding questions” in the syllabus. Cite specific examples from your work (5 points)
· How can we take advantage of our education to become publicly engaged, academic intellectuals?
My digital portfolio answers how we can take our education to become publicly engaged intellectuals. First, the portfolio has a series of writing pieces that show progressive growth. Second, the pieces improve in proficiency to engage the public. We as educated intellectuals have the ability to take our learning further by engaging with the public. Whatever skill that we have, we can use it to involve the public around us. Nowadays with the help of technology, it doesn’t take much to be engaged with the public. Sharing the knowledge or a piece of writing, for example, is making the contribution.
Whether they are likes, comments or response writing, we are exchanging knowledge and intellect. This application part of education is not yet taught to us aside from this class. It allowed us to go further with our learning and apply it to our lives. Just as if an accountant uses journal entries that they learned in school to do their work, writers should also take their learning and showcase it.
c. Describe how your ideas about writing for the public have changed throughout the quarter. Cite specific examples from your work
My definition of writing for public changed throughout the quarter. During the first week we defined “the public” and how public is different for every person and every environment, I realized that my public audience was broader than I imagined. It was interesting that every assignment and reading responses were asked to be written to a public audience, not the professor. This made me gear my writing in a certain way to adjust for an audience at any age or any level or writing. My writing became more concise and simple to read.
In order to write my action plan for the public, I had to imagine anyone picking up my piece and read a very plausible plan that they can carry out themselves. Every writing piece has a different public audience. Adjusting to those public was the biggest challenge in this class. This can be seen in my series of reading responses as well. The first couple of reading responses were written for the professor. But towards the end, I adjusted to write them with supporting proofs from the readings to make stronger arguments. Overall, the public that I wrote for became broader throughout the quarter.
d. Explain the design choices you made in your portfolio, and how these choices paint a picture of your intellectual process throughout this class (5 points)
My design choice in using the “Medium” was for the beginning of my life-long portfolio. Medium.com is a community of readers and writers to produce unique writing that anyone can have access to. The special thing about Medium is that once it is uploaded, it gets uploaded unto the Medium community. It appears on the newsfeed of anyone using Medium. Just as Instagram is a social media for photographers of all sizes, Medium is a social media for writers and readers of all sizes.
This means that whenever I want to upload a piece of writing, I have to write to the audience of the Medium public. I have to be ready for criticism from writers at higher levels. However, I think this is what really enhances my writing. Writing to a public community makes my writing more professional and proficient.
My dashboard for Medium is set up so that it lays out all my writing down a page. It does not have a background picture nor does it have a menu guide at the top. It simply shows the title and how long it would take to read each piece. Once you click on a piece, it lays out the writing as if you were staring at a real piece of paper — white page with black ink. Medium does allow hyperlinks and pictures to be added. In my Op-Ed, I have incorporated a few pictures to aid my writing.
2) Complication of your writing from the quarter (20 points)
WP1: The most work went into this writing of racism in Hollywood. This set up the framework for my subsequent pieces. The biggest challenge was to research enough about the topic of racism in order to make a stance that I believed in. it was essential to do excessive research in preparation for any criticisms.
WP2: The biggest complication in writing the Op Ed was to write in the Op Ed style. It required me to read a lot of Op Eds in order to understand the use of it. I had to incorporate my issue, take a stance on it and write to inform the public of why The Oscars boycott is useless.
WP3: Writing the Action Plan required me to take physical action. In planning for this assignment, I had to meet up with Andrew Han, a Reel Loud film Festival director, to receive suggestions. I wanted to make it look as real as possible as if I were to carry this plan out. Whether it was making a series of short films or playing a film during the film festival, I advised with Han to make sure that they would work out. The latter option is simple and can actually be done at the film festival in May. The complication ultimately came when the preparation was getting around the campus physically compared to sitting and writing a piece.
Reading Responses: I think every prompt forced me to bring out my personal experience into the responses. The required reading allowed me to read in depth of the prompt given and reflect on it with my personal experiences. The complication came when a couple of the readings were excessively long to keep up with.