Academic Update- July (and Graduation)

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As of yesterday, I have graduated from my MSc. So now I’m a … post-graduate? double-graduate? (Someone with more degrees than sense- probably!)

I found the day a little odd, thanks to being in the mildly-uncommon situation of graduating from the same university twice. I experienced a few déjà vu moments as a result. Yet some parts of the day were different. The biggest difference was size: in 2014 I graduated in a class of 200, in a ceremony dedicated to psychology qualifications. Yesterday I was one of a class of 9 (7 of us were at the ceremony). We shared a ceremony with one standard-sized group – biological sciences – and other tiny, specialist, and/or interdisciplinary subjects.

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#OER17

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This week I went to my first academic conference, OER17, to present my MSc research.

Having never been before, I wasn’t sure what to expect- I’d only been told “this is a bunch of people who want to change the world”. That didn’t help me prepare, but it did sound interesting.

After attending, I can fairly confidently say that expression was not hyperbole- everyone was incredibly motivated about their projects, and equally supportive of each others’ projects. While presentations aren’t a comfortable experience for me,  the experience was valuable: I’m glad I was encouraged to apply in the first place, and that I listened.

Now, to process the ideas I learned about over the last two days.

P.S. If anyone is curious about what I did, my presentation slides are up on Google Drive, as well as two versions of the questionnaire I developed for my research. The Word doc is an exact copy of the version my participants took through Qualtrics, and the PDF version solely contains the questions.

Academic Update- February 2017

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November’s deadlines were supposed to mark the unofficial end of my MSc. However, I’m going to be in academic-land for a little longer now, as I’ve been offered two really cool opportunities involving my MSc work. (So these should really just be called academic updates now…).

The first opportunity I’ve been given is presenting my findings at a conference on Open Educational Resources in April. That’s somewhere between awesome and terrifying right now, especially as I’m really not a fan of presentations, and that I wasn’t  expecting to be accepted when I applied!

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TV Project

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Last week in uni was the assignment that I’ve been most looking forward to (and simultaneously the most nervous about); our big broadcasting project.

For the project, we had 4 days to film and edit a 5-7 minute TV piece, with camera equipment and support from the Films@59 studio in Bristol.

And here’s the result:

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Writing Science, Block 3

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We’re already in the final block of another module- this year is going so quickly.
I’m kind of disappointed that Writing Science is over so quickly, as it’s been my favourite module and I’m enjoying working with everyone.

It certainly went out with style though.

Thursday started with us all getting our magazines back, and being able to see each other’s for the first time. Seeing what everyone else had developed was a good experience, especially the differences in style and audience. I found this one incredible- if it was a published magazine in a shop, I would have bought it.

We had already got our marks and feedback, so I already knew that we’d done well. But I was surprised by what happened next.
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Writing Science Update

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This week I handed in my third piece of coursework- a group project to create a science-based magazine- which was possibly the most fun I’ve ever had with a uni assignment.

After bouncing facebook messages around the group, and continually uploading revisions and comments, we eventually got a final set of pages we were happy with. Off to print them out then- which was surprisingly difficult.

No printers in Uni could print the A4 pages properly, so we eventually found the low-tech solution of printing each page as on A3 and guillotining them down to the right size. Which would have worked well if I had any hand-eye coordination.

Apart from the myriad of issues actually getting the thing printed, I’m really happy with how the magazine turned out. Seeing it come out on proper paper, and how well the photos and colours work, it looks even better than on my laptop screen. It looks really professional, which isn’t how I’d normally describe anything I made, so I like the contrast.

 

A first-day draft of the magazine.

A first-day draft of the magazine.

Another first-day draft.

Another first-day draft.

Some ideas from the drafts made on the first day- mostly the teal, purple, and orange colour scheme, and the file-divider-style sidebars- stayed during the entire process.

However, while the first-day drafts were very sparse, the final layout contained many more ideas and tried out different styles to suit the article.

 

Mostly, it all looks varied, but still looks like it belongs to one coherent magazine. Ultimately, I’m really happy with it (despite the annoyance of finding a typo 5 minutes after hand-in) and I’m hoping we get a good mark for it.