When I first registered core 2096 and found out that there is no final exam or a midterm exam, I realized that it was going to be an adventurous course as the scale of assessment is beyond exams. Having exams in a course does not necessarily assure that a student is learning; it sometimes becomes a barrier to his learning. For instance, an average student would only cover the material included in the exam, which actually limits the potential for exploratory learning. Core 2096 is different. It provides a broad learning as students are engaged in the selection of the curriculum. Such engagement made us more invested in the topics we tackle. It also enhances the student’s critical thinking through in class discussions. A student’s feedback has always been taken into consideration with guidance which is very important to promote his learning. The feedback session that we had during this semester made us, the students, feel that we are part of not only learning, but also in shaping how we learn. In addition to our reflective blogs posted on WordPress, we are sharing our experience with others.
First of all, we were learning about digital literacies in a practical way of adopting many forms of online communication: our course website, slack application, and WordPress. Our assignment,“Exploring digital literacies” illustrated how to acquire digital skills in the form of using liable search engines and to evaluate the authenticity and credibility of our source of online information. In addition, we had in-class research and discussion for current global events and issues. One of the issues that I found the most important was online and digital safety and security. For this reason, I decided to do my presentation on this topic in order to raise awareness of the importance of this issue among my classmates. The need to raise this awareness became clear during the discussions that followed my presentation. Multiple students shared their stories with security breaches that happened through the Internet. One thing that we learned from people’s stories in the presentation is that some android applications get access to our cameras and audio recording. After some research that I did after the class, I found out that we approve this access when we download the applications. These applications use this access for strategizing their advertising targets. For this reason, I believe having an expert to talk about digital security in the class can be of a great learning outcome, because this issue is really complex and it affects our daily safety.
In this part of the course, we were introduced to different cultures through a communication program called Soliya. This program aimed at gathering diverse students from different nationalities and universities across the globe to discuss global and local issues in an interacting way. Such intercultural activities promote a diverse learning environment. This diversity is essential for any individual in his/her after-college life. It can be of help if someone chooses to work in a career that requires understanding and acceptance of diversity. The only barrier we faced through our communication in Soliya was the language differences, which sometimes hindered efficient communication. One addition that I think may be of great benefit to the course is that we can try to involve a third category of students whose experiences are different than locally-based students. I suggest having international students joining us in one of our classes where they can share their experience as international students especially with the current status of our country. This can also be an opening class for the Global citizenship topic.
Global citizenship would not have been possible without the development of the Internet. One of the most things that I think we need to understand is that our world has become very complex to the extent that events happening somewhere else can have long-lasting effects on us locally. For this reason, global citizenship is a very important concept that we need to adopt and discuss. In one of the presentations, we discussed the concept of citizenship and how it has been evolving, where KSA granted its citizenship to a robot called Sophia. The first two aspects of the course are closely related to the aspect of global citizenship. First, without the development of new digital technologies, our intercultural dialogue would not have been possible. Second, without this easy and accessible intercultural dialogue, the sense of shared responsibility we developed would have not been possible neither. Thus, the development of our class activities related to the first two aspects can actually lead to the development of this area as well. Since discussions about global citizenship is not simple, I think that we can enhance our learning outcome by creating a new activity in which we have a structured debate tackling the issue of global citizenship and why it can be important or dangerous.