My Final Reflection

Rating at start of module Rating at end of module Comments
Accessing, managing and evaluating online information


3 4 This module as well as other modules this semester have helped me to find new websites to access materials e.g.`
Participating in online communities



1 3 This is the first time I have actively participated in any form of online community
Building online networks around an area of interest



1 3 I have definitely enjoyed working with others on the module
Collaborating with others on shared projects



1 3 This module has been an opportunity to engage in an element of group work through peer assessment
Creating online materials (text, audio, images, video)



2 4.5 This is a skill I am very glad that I have learnt. I have been able to learn new ways to be creative and also new tools to make visual elements for my work
Managing your online identity



2 3 I have learnt about the importance of privacy and how to make my online accounts look organized
Managing your online privacy and security



3 3 I have learnt more about why privacy is important, however, my privacy settings are still as secure as they previously were

From studying UOSM2008, I have learnt about myself and the way I work online. One thing I have learnt is that I enjoy working independently. Unlike other modules, ‘Living and Working on the Web’ is a module that is student-driven. I have enjoyed being able to take a break from the generic method of lecturing for a few hours a week, and learn information about the tools available online that I would only ever have known by conducting research outside of university. The most valuable lesson I’ve learnt is how to produce visual aids to liven up my work. In my discipline, I’ve rarely been able to explore my creativity outside of my written work. Being able to make infographics, which I’d never even heard of before the module, images and even videos are lessons that will greatly benefit me in future employment.

Whilst studying the topics, there are several references which once I had read the blog posts of others, I wished I had included in my original post. The benefits of being able to post comments on other people’s blogs was it allowed me to incorporate these references and engage in a conversation to get the opinion of others, so my learning did not end after my topic post.


new-piktochart_22695559_b806c630a7ee23fbf2e63b53ebef6f7944ce881fI have definitely been surprised by how enjoyable I have found this blog. I spent a lot of time customizing my blog at the beginning of the module to make it as reflective of me as possible, and have taken a lot of pride in making sure my blog both looks and reads well. There have been instances when reading the blog posts of others have made me want to improve my own blog. I’ve dealt with this by attending the weekly seminars on those occasions to get some tips on websites to use or by using some of the same software that others in this module and previous years have used.

My knowledge of social media as a tool for employment has developed, not just from the topics but also from the module as a whole about how a blog can be another way to show employers your personality by linking it to sites such as LinkedIn.

Collectively, my digital literacy has improved, as I’ve become more aware of different tools available online. Creating a blog is something I never intended on doing but it has been a good learning experience. In terms of developing my own social networks, I’m still taking my time with creating new accounts. I have learnt a lot about their benefits, most of which I agree with, however I would like to create these profiles (I.e. LinkedIn and a new active Twitter account) when I know they won’t be left dormant because I don’t have time to use them. I am now equipped with the knowledge of how to use them effectively and in the coming months I will create accounts properly to gain as much as possible out of them.

Word Count: 498


Topic 4: Reflection

As the final topic of ‘Living and Working on the Web’, I spent more time studying the issue of open access, especially since it’s an issue I have frequently come across when doing research for coursework assignments.

From reading Ollie’s post, I was able to engage in a discussion about funding and whether or not researchers who publish their work should be responsible for paying the fee for open access, if they cannot acquire funding. This discussion made me think, who exactly should be responsible for paying for open access? My post focused a lot of attention on whether open access should be implemented or not, however, from this discussion, I was able to take my own thoughts further to consider what the implications would be in terms of how it would be paid for.

Alternatively, on Charley’s post, our exchange covered the area of open access regarding the use of paywalls on news websites. Paywalls are an area that I didn’t explore in great detail on my post, so it was of interest to me to find out more. Charley made an original point about ‘The Telegraph’ capping the number of stories you can read for free, which we both agreed compromised a level of ethicality, since the news is designed to inform us.

On my own blog post, Ed made another point that I had not considered about the current industry responsible for publishing textbooks. In my post, I had explored open access from the angle that it is new and innovative, without considering the existing billion-dollar industries still increasing in profit from printed textbooks (Opidee, 2014). In light of this discussion, I would argue that open access and current methods of using textbooks can coexist to provide mixed ways of learning that are equally effective.

Word Count: 299



Opidee, I., (2014, July 25). College textbook forecast: Radical change ahead. University Business.

Featured image & video: self-made

Topic 5: Open Access


 Open access is defined as the free accessibility to literature online, allowing it to be used with minimal restrictions, including material being royalty-free (Bailey, 2008). With specific reference to academic and educational material, resources with open access can be used by students in education from all ages for several purposes, such as for homework or textbook material (Wiley et al, 2012).

The historical context which shows why open access is so significant can be viewed below:

Watch from 0.20 to 2.46.


The impact that open access has is it can play it part in revolutionizing education and the way that students learn (Wiley et al, 2012). Global influencers such as Bill Gates have showed support for the use of the ‘MOOCs’, which are massive open online courses, aimed to teach students in a similar way that lectures do at universities (Hall, 2014). For example, websites such as FutureLearn, encourage users to take free courses online, with the option to receive a certificate of completion for a small fee, at their own leisure.

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Open access is a topic that has been widely debated. Some of the advantages and disadvantages of open access are:

Open Acess (1)


In today’s digital age, monetization of online material is a viable prospect in order to benefit from the use of content. The ethics of charging for certain online content can often be questioned, which could rationalize why websites such as Twitter are so conscious of how they make money from the hundreds of millions of users they garner each month (Gadkari, 2013). There are looming fears that a rapidly increasing number of media companies will use paywalls to guard their online content from being used for free (Lepitak, 2016).

In light of this, I feel that educational resources should be immune from these issues. Some would argue that we pay for education, and since state schools can ask for contributions of some form, it is only fair that material online should be monetized. However, the initiatives that are being set up, such as by edX to provide online educational resources in community schools in the US (Coughlan, 2012), can educate people who may feel as though they could not learn any other way. Open access has the potential to open the door to providing the education that everyone deserves.

Word Count: 398


Bailey Jr, C.W., 2008. Open access and libraries. Collection Management32(3-4), pp.351-383.

Coughlan, S., 2012, November 19. Gates Foundation funds online university open access. BBC News. [Accessed: 6 May 2017]

Gadkari, P., 2013, November 7. How does Twitter make money?. BBC News. [Accessed: 7 May 2017]

Hall, M., 2014, February 18. Why open access should be a key issue for university leaders. The Guardian.

Lepitak, S., 2013, April 12. 90% of online content to be held behind paywalls in three years media company survey suggests. The Drum. [Accessed 6 May 2017]

Open access funding. (n.d.). Springer. [Accessed: 6 May 2017] Retrieved from:

Skoll World Forum., 2013, April 7. Education Finally Ripe For Radical Innovation By Social Entrepreneurs. Forbes. [Accessed 6 May 2017]

Wiley, D., Green, C. and Soares, L., 2012. Dramatically Bringing down the Cost of Education with OER: How Open Education Resources Unlock the Door to Free Learning. Center for American Progress.

[Piled Higher and Deeper (PHD Comics] (2012, October 25) Open Access Explained!. (Video File) [Accessed: 6 May 2017]

All images: self-produced