Thursday, June 17, 2010

The Blogger and The Scholar

BYU's Institutional Objectives are listed to help students establish identity and purpose through their classes offered at the University. The objectives include:
  • Educating the minds and spirits of students
  • Advance truth and knowledge
  • Extend the blessings of learning
  • Develop friends for the University and for the Church
As I, both a blogger and a scholar in the making, I feel that my English 295 class: Writing Literary Criticism under the teaching of Dr. Gideon Burton fulfilled BYU's overall objectives for me as a student.

This course differs from others in the sense that we did our expository writings through a blog. Regular posting allowed the class to peer review each others work and provide useful feedback. As an author, I used my peer's feedback to channel new thoughts and ideas that allowed me to further my thought process and expand upon my research and knowledge.

Educating the Minds and Spirits of Students

Educate the minds and spirits of students within a learning environment that

  • increases faith in God and the Restored Gospel,
  • is intellectually enlarging,
  • is character building, and
  • leads to a life of learning and service.
Not only have I been able to learn immense new information, as I have mentioned in my posting, I had no clue what Electronic Civil Disobedience (ECD) was before I started learning about it. It is an incredible field with so much studying and analyzing in the future. Through writing on a blog post, having social media discussion, and in-class discussion, I feel my character has been strengthened. I have so much more confidence in my writing and where I stand as a major. I see so much personal potential in the future ahead. I plan on dedicating my blogging to a place of learning where I in turn become the student learning from my research and findings.

Advance Truth and Knowledge
Advance truth and knowledge to enhance the education of students, enrich the quality of life and contribute to a resolution of world problems
Have I been advancing personal knowledge in my blog? Yes. Have I enriched the quality of my life by learning and developing new ways to analyze and expound upon my ideas? Yes. Have I contributed to a resolution of world problems? Civil Disobedience can speak for itself. The purpose of Civil disobedience and ECD is to non-violently send messages and actions of reform. Speaking up for change, standing up for what activists believe to be true, just, and fair. Securing the liberties of humanity and calling out the evils of government. Politicized action through knowledge and communicating that knowledge is assisting in attempting to resolve the world problems.

Extend the Blessings of Learning
Extend the blessings of learning to members of the Church in all parts of the world.
President Gordon B. Hinckley, former President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, asked the members of the Church to "Be Smart".
The Lord wants you to educate your minds and hands, whatever your chose field. Whether it be repairing refrigerators, or the work of a skilled surgeon, you must train yourselves. Seek for the best schooling available. Become a workman of integrity in the world that lies ahead of you. I repeat, you will bring honor to the Church and you will be generously blessed because of that training.
As a member of the Church, I know that by attending a prestigious University, having the blessing of attending stimulating classes, and having the opportunities to "Become Smarter" in my field of study has allowed me to extend the knowledge and blessings of my learning. Knowledge as we know is power in that it allows change in thinking and action. By posting my knowledge on my blog posts, I feel I am sharing the extent of my learning with others both members of the Church and not.

Develop Friends for the University and for the Church
By extending my learning on the internet, I am forming connections and networking with other scholars. They see that I am a student at BYU and through forming these connections, I am forming friends for both the University and the Church.

Conventional Writing versus Research Blogging
Detracting from the BYU Institution Outcomes, there are two writing forms that were presented in this class, that of conventional writing and research blog writing.
What are the advantages and limits of each type?
The main advantage to Research Blogging is the social networking that goes on. Everything I post is commented on (peer reviewed) by my classmates. I am capable of writing about my process and brainstorm the many thoughts going on in my head. I can upload images and video to support my writing and I can communicate with others all over the World Wide Web. The limit to research blogging is that it isn't as formal and I had a difficult time with keeping my work focused. Between postings I would list my thinking, my processing. I don't know if this got confusing for my readers.

In conventional writing, advantages include being able to solidify research into a format that clearly rotates around the thesis and has complete structure. Limits to this form of writing include isolation. The only thing seen and read by a professor is the final copy (unless of course they have read other rough drafts). Where is the overall knowledge gained by the author? Where is the process? Where is the brainstorming of ideas? Where is the peer review within the craftsmanship of the work?

Goals for Learning
As a class, some of our goals for learning by using our blogs was to expand our network and connect with others. I know my classmates Ben, Heather, and Neal, among others, all had success in doing this. E-mails, blog post comments, and direction were received between student and scholar or blogger. We processed our learning and produced expository writing that allowed for further insight and then the whole process over again. In my blog postings I often recorded my process and progress to let my readers see what was going on in my brain and allow them to view my process.

Looking at Literature within the Forms of Writing
My main literary source is Henry David Thoreau's essay "Civil Disobedience". Writing about literature on a blog post is very similar to performing the analysis in conventional writing. The main difference is that I can link a full text of "Civil Disobedience" to my post so that my readers can read it for themselves or view the connection. I can also link other scholarly work that has analyzed the essay too that may be useful for my readers in their own research. In conventional writing, I am capable of fully analyzing a text without linking. I think that analysis of text can be effective in both forms of writing.

Personal Reflection
I have grown more as a student and as a writer through this class. My confidence has strengthened and my love for seeking knowledge and learning has deepened. I am grateful to attend an institution that places value on the individual's identity and success as a student. I hope that as I continue to write and add on to this blog that I will deepen my understanding of the essence of knowledge and education.

No comments:

Post a Comment