Tonight marks the end of a long and thorough class aimed at developing an understanding of rhetorical processes. The class, Rhetoric of Professional Writing, marked the first time that Bloomsburg University offered courses over the winter break. Also, it was the first time I have participated in an online class. Throughout the length of the winter session I learned a great deal about the online community, rhetoric, and the actions expected of a modern, responsible student.
Admittedly, I did not begin the session under the best circumstances. Because of a foul-up on my end, I missed two class days and quickly discovered that it would be very difficult to catch up over the remainder of the three week course. Although this portion of my experience was less than pleasant, it provided me with an excellent opportunity to learn what is expected of a university student. Thankfully, I was able to catch up to the rest of my class and finish the session with all assignments successfully created.
After spending the last few days, as well as the hours leading up to this particular blog, reviewing what was discussed in class; I have decided to use this blog to asses the things that I found helpful and harmful to the winter session and online rhetoric course. First, I think the winter session is particularly effective at creating a more flexible university schedule. Although my own experience lead me to decide that the winter session was not for me, I think that other people will be able to use the session to complete courses they could not otherwise. Also, I think that the session will become even more effective after it has had a few years to “work out the kinks.” For the first attempt at providing holiday courses, I do feel that both Bloomsburg and Dr. Martin provided a successful session.
As for the online aspect of the class, I believe it will also come to fill a growing need for flexible learning environments. Because this was the first semester that the course was offered, there were a few technological problems. However, this semester and each successive semester will provide the university and instructors with the chance to further refine the course content and online applications. I think the most effective aspect of the online course, was learning to use new software. As the world becomes increasingly digitized, this will not only be an employment requirement, but also a necessity for effective social communication. I am not the most effective person at using online applications but, as I mentioned previously, this class has inspired me to continue using blogging software to further develop my writing.
Finally, I think the class was very effective at demonstrating what rhetoric is, how it functions in society, and the central role it plays in the online community. Each person uses different rhetorical strategies in their personal and professional lives. This is especially true for the online community, where there is the opportunity to enact more complex strategies and arguments. For example, each person engages in rhetorical practices when they create and maintain a social media website. They use different methods to portray themselves in certain ways with regards to ethical, emotional, social, and intellectual matters.
After participating in this class and this blog, I feel that I have became I more developed member of the online community. Although I know I will not be returning for another online course or winter session at Bloomsburg University, I also know that my time was used effectively. It is my hope that the entire collection of rhetoric blogs demonstrate this, and that all future posts will continue to portray my personal development.