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Research Proposal

There are many questions that surround a student’s decisions regarding university, and one posed to me last year, along with my BCM cohort, was why we are there? This made me think not solely of my own reasons for attending, but on a broader scale, what universities could do to provide more answers for these questions, ways of getting students invested in their studies and ways of ensuring the course they have chosen will lead to whatever goals they have for the foreseeable future. Focusing on a small element of this, I intend for my research project to explore the availability of elective subjects to students, and the relation they have to a student’s degree, their core subjects, and the career path they hope to follow.

A student’s investment and interest in whatever they are studying is a major factor in engaging them in their studies, and keeping a consistent investment in their course. This is discussed in a journal from 2010, which is still relevant today in terms of this discussion. In reference to an analysis project, it identifies a student’s interest as, “the primary motivational force acting upon student participation and engagement in academic tasks,” and suggests that, “In order to increase student retention and motivation, secondary schools need to cater to individual interests,” (Wright, 2010). While this journal is discussing high school procedure, and the transition into Australian universities, a similar discussion could be had in regards to the university environment itself, and successful studies increasing employment potential. I would look to explore if elective subjects relating more to a student’s core subjects would be of greater use, if students enjoy the current availability of subjects, or any alternative opinions I would be offered. This research would focus on the themes of subject selection, and the choices students have to make, with an eye towards what they look to get out of their university experience.

Conversations around these kinds of topics are always timely, as students look to get the most out of their time studying, both socially and academically, and hope to come out of their degree having achieved something to ensure a better future. Discussions of purpose and reasoning are always relevant, for those studying to stay on the right path while at university and transitioning into adulthood. It is therefore relevant to many, if not all students, and conversations regarding elective subjects, majors and minors, and double degrees for example will allow for vast amounts of discussion and conversation to get (what I would expect to be) some unique and differing perspectives. All students can relate to the subject selection process, however theirs may be.

A research article has been done in relation to a medical degree, exploring the impact of free-choice electives. It gives a similar message in stating, “Giving students a wide range of choice has been shown to promote interest and enthusiasm in their studies and this has been demonstrated repeatedly to improve quality of learning…” (Daly & Last, 2017). It also discusses “‘In-Programme’ Electives,” that are specific to the faculty in which they are studying. Using the University of Wollongong as an example, we also have faculty-specific electives, but arguably not as relevant to the core subjects of some of the degrees. An aim of this research task would be to gain an understanding of student’s perspectives on this, and if the broader scope that electives cover is better for gaining experience, or hindering the abilities of students to focus on degree-relevant content.

The sources referenced undoubtedly show the presence of conversation regarding student choice and elective subjects at an academic level. The overarching theme of these pieces of writing is the overall usefulness of subjects to students, and their interest in them. This point of focus I believe is an interesting talking point for all university students, as there isn’t one formula for how you fulfill the required number of credit points, and with that comes differing perspectives on what students think may just be the best way of managing your time at university. Electives are fantastic for learning new information, and even skills, but the overall purpose of my research will be to identify if it’s the information and skills we want, and why exactly that is.

References:

Daly, C. & Last, J. 2017, “An analysis of free-choice electives in an undergraduate medical degree”, BMC Medical Education, vol. 17.

Wright, S. 2010, “Course diversity within South Australian secondary schools as a factor of successful transition and retention within Australian universities”, The International Journal of the First Year in Higher Education, vol. 1, no. 1, pp. 21-n/a.

 

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Reflecting on BCM212

BCM212 has been really insightful into (no pun intended) understanding research practice. As an assignment that challenged us to go beyond our normal realms of research, to converse with others and independently gather our own information, this final task has shed a new light for me on the work that goes in to comprehensively researching a topic through more than just academic sources. It was more than just a new task in front of me that I had to try and get a good grade out of. It was a new challenge, and a completely new experience.

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To interview my peers, and some of my friends at university, made this more than just a task. It was a genuinely intriguing experience to hear people’s thoughts on the topic, something that some (like me) were actually passionate about. Elective subjects are roughly a quarter of my classes at university, and how enjoyable they are is a major factor on my enjoyment of university. Learning first hand the extra level of insight and engagement you get out of a one on one interview was a great experience, and a tool I’ll look to use should a task like this ever present itself in the future.

While the interviews themselves were great experiences, setting them up was often difficult. Falling behind my time management plan left me a little stuck come the back end of May, and slotting interviews in between and even during other classes became a must if I was going to get a large enough sample size for this assessment. Ultimately, having a survey would have likely been much easier and given me equal if not more responses to work with. Getting on top of this task earlier on would have made it much easier, and allowed for more fine tuning and planning of my final submitted piece. This definitely isn’t a task you want to be doing last minute…

Nonetheless, BCM212 has been a great learning experience for me, and showed me a new way of approaching a research task and the ways of doing it efficiently and ethically. With so many rules, regulations and codes of conduct in today’s media age, I now feel more confident in operating in a media landscape than ever before. Something I will definitely reflect on during tasks in the future…

EctoTalk: The Product of Conversation

The basis of my group’s idea for task one was a piece of eyewear that could be used to enhance communication, specifically targeting translation and language barriers as the areas for improvement. We looked towards creating a product that had a variety of functions, and thus branched into making it usable for purposes beyond international communication. These alternative uses include speech-to-text translations for those that are deaf or hard of hearing, and as an educational means for individuals looking to learn a new language through quick and efficient translations.

An early issue my group faced was having a product that served a purpose to a large portion of society and would have a greater impact than our initial idea. With this in mind we did research on the demographic this product would target and found interesting statistics such as 466 million people (upwards of five percent of the world’s population) suffering from hearing loss worldwide (World Health Organisation, 2019). With additional research on the multicultural Australian population, we knew we had not only a product fit for a large group of people, but also one with significant benefits to the digital and crowd economy in promoting overall improved communication and mutually beneficial relationships worldwide.

My work for assessment three is an advertisement of sorts that mimics brand deals and sponsorships that are common on the YouTube platform, the very same forum the video itself is available on. The idea of the personality in the video having a script to read as the advertisement, serves to frame the video as a sponsored message, but also allows me to convey more business-like information. This method I thought would be most effective as your typical “youtuber” would be unlikely to delve into those topics, and the research part of this assignment is easier to convey if it is framed as a business’ prewritten message for the personality to read.

As for the personality that the onscreen character shows throughout, that is intended to create a contrast between the character and the message of the video, and to also demonstrate an average person’s openness to looking into a product like this. The acted-out scenes that are interlaced with the footage of the sponsored message being read are skits that add personality to the character in the video, and also serve as satirical demonstrations of how the product would work. This again reinforces my framing of the video, as I do not want the character in the video to be portrayed as a part of the business that is selling the product. They are a YouTube personality that has been sponsored by them to endorse it and advertise it on their platform, giving the video a more human and natural feeling.

Video:

 

Reference List:

Australian Bureau of Statistics 2017, AUSTRALIA’S POPULATION BY COUNTRY OF BIRTH, cat. no. 3412.0, viewed 6 June 2019, <http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/previousproducts/3412.0main%20features32015-16>.

Basu, V 2018, ‘Everything you need to know about Smart Glasses’, weblog post, 14 November 2018, viewed 6 June 2019, <https://medium.com/swlh/every-thing-you-need-to-know-about-smart-glasses-eb3d2e0a62de>.

Martucci, B. (2019). What Is the Sharing Economy – Example Companies, Definition, Pros & Cons. [online] Moneycrashers.com. Available at: https://www.moneycrashers.com/sharing-economy/ [Accessed 6 June 2019].

World Health Organisation 2019, Deafness and hearing loss, viewed 6 June 2019, <https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/deafness-and-hearing-loss>.

TheeFloydy Chronicles

The Idea, Simply Put

For years I’ve contemplated becoming a ‘YouTuber’ and last December was when I decided to begin this journey. Fast-forward to this semester, I really started to find success. Inspired by the slick editing of the Sidemen videos, and the comedic persona of PewDiePie, I tried to find a series I could do consistently, and something that would work well as a digital artefact. Having explored potential ideas like a series based on YouTube tropes, and even potentially an editing tutorial, I finally took inspiration from the videos on Life of Tom and began weekly(ish) vlogging. This is something I thought would be relatively easy to film, as recording the events of your life is easier than coming up with a concept for a video. Additionally, it fit the FIST concept as being easy to film, not requiring any additional, simple and tiny in nature and something I could generally do with not a lot of thought. After filming clips throughout the week, I would edit down what I deemed to be the best bits into easily digestible videos no longer than 10 minutes, posting every Monday the events of the week prior.

The Artefact, Not So Simply Done

Screen Shot 2018-10-25 at 11.00.28 pm.pngEarly on I found quite a lot of success, with all vlogs reaching upwards of 50 views. This was my main source of feedback as comments were rarely anything to do with the content, and subscriptions, while on the rise (albeit inconsistently), could have been down to various videos I was posting at the time, and can’t directly be attributed to the vlogs even though they were my most successful pieces of content going out at that time.

While this was great at the time, I began running into problems with finding content to film. Weeks where I didn’t go out clubbing were quite difficult to record, as not a whole lot was going on. University regularly had presentations going on, which I deemed unsuitable to film, and weekends without much excitement left me stuck for content. Without a clear direction for what to film, I started exploring with how I would present what I would post in the future.

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I started to play around with creating an aesthetic for my channel, something I discuss more in my prototyping blog for BCM114. While arguably it didn’t have enough time to really catch on, this is something that didn’t achieve great success and that I wasn’t overly happy with, and so I began working on a new aesthetic, with a new direction for the channel in mind.

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I’ve learnt a lot over the course of my second semester, and I believe am finally starting to understand the ins and outs of running a YouTube channel. With big plans such as a documentary on myself in mind, I’m looking to build an aesthetic that I myself find visually appealing, and look to produce content I would find entertaining. While the vlogs had good utility, the process became too complex, and so they will be something that are produced in conjunction with big events, and things that I think would be entertaining to share.

That’s it from me! Take it easy, aaaaaaaand peace!

(Check out my channel if you haven’t already)

Sources:

Sidemen – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCDogdKl7t7NHzQ95aEwkdMw

PewDiePie – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC-lHJZR3Gqxm24_Vd_AJ5Yw

Life of Tom – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCFYs3KYHDPoZfwGv0A4sYGQ

My blog – https://theefloydy.wordpress.com/2018/09/28/prototyping-my-way-to-50-subscribers/

My channel – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC8d54xS-f0irnSIK-B9u0Tg

Making a Future Out of the Present

What’s up guys! It’s TheeFloydy, and welcome back to my blog.

A lot has changed since the prototyping phase, but at the same time, a lot has stayed the same. Inconsistent uploads have plagued my channel, as I delved deeper into ideas I’d hoped to materialise into meaningful content, and strayed from the formulaic pattern I was creating for myself. In many ways, it makes writing about what I’ve been “making” quite difficult, but lets jump into it nonetheless.


What Floydy Has Been Up To

Plans to vlog on a weekly basis went out the window when I remembered who I am and didn’t live a life interesting enough to post on the internet. A week void of a night out left me in a tough spot, and unless I’d wanted to film me watching YouTube and playing video games for 10 minutes for a video, I had to change my approach. Suddenly lost for fresh ideas, I instead worked on some aesthetics and ideas for ways my channel could develop moving forward, as well as thought of some plans for the future.

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The thumbnail of my most recent video
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My channel art

So I finally came up with some channel art. It’s simple, yes, but does the trick while I think of ideas to improve it. But more importantly, I’m aiming to move towards a new aesthetic. While the previous one was consistent, with borders, black and white backgrounds and varying colour schemes, I didn’t like it. And something PewDiePie said that really stood out to me was, if he didn’t like his own video after watching it, he couldn’t expect his audience to and so he wouldn’t post it. Thinking along the same lines, I believe I need an aesthetic that appeals to me, in order to have a chance at it appealing to my audience. Yes, this may seem obvious, but hey, I’m still learning.

Moving forward, I want to keep the background colour pattern, but obviously with different colours to create somewhat unique looks. The position and style of text may be something I also focus on, as I want a consistent element in my thumbnails, that is visually appealing yet not too formulaic.


What Floydy’s Doing Moving Forward

The main thing now is where I go from here. This isn’t just some project that I will leave behind with the classes I’m working on it in. This is something I’m passionate about, and will continue for the foreseeable future. And there’s big… BIG plans in the works.

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Instagram poll

As I’ve already mentioned, I’ve started coming up with big videos for the future, things I can work on with great passion and things I can be proud of. I took to Instagram to suggest one of these, and got an overwhelmingly positive response. Putting forward the idea of a documentary on myself, I was met with great responses and lots of people supporting the idea. Accompanied by direct messages showing support of the idea, and even people wanting to be involved, I knew this is something that really needs to be done. And so I will. With a series of interviews including family, friends, and anyone I can get to feature in it, as well as insights into my life and a story that documents how I came to be the person I am today, I truly aim to make this something special, and something to be remembered. This is where I really want to show what I’m capable of, because eventually you get sick of hitting singles, and you want to smash one for six.

Check out my channel if you haven’t done so already here, and I’ll catch you guys again soon.

Take care, and peace.

The Omnipresent Surveillance of Things

The internet of things (IoT) on face value is a great thing! We’ve enjoyed our lives so far, having social media, and being connected to one another online. Those who have read George Orwell’s ‘1984’ would probably know it doesn’t present the best standard of living… but they may not know that a world where the internet of things is in effect could be equally dangerous.

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The purpose of my remediation is to demonstrate that the themes of ‘1984’ could exist within the internet of things, and worse still, without being recognised. A world where everything is on, social media can’t be escaped, and you’re surrounded by devices with infinite memory and the capabilities to process far more than the human mind. The internet may seem like it’s in society’s control, but it’s just a fancier piece of technology for government control. Soon enough, it could be controlling us.

Cybercrime, Warfare, and Meming

Cyberwarfare is a very dangerous prospect, partly because the extent to which it can grow is relatively unknown. Hacking and the leaking of personal information are major concerns in cybercrime, but signs of cyberwarfare have already begun to show. With fake propaganda such as the #DraftOurDaughters campaign, and the publication of comments made by Donald Trump and Kim Jong-Un that resulted in fears of a terrorist attack, it’s hard to predict where this could go, but we know where it has been.

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Conflict on social media is a given, and arguments are rife all across the internet. From children trolling, to heated debates between politicians on twitter, the internet has given everyone a platform to be vocal about their beliefs. Platforms like YouTube are known for trolling and “hate comments”, but now with computer worms like Stuxnet and powerful organisations like Anonymous, the fears of cyberwarfare are far greater when those with the ability to act on it are involved.