Professional Practice Blog Self-Assessment

PIDP 3260 – Professional Practice
Vancouver Community College
Kathryn Truant

Self-Assessment of Blog to Date (May 10, 2018):

I enjoy writing blog posts. In fact, I love my blog. The language I use in this self-assessment follows the same casual and candid prose I use in my blog posts, and I purposely did not use outside reference material (I don’t want to reference how I feel). I am grateful to my instructor, Glenn Galy, in the first PIDP course, 3100 Foundations of Adult Education, who assigned a professional blog as a course objective, and encouraged me to keep writing and documenting topics of interest. Glen explained that in doing so, I could create an invaluable reference tool where all my painstakingly researched resources could inhabit one convenient website.

I discovered that my new blog was also a forum for me to express myself personally. I was so excited! I gave my coworkers, friends, family, and trainees the link to my blog and awaited their glowing comments. And waited. No one was reading it, but I felt good writing it! I also wanted to improve, so I enrolled in a Continuing Studies course at Okanagan College entitled WordPress for Beginners. The day-long course gave me great tools to increase readership and readability. The course was very informative, and I connected with some fellow bloggers. I wanted to learn more, so I enrolled in the subsequent course offered at Okanagan College, Advanced WordPress (that’s right, advanced!), and awaited the accolades. Surely, my invited guests would love my insights, my beautiful photographs, and all the cool links and widgets. But ultimately, I discovered that my readership was limited to my sisters, a few kind Facebook friends, my children (I had to beg them to read it), and one supportive coworker. I am still waiting for Okanagan College to offer WordPress for Experts 🙂

None-the-less, I continued to write, and was pleased when another blog assignment appeared in PIDP 3250 (Instructional Strategies). This assignment improved my readership; I am grateful to the two classmates who still follow me.

I have mentioned how much I love my blog. I love being able to say what I want, and write whenever I want. I can share my posts on social media, or keep them ‘subscriber only’. However, when another blog assignment appeared in PIDP 3260, I bristled. I discovered after 3250, that I don’t like to be assigned when to blog or what to blog about. I dislike paraphrasing appointed readings: happy bloggers write on topics that they are experts at, or feel very strongly about. In my opinion, writing a blog post more than once a week is detrimental to readership as well; it’s important to give readers time to ponder blog musings.

I digress; this self-assessment is almost too long by my own blog standards, (remember, I hold an Advanced WordPress designation). I refrain from writing lengthy blogs; a blog writer needs to keep things moving and to the point. So, I will provide my rationale and give myself a mark of 5 out of 5 based on the following (personal and professional) specifications:

– The purpose of my blog is clear, and the colour scheme is pleasing to the eye.

– My posts demonstrate my comprehensive breadth and depth of thinking.

– All the required topics are covered, to date, and I have published three additional posts on varied (and current) topics.

– My website is a mixture of my profession(s), and my very personal reflections.

– My posts are not reliable summaries of another’s work: they are my own reflection of ‘said’ works.

– I use a wide range of media, which include easy to identify links, and resources.

– I include social sharing links on all my posts.

– All my artwork and photographs are originals, unless otherwise attributed.

– I intend to include image captions where applicable, and use appropriate fonts to support assistive technologies (e.g. screen readers).

– A Creative Commons license is included on my menu page and on my sidebar.

Self-Assessment Final (June 8, 2018):

A. What I learned about creating blogs:

My blog will evolve as I evolve. Since I began my PIDP journey, kathryntruant.com has become my personal space for reflecting and building on my professional practice, and a place to catalogue resources. Because I share my postings and pages on social media (Facebook, Twitter, etc.), I need to be articulate in my writing, and respectful of using others’ works to support my thinking. I follow several blog gurus to assist me in my blog journey. The Art of Blogging is my favourite, and well-worth exploring; author Christian Mihai’s (2018) insights into the online world of blogging is exactly what a blog is meant to be: a place to share and learn from the experiences and insights of others. Blogging is an international community, and I am learning that my blog connects me to that community.

Which classmates’ blogs do I like and why?

I like Anna-Maria Lawrie’s (2018) blog: Thoughts and Reflections on Adult Learning. This blog is professional and comprehensive. Anna-Maria’s postings are extremely articulate. Her experiential reflections give me insight into what it’s like to be an instructor, and her posts are well-researched.

I especially like Thea Brown’s blog: A Collection of Knowledge – Lifelong Learning. Thea’s blog is artistic, and organized! Her blog has many useful links and resources on technology. Her eLearning resources page is well-researched and comprehensive, and gives me insight into online instructing.

Strengths and weaknesses of my blog:

My blog is topic specific, so readers that are not involved in oral surgery or adult education might not be interested in my content. I publish general interest posts occasionally to make my blog generically appealing. For example, I have published posts on Mother’s Day, marijuana legalization, and going ‘off the grid’.

Strengths:

My posts and pages reflect my blog’s goal to be honest, candid, personal, professional, and informative. It is my intention to be a resource for dental assistants and a resource for educators, AND to be visually appealing, articulate, and organized.

Weaknesses:

My blog is vocation specific, and unless my readers are interested in oral surgery or adult education they may not connect with my content. I need to continue to incorporate general interest posts to improve readership.

B. Mark out of 100 and Rationale (with reference to the rubric):

100 out of 100

– My blog postings demonstrate my depth of reflection and a comprehensive analysis on the required topics, as well several additional posts on topics relevant to my professional development (e.g. how to make a ‘DIY’ instructional video).

– All the assigned topics are covered, and were posted throughout the eight-week period.

– I use a wide range of media including links to supportive webpages, my own original photographs, my own digital projects, and numerous inspirational and instructional videos throughout my blog.

– I am meticulous when it comes to my grammar and my writing in my blog posts and pages; I am constantly editing my blog because it is a direct reflection of me.

– A Creative Commons logo is present on both of my sidebars.

The Rubric:

Assignment 3 Blog

@ Please refer to my Resources page for works cited