Tutorial 2: on semiotics

For this week’s blogging task you are asked to locate an example of a complex image, discuss the denotations and connotations and consider whether it is possible that the image could be read in more than one way.

In tutorials we looked at some examples of images and videos and used the following questions as discussion points:

  • What the signifiers? (what is on the page?)
  • What the signifieds? (what does the image refer to?)
    • How is the image organised?
    • What colours/style are used?
    • What words are used?
    • What different does the context make?
    • What cultural myths and ideologies does the image call upon on terms of possible interpretations?

Videos
The Pervert’s Guide to Ideology
Auris commercial

Images
It’ll blow your mind away
Plastic waste
David‘s undies
David Marina Bay

Research Skills

Research Skill Development and Models of Engaged Learning and Teaching

The RSD framework is a family of research skill development models designed to help students engage with content while developing their thinking skills. It can be used as a tool for exploring problems and planning how to solve them, and to enhance student research skill development and critical thinking.

The RSD framework was developed by educators at the University of Adelaide, and is taught at universities across Australia. The University of Adelaide hosts a website about RSD here.

RSD models share six core facets that describe the research process. The descriptions of each facet are not fixed and can be adapted to match the needs of different disciplines and teaching environments:

  1. Embark and clarify: What is our purpose?
    Students respond to or initiate discovery and clarify what knowledge is required, heeding ethical, cultural, social and team considerations
  2. Find and generate: What do we need?
    Students find and generate needed information/data using appropriate methodology
  3. Evaluate and reflect: What do we trust?
    Students determine the credibility of sources, information and data and make own research processes visible
  4. Organise and manage: How do we arrange?
    Students organise information and data to reveal patterns/themes, managing teams and research processes
  5. Analyse and synthesise: What does it mean?
    Students analyse information/data critically and synthesis new knowledge to produce coherent individual/team understandings
  6. Communicate and apply: How will we relate?
    Students discuss, listen, write, respond to feedback and perform the processes, understandings and applications of the research, heeding relevant ethical, cultural, social and team issues and the needs of the audience

The Researcher Skill Development Framework illustrates how students develop each of these research facets throughout their education from primary school through to tertiary level.

A simpler version of the framework show the expected research skills at each level in the shape of a pentagon, with each facet having equal importance. A version for assisting BCM110 students get started on their blog posts might look like this…

Screen Shot 2017-02-16 at 4.35.30 pm

A useful aspect of this visual depiction is that the research question is at the core of the model. If you are lost or confused, go back to the centre: what is the purpose of the research?

Grammar and the pilkunnussija

I know this is boring. Grammar was always boring. You’d think our digital world of word processors and spell check would have sorted this for us – but it hasn’t.  Sorry.  We’re just going to have to do this the hard way.

So, why be boring and obsess about grammar?  Because it is important.  Very important.  With any piece of writing, your mastery of language is your face to the world.  If you don’t write clearly and correctly, you lose credibility almost immediately.  Your blogging audience is highly literate – your aim is to engage it, not lose it.

If you are not confident about your grammar, now is the time to do something about it.  Ask someone to edit your writing for you, and learn from their corrections.  Borrow a grammar guide from the library.

There are plenty of places to find advice online.  Here are just a few suggestions:

And be very grateful you don’t live in Finland, the home of the pilkunnussija – the comma f*cker.  I have nothing on those pedants…

 

A post in which we learn about referencing and hyperlinks

Referencing

The UOW library website includes a style guide.  It provides information on referencing and citing using a number of different styles.  It doesn’t matter which one you use – just be consistent.

The simplest style is possibly Harvard. It is beloved of the Australian public sector and many, many universities and journals. It’s easy to learn and easy to read.  To see how it works, go to the library guide site (follow the link above), and click through to referencing a journal article…

Here you can see how to make direct quotes and how to structure your references. All very useful stuff. Learn to do it properly now and save yourself days and days of editing your future PhD.

Now, have a look at referencing books, newspaper articles and web sources.  Properly sourcing material gleaned from the web can be convoluted and painful, so I recommend instead…

Hyperlinks

As an alternative to more formal academic referencing, it is perfectly acceptable to hyperlink to your sources from your blog.  I might even prefer them – and you might too.  They take up less space on your page, potentially add less to your word count (who’s counting??) and let the reader (that’s me) locate your source with rapid ease.  (Are you getting the hint already??)

To create a hyperlink:

  1. click on ‘text’ at the upper right of the WordPress editing window
  2. highlight the text you want to link from
  3.  click on the link button
  4. paste the destination website address into the insert/edit link box.

Does this help you? Have your discovered something new and/or useful? Let us know!  Please?

If you can’t beat ’em..

…you’d better jump in the pool.

Who am I to pretend to give advice on WordPress and blogging if I don’t give it a go myself?

So, here I am.  But instead of honing incisive wordage about all things media, I’ll be sharpening my technical skills and working out what does and doesn’t.

Any glitches, any questions, share them here (or on the course discussion boards) and we can work them out together.