The #BCM112 DA: I Should Have Kept it Simple, Stupid

Before jumping in to my reflection and project beta, be sure to read my earlier blog posts on the BCM 112 digital artefact: “The #BCM112 DA: Keep it Simple, Stupid” and “Pitch Perfect: An Introduction to my Digital Artefact“.

When I first decided I wanted to use the PASS at UOW Facebook group for my digital artefact, the problem I was attempting to address was the relative lack of participation in PASS compared to the number of students enrolled in each participating subject. By creating an informal, student-led space which encourages active participation from and between students, I hoped this would encourage others to attend also. What I hadn’t anticipated, however, was a sudden and university-wide transition to remote learning, which had a massive impact on my digital artefact in a number of ways.

For starters, within the first two weeks of this announcement being made, the group’s membership grew eighty percent (+230 students), and continued to climb a further twenty percent (+60 students) in the month that followed. Furthermore, student participation peaked during the week following the midsession recess, with more than one hundred unique interactions (i.e. posts, likes, and comments), as shown in the graph below. As students became unable to interact with leaders and their peers in a regular face-to-face PASS session, they began to rely much more heavily on these digital platforms to communicate with other members of the program.

As all resources rapidly became dedicated to ensuring the program’s smooth transition to remote learning, there was a significant period of time where I was unable to post updates or respond to students regarding the future of PASS. It was during this time in particular that I realised the limitations of selecting to maintain a digital artefact for such a well-established and reputable company, as I wasn’t able to post anything to the group without prior approval, and there were a number of policies and rules in place for social media content and conduct by representatives of the university that had to be strictly adhered to. While I was aware of these rules and procedures prior to selecting my topic, and had been working on this project for over six months at the time I had chosen to use it for my digital artefact, it really hadn’t seemed too restrictive until the sudden transition to remote learning.

Had I elected instead to manage my own digital artefact rather than maintaining one for an existing organisation, I would have had a lot more freedom and opportunity to produce a wider range of content in the forms and topics I wanted to explore. Unlike the PASS at UOW Facebook group, which I felt was lacking the authentic student voice it was originally intended to utilise (due to the approval process in which many suggestions were edited by staff), creating my own independent project would have allowed me to share my unfiltered thoughts, ideas, and creations with an audience of my choosing.

While my approach to my digital artefact has not changed significantly in light of these events and realisations, I have compiled a list of recommendations on how to move forwards, in particular, suggestions in relation to ideas to incorporate into future projects. Despite not having the flexibility and freedom that I would have liked from a digital artefact, I have learnt a lot from this experience about working in social media for such an established company, as well as about myself as a marketer and my own interests in the digital world.

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