Final Reflections

Despite my apprehension at starting an online learning course, this module has quickly become one of the most inspiring and insightful modules. I have learnt about topics I had never previously even thought of and have had the opportunity to develop my digital skills and converse in online communities on interesting topics and issues.

Below is a slideshow demonstrating the development of my digital profile, using the self test document as a base.

Topic 3 encouraged me to develop my online professional profile. I put some effort into developing my LinkedIn profile. Before I had some brief information about work experience and my degree, but I lacked a profile picture which would have encouraged more recruiters and networkers to connect with me if they could put a face to the name. As a result, I wrote a brief summary, inserted a headline and uploaded a profile picture. I also uploaded a photo of me pitching a product to a customer as my cover photo. Below is the final look:

Screen Shot 2017-05-23 at 17.28.48

Once I completed my profile, I gained the status of ‘All-Star’. I saw an immediate improvement. My network grew as more people in the industry connected with me, I also received messages from four different recruiters encouraging me to apply to full-time job roles or internships.

Screen Shot 2017-05-23 at 17.22.57

Learning about authentic profiles and personal branding in Topic 2 and 3 made me turn my attention to my social media profiles. Below is an infographic showing the changes I made to my online profiles based on what I learnt over the module.

Developing my online profiles
Figure 1: Infographic showing the development of my online profile. Self-produced using

Topic 3 was very interesting considering it was all about professional profiles and social recruiting. I decided to utilise social media in my own experiences as a recruiter for Brand Ambassadors. I used Facebook and Twitter to broadcast posts about the role, including a video to engage more potentially interested students. I was able to engage with LinkedIn more, using their search feature to search for ideal candidates and use the messaging feature to get in touch with them. The infographic below shows some examples of this:

Embracing social recruiting
Figure 2: Infographic showing the use of social recruiting. Self-produced using

The module has been very inspiring and the video below demonstrates how I will be taking everything I’ve learnt into the future. Most of all, the module has given me confidence to develop my own blog beyond this one.

The amount I have learnt has been immense and the module has allowed me to engage with topics I had never even thought about before. Below is a slideshow outlining what I have learnt from the topics.

This module has enabled me to not only grasp but also become confident with evaluating online information, creating online materials and engage in intelligent discussions, all of which are skills I will carry with me in the future.

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Topic 5 Reflection

The end of the module is finally here and it’s fair to say I have learnt a great deal – more than I could ever have expected.

As the topic explored open access, there was plenty of ground for everyone to cover. I specifically focused on open access and academia, with a little introduction to news media. However, it was great to see other blog’s like Ausaf’s and Carolina discuss open access in the music industry, highlighting Spotify as a noteworthy example. This topic, more so than others, I have been able to engage in discussions that stem on from the topic’s main points. Andrei’s comments on my blog initiated a discussion on whether open access reduces the quality of journals published. This eventually ended up with us discussing the future business model of journals and whether they could apply the Wikipedia model (relying on donations rather than charging). It was interesting to witness the different paths of conversation this topic could took. Below is a video I created to point out some of the discussions I had with others and how this led me to learn some new things, including cementing my position that all journals should be open access and that OA does not just apply to academia.


Not only was I able to learn new things, but reading other people’s blogs has helped me progress my blogging style and push me to incorporate original ideas and multimedia, as shown in the slideshow below.

Feedback throughout the module from the marking sheet and from others’ comments has been very important to me the primary inspiration for my progression. Below is a ‘recipe’ I created, taking on board all the feedback in order to help create even better blogs.

Blog Checklist
Figure 1: Self-produced using

Word Count: 289

Link to comments:

Blog references in slideshow:

Harriet’s blog here

Carolina’s blog here

Blog references in Youtube video:

Ausaf’s blog here

My blog here


Pros and Cons of Open Access

-We are drowning in digital information- (Hall, 2014)
Figure 1: Self-Produced using

The increasing use of the Internet has led to an influx of digital information. In the academic world of Medicine alone, over two brand new papers are published every minute (Hall, 2014). This, in combination with the decline of print media (Schlesinger and Doyle, 2015) has led to the prediction that 90% of online content would be behind paywalls as of 2016 (Lepitak, 2013). Open access typically refers to the free, instant, online availability of online content with permissions to reuse for free (Piled Higher and Deeper (PHD Comics), 2012).

The increase in scientific work published online and increase in news consumption online has opened the debate over whether open access is good or bad. The infographic below explores these debates:

Pros & Cons.png
Figure 2: Self-produced using

There are clearly many complexities in assessing the advantages and disadvantages of open access. It is also important to note that it cannot be labelled ‘beneficial in all circumstances’ or not. Ultimately, it is up to the content producer to assess whether the positives outweigh the negatives. One of the most important arguments in favour of open access is the ability to teach those who cannot always receive an adequate education. In particular, initiatives like the Khan Academy and the African Leadership Academy have been able to connect with and educate young people outside of the classroom (Dunn, 2013). As a result, more people have called upon university leaders to turn their attention towards open access (Hall, 2014).

However, a large problem with open access resides with the cost incurred. Whilst online articles are much cheaper than publishing print copies, as demonstrated in Figure 2, there can be large costs for researchers to publish their work in a journal (Truth, 2012). Although open access articles have proven to increase citations (Gargouri et al, 2005), it is wrong to assume all researchers and content producers have large sums of money readily available for publishing.

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Figure 3: Self-produced using (Center for American Progress, 2012)

I believe open access articles should work to be more prevalent in the online community, for the benefit of students, researchers, the less-fortunate and anyone with an interest in a particular field. However, I think it is unacceptable for journals to be charging such large amounts of money to researchers to publish their work. I also argue that the more notable journals should consider open access in order to disprove the theory that open access articles can be of a lower quality.

Word Count: 396


Björk, B. and Solomon, D. (2012). Open access versus subscription journals: a comparison of scientific impact. BMC Medicine, [online] 10(1). Available at:*~hmac=5f1572f65e8479876cfabf3f4579d954940dd1d4b554b163c0401649161ba9aa [Accessed 7 May 2017].

Center for American Progress (2012). Dramatically Bringing Down the Cost of Education with OER. [online] Available at: [Accessed 7 May 2017].

Dunn, D. (2013). Education Finally Ripe For Radical Innovation By Social Entrepreneurs. Forbes. [online] Available at: [Accessed 7 May 2017].

Gargouri, Y., Hajjem, C., Larivière, V., Gingras, Y., Carr, L., Brody, T. and Harnad, S. (2010). Self-Selected or Mandated, Open Access Increases Citation Impact for Higher Quality Research. PLoS ONE, [online] 5(10), p.e13636. Available at: [Accessed 7 May 2017].

Hall, M. (2014). Why open access should be a key issue for university leaders. The Guardian. [online] Available at: [Accessed 7 May 2017].

Lepitak, S. (2013). 90% of online content to be held behind paywalls in three years media company survey suggests. [online] The Drum. Available at: [Accessed 7 May 2017].

McCabe, M. and Snyder, C. (2005). Open Access and Academic Journal Quality. The American Economic Review, [online] 95(2), pp.453-458. Available at: [Accessed 7 May 2017].

Piled Higher and Deeper (PHD Comics) (2012). Open Access Explained!. Available at: [Accessed 7 May 2017].

Schlesinger, P. and Doyle, G. (2015). From organizational crisis to multi-platform salvation? Creative destruction and the recomposition of news media. Journalism, [online] 16(3), pp.305-323. Available at: [Accessed 7 May 2017].

Truth, F. (2012). Pay big to publish fast: Academic journal rackets. Journal for Critical Education Policy, [online] 10(2). Available at: [Accessed 7 May 2017].

Image References

Figure 1: Self-produced using

Figure 2: Self-produced using

Figure 3: Self-produced using

Topic 4: Reflection

The module is nearing an end and it is really interesting to see how all the other blogs have developed and the different approaches people have taken. Last week, my main reflection was the necessity to develop a more analytical perspective which I focused on with this week’s blog. In the infographic below, I’ve demonstrated how I did or did not achieve my aims.

How did I achieve my aims this week-
Figure 1: My aims this week, self-produced using

In addition, with it being Topic 4 I’ve been able to analyse my development over the past topics and see how I’ve improved, becoming more confident with tools such as and Below is a video to see the changes I made.

As I’ve mentioned before, it’s been enjoyable to see how all the topics tie together. Back in Topic 2, Alexander and I had a discussion about the importance of introducing online safety lessons as part of the school curriculum. This issue came back up on Oliver’s blog when he discussed how social media allows cyberbullying to occur and how prevalent it is. I was interested to learn from his blog that schools are slowly introducing lessons regarding online safety and cyberbullying prevention and posed the question whether parents should be taught too.

This week allowed other bloggers to really take their own approach to the topic with the option to choose their own ethical issue. Because of this, I enjoyed reading the different perspectives. Whilst I personally focused on business social media use, I especially enjoyed Rachel’s discussion on how children can’t be ethical online if they don’t understand ethics and was shocked to learn that 75% of 10-12 year olds have social media accounts. This makes for a very grey area when it comes dealing with children online. Below is a slideshow demonstrating what I learnt from reading other blogs.

Word Count: 298

Link to comments:

Slideshow references:

Rachel’s blog here

Sharon’s blog here

David’s blog here


Why business use of social media can be problematic.

Business use of social media has been on the rise ever since marketers and recruiters realised just how useful it could be for them (Copp, 2016). There are a number of reasons why businesses choose to utilise social media, as demonstrated below.

Why do businesses use social media-
Figure 1: Why businesses use social media, self-produced.

However, there are increasing problems arising from business use of social media. These include, the struggle to maintain integrity, controlling employee and customer posts about your company and the one I will focus on this week: ethical problems surrounding recruitment practices. In Topic 3, I began to investigate the rate at which social media is becoming a part of recruitment practices, as shown in the recap below.

what we already know.png
Figure 2: Recap of Topic 3, self-produced.

I argue that sometimes recruiters can be unethical when utilising social media. Put simply, ethics are a set of moral principles; to be unethical is to typically do what is seen as the wrong thing to do (, 2014). However, many have already discussed the difficulty in establishing social media ethics (Podger, 2009).

The most significant ethical issue with social recruiting is the privacy imposition it involves. In previous blog comments I have discussed how the increase in recruiters and employers looking at social media profiles imposes on one’s freedom of speech. This is something that Glenn Greenwald discusses in his TED Talk. (TED, 2014). He argues that by knowing our privacy is being invaded, people automatically become more compliant and conformist. In previous topics we have discussed whether multiple identities are better than one. When baring in mind the increasing number of recruiters and employers looking at social media profiles, it is important more than ever that employees ensure their personal profiles are on high security settings. The issue that stems from this, is that if an employee or candidate posts something that their company disagrees with, this could lead to serious consequences. For example, Justine Sacco was fired from the IAC after she published a racist tweet (Ronson, 2015). The video below outlines the ethical issues that arise from employers looking at social media profiles in more depth.

An increase in social media use has also led to an increase in online identity theft cases like the Leah Palmer/Ruth Palmer case. If an employee has unknowingly had their pictures used elsewhere online alongside undesirable content, is it possible that an employer could confuse the two and punish the employee for risking the company’s online integrity?

Word Count: 395

References (2014). Introduction to Ethics. [online] Available at: [Accessed 26 Mar. 2017].

Copp, E. (2016). 10 Benefits of Social Media for Business. [Blog] Hootsuite. Available at: [Accessed 26 Mar. 2017].

Hessah, A. (2015). Employers Monitoring Your Social Media. Available at: [Accessed 26 Mar. 2017].

Institute of Business Ethics, (2011). The Ethical Challenges of Social Media. Business Ethics Briefing. [online] Available at: [Accessed 26 Mar. 2017].

Jobvite, (2014). Social Recruiting Survey. [online] Available at: [Accessed 26 Mar. 2017].

Kleinman, Z. (2015). Who’s that girl? The curious case of Leah Palmer. [online] BBC News. Available at: [Accessed 26 Mar. 2017].

Podger, P. (2009). The limits of control: with journalists and their employers increasingly active on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, news organizations are struggling to respond to a host of new ethics challenges. American Journalism Review, [online] 31(4), p.32. Available at: [Accessed 26 Mar. 2017].

Ronson, J. (2015). How One Stupid Tweet Blew Up Justine Sacco’s Life. The New York Times Magazine. [online] Available at: [Accessed 26 Mar. 2017].

TED, (2014). Glenn Greenwald: Why Privacy Matters. [image] Available at: [Accessed 26 Mar. 2017].

Topic 3: Reflection

This week’s topic has really allowed me to piece together everything I have learnt in the module so far and begin to see a bigger picture. For example, the recap in my Topic 3 blog provided context to the issue with information learnt previously.

Now that we are officially half way through the module, I am glad to see myself improving my blog posts and building upon the feedback I have been provided in the past few weeks. Below is an outline of the aims I had for this week and how I managed (if I did at all) to achieve them.

How did I achieve my aims this week-
Figure 1: Self-produced using

I also saw an increase in innovative approaches to the task by other bloggers. Whilst admittedly I took a fairly straightforward approach, I was very interested to see other ideas I had not considered. In particular, Sharon discussed how to deal with online criticism which I hadn’t realised the importance of other people’s content about you when establishing your own professional profile. I also noticed how Brad highlighted the importance of developing a personal brand online, even offering advice on utilising creative programmes like to develop business cards. Personal branding was something I touched upon in my blog, but Brad’s ideas led me to rethink how I brand my Twitter profile. I decided to make it more professional and utilise the network of over 500 followers I have. The changes made can be seen in the image below.

Figure 2: Changes made to my Twitter profile after learning the importance of professional profiles online, self-produced using

In the final two weeks, I will really focus on developing my evaluative and analytical skills as well as immersing myself more in other non-course resources.

Links to my comments below:

Word Count: 267

Topic 3: How can I develop an authentic professional profile online?

Before we begin discussing how to develop an authentic professional profile online, let’s have a quick recap of the relevant points from Topics 1 and 2:

6 (1)
Figure 1: A recap of earlier topics discussed, self-produced.

In my previous blog post on Topic 2, I discussed the debate between digital experts about how important it is to develop an authentic online profile, instead of multiple or anonymous identities and personas. This week, I will focus on how to actually develop an professional profile in order to benefit from the professional side of social media and open up new opportunities including jobs.

Before developing an authentic professional profile, it’s important to understand why we should have one. This video demonstrates this nicely.

Use the following tips to develop your professional profile and make it authentic.

wner of Chez Panisse
Figure 2: An infographic to show the main ways to develop an authentic professional profile online, self-produced. Sources: The Huffington Post, JobVite, The Employable and BBC News.

Personally, I already have a great deal of experience in establishing professional profiles online. I work in Social Media Marketing and as a result, use Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to establish my ‘brand’ and promote the clients I work with including Virgin Media and The Economist. As a result, I am conscious about what I post in order to avoid any situations like the Justine Sacco case. Nik Nyman discusses the possibilities of using social media as a tool both in searching for jobs and recruiting, something I agree is now an essential part of the modern day job hunt. My LinkedIn profile has allowed me to have discussions with recruiters in my field, something that I know will definitely benefit me once I leave University and enter the job market. I would argue that utilising online profiles is now a vital part of job hunting and recruiting. Browsing a candidate’s authentic profile allows a recruiter to gain a more rounded view of the person, much more than a quick 30 second scan of a piece of paper can do. We are also seeing an increase in creative methods of job hunting, examples include Adam Pacitti who spent his last £500 on a billboard with a link to his website: With this new generation of job hunters and recruiters, it is important hunters keep up to date with technological and creative changes, therefore taking advantage of social media rather than simply relying on traditional CV and cover letter approaches.

For more reading on the subject, this article discusses the difference in how you promote yourself on Facebook and LinkedIn, whilst this article investigates the effect your social media profile can have on your recruitment opportunities.


BBC News, (2013). Job hunting: How to promote yourself online. Available at: [Accessed 11 Mar. 2017].

Caers, R. and Castelyns, V. (2010). LinkedIn and Facebook in Belgium: The Influences and Biases of Social Network Sites in Recruitment and Selection Procedures. Social Science Computer Review, [online] 29(4), pp.437-448. Available at: [Accessed 11 Mar. 2017].

Jobvite, (2014). Social Recruiting Survey. [online] Available at: [Accessed 11 Mar. 2017].

Joyce, S. (2015). 5 Reasons to Have a Photo in Your LinkedIn Profile. The Huffington Post. [online] Available at: [Accessed 12 Mar. 2017].

Morse, F. (2013). Jobseeker Adam Pacitti Spends £500 On London Billboard In Desperate Attempt To Find Work. The Huffington Post. [online] Available at: [Accessed 12 Mar. 2017].

Nyman, N. (2014). Using social media in your job search. [Blog] Web Science MOOC. Available at: [Accessed 11 Mar. 2017].

Ronson, J. (2015). How One Stupid Tweet Blew Up Justine Sacco’s Life. New York Times Magazine. [online] Available at: [Accessed 12 Mar. 2017].

Simpson, C. (2017). Why should I create an authentic professional profile online?. Available at: [Accessed 12 Mar. 2017].

The Employable. (2014). How blogging can help you get a job. [online] Available at: [Accessed 12 Mar. 2017].

van Dijck, J. (2013). ‘You have one identity’: performing the self on Facebook and LinkedIn. Media, Culture & Society, [online] 35(2), pp.199-215. Available at: [Accessed 11 Mar. 2017].

Image references:

Figure 1: Self-produced using

Figure 2: Self-produced using

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