BCM302: Contextual Essay

Digital Artifact Blog Posts / Instagram Page

Concept

My topic for my digital artifact is “How can students cope with their University life stress?” I intended to produce content relating to how students can tackle their University Stress which includes the assignment stress, exam stress, result’s stress and career stress. As a student, I have always faced stress thought out my University life in many circumstances. However, I have always got a success in coping down my stress which I felt I should share with other students. In my digital artifact, I gave out tips on the ways of coping the university stress like having a good time management or using sports through blog posts and on an Instagram page.

University students who are facing stress in their University life is the main target audience for my digital artifact. As for my user feedback loop, I post and shared my content on social media before getting responses from the users and finally response to the users according to their comments. I also improved my Digital artifact with my tutor’s and classmate’s feedbacks.

Utility

Almost every student have faced stress in their University life which does not only effect their grades but also gave them fallacious thoughts about giving up on their studies ( Eicher et al., 2014). There is a very inadequate support given by the Universities to the students who are facing stress (Regehr et al., 2012). This does not only show that universities health services are not doing enough in tackling the student’s stress but also more and more students are being caged in this stress problem. Thus, I wanted to help students tackle their University stress through my digital artifact.

Methodology & Trajectory

My methodology has seen lots of changes through out my digital artifact. In my pitch, I decided to use the Observation and Auto-ethnography method where I would be reading articles on google scholar and some case studies which talks about my topic. I would also use my own experience on how I tackled the stress for the auto-ethnography and decided to just write 3 blogs talking about different topics and share it through social media like Twitter and Instagram.

However, after getting feedbacks from my tutor, 3 blog posts were not enough for my digital artifact and most people doesn’t want to read blog posts anymore. I had to come up with something more interesting which will help me engage with more audience. Therefore, I decided to just do 2 blogs, interact with audience on twitter on what they expect me talk about about in my digital artifact. And finally, after writing 2 blogs, I decided to do an online workshop on zoom which will be more interesting than a 3rd blog.

Unfortunately, I didn’t get a good response from my audience to do an online zoom workshop which forced me to change my methodology again. Instead of doing an online workshop, I created an Instagram page and posted some posts, stories and news about university stress. I got a very good response from the Instagram audience as they all liked my posts and responded to my stories I posted. Instagram is one of the most used social media (Walsh, 2021). Therefore, I decided to stick with 2 blog series and an Instagram page as my methodology for my digital artifact. I also used Twitter to conduct polls to see what the audience think about my topic and to see what changes and improvements I can do to my digital artifact.

Blog Posts:

  • Blog Post 1: The first of my two blog series is all about the introduction of my topic and what the readers and the audience will expecting from my digital artifact project. In this blog post, I defined some terms like what I mean by university life stress so that the audience are clear on I want to talk about in my project. I also showed some findings that I received from my Twitter polls I conducted.
  • Blog Post 2: The second blog post talks about my own experience on how I tackle the problem using sports (cricket). I gave out some consequences of the stress problem which my lead to affecting student’s career. Some students might start having thoughts about giving up. I also provided solutions to tackle the problem. At the end, I shared a video that teaches how to play cricket if anyone wants to learn and use it as a way of tackling the problem they I used.

Below is the video I shared on my second blog about how to play cricket.

Instagram

I shared all the post on the Instagram page as I created it as my other methodology for my digital artifact. Instagram has a very big audience and I believed that it is the best social media platform to be used to share about my topic. I used almost all the features Instagram provides so that I can have a better interaction, engagement and feedback loop from my audience. For my Instagram post and stories, I tried to maintain a similar theme so that the post doesn’t look messy. Moreover, I used lots of hashtags on my posts so that I can reach to many people on Instagram.

  • Instagram Stories: I used Instagram stories to interact with the audience and asked them to answer some of the questions using the features provided by the Instagram.
    1. This feature of Instagram (stories) helped me find out whether my audience are going through my digital artifact or not. It also helped me with knowing who and what are my audience are. For example, whether are they facing university life stress and how do they tackle with the stress. I also compared what the researchers said on google scholars with what my audience had to say which wasn’t a surprise as my audience’s answers matched with the researcher’s report/ study.
    2. It also helped me share some interesting news/ facts about what’s happening to the University students.
    3. It helped me share my blog post on the Instagram stories so that it can be easier for the audience to read my blog posts.
  • Instagram Highlights:
    • I used the feature called “Instagram highlights” to save all the stories I posted so that if someone missed my stories, they can go to the highlights and see what I posted before. New audience can also see the highlighted stories so that they can know what my page is all about. This will make them have a better judgement on whether they want to follow my page.

Below are the responses I received from the audience on my Instagram story. This helps me with my feedback loop with y audience as I can improve my project depending on what my audience want.

Twitter

Besides using Blog Post and Instagram, I also used twitter to engage with the audience. Before using Instagram, I was only using twitter to share my blog posts and to interact with people. However, I felt I should be using both twitter and Instagram as it will help me engage with a more bigger audience. I shared my blogs, and conducted polls on my twitter which the audience gave me a very good response.

After sharing my blog post on my Twitter account, I got around 16 people retweeting with 21 people liking my tweets about the two blogs I have shared. This shows that lots of people were interested in my blogs and I got a good engagement rate.

Iterations

As I mentioned above, I had to make lots of changes in my methodology before setting up the final one. Changing my methodology was one the major changes I did throughout my project from having only 3 series of blog posts to a 2 series of blog posts with an Instagram page. I also thought to do an online zoom workshop which I had to change it because I was afraid if the audience will join or not, also I cancelled that due to the lack of time. I also changed my content from talking about sports to just focusing on one sport which I liked and gave out solutions to help tackle the stress problem. I was able to make all these wonderful changes which helped my digital artifact improved due to the feedbacks I received from my tutor, classmates and my audience.

Limitations and Success

Due to changing my methodology and the content constantly, I couldn’t have enough time to post so many things on my Instagram account. However, in a very short period of time, I was able to reach enough audience and got good response from them on my Instagram stories. I couldn’t manage to utilize the whole features provided by the Instagram such as the IGTV due to the limited of time. However, I will continuing to work on my Instagram page to find out other features so that I can post more and continue to stay engaged with my audience.

Important Learning moments

Throughout the development process of my digital artifact, I have learned a lot of things. For example, how something can be improved by trying to polish your work again and again by making changes and thinking how I can improve it more. I also learned that by giving reviews to other people’s digital artifact makes you learn and have a better idea on how to improve the digital artifact. The whole idea is to improve as our work can never be perfect so that we can keep the audience engaged with our work . Moreover, with the help of this project, I have learned so many amazing features of social media which I never knew before such as the polls on twitter, Instagram stories. During our first lecture, I was taught the FIST strategy on how we can make our project Fast, Inexpensive, Simple and Tiny to finish our digital artifact. It helped me a lot throughout the development process as I always kept my work fast, inexpensive, simple and tiny. Lastly, believe that I have helped lots of student overcome their stress with the response I got from twitter and Instagram. I will continue to post on my Instagram and stay connect with my audience.

References:

Abouserie, Reda (2006), Sources and Levels of Stress in relation to Locus of Control and Self Esteem in University Students, Retrieved from https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/0144341940140306

Eicher, V., Staerklé, C., & Clémence, A. (2014) I want to quit education: A longitudinal study of stress and optimism as predictors of school dropout intention. Retrieved from  https://www.researchgate.net/publication/264830729_I_want_to_quit_education_A_longitudinal_study_of_stress_and_optimism_as_predictors_of_school_dropout_intention.

Regehr, C., Glancy, D., & Pitts, A. (2012). Interventions to reduce stress in university students: A review and meta-analysis. Journal of Affective Disorders. Retrieved from  https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0165032712007793.

Walsh, S. (2021, June 22). The Top 10 Social Media Sites & Platforms 2021. Search Engine Journal. https://www.searchenginejournal.com/social-media/biggest-social-media-sites/.

YouTube. (2011). How to play cricket: The Basics. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hEbOL09ACww.

NHS. (n.d.). NHS Choices. https://www.nhs.uk/mental-health/children-and-young-adults/help-for-teenagers-young-adults-and-students/student-stress-self-help-tips/.

Singh, R. (2013). Sports And Academic Achievement . https://www.yrdsb.ca/Programs/PLT/Quest/Journal/2011-Sports-and-Academic-Achievement.pdf.

Published by Aqib Ali

Bachelors in Communication and Media

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