I have recently finished my first MA essay with the title "A critique of instructional design models, theories and specific online interactive and collaborative technology related to online adult distance learning".
Quite a lot to fit into a 3’000 word essay, I chose initially to concentrate on 4 models of online learning and critique them. This it seems would have seriously neglected many themes in the essay i.e. adult learning, distance learning, interactive and collaborative technology. Although a lot of useful ground work was done and preliminary feedback from a colleague was positive it felt boring to just take a model in turn, dissecting it and move onto the next one. After discussion with my mentor a suggestion to write the essay around important themes that could draw in various ideas was quite obviously the way to go. The painful decision (because I’d more or less finished my original essay) to rewrite the essay was absolutely the correct thing to do and I feel I have a much better template now for future essays.
Although I have not gone into as much depth on some areas as I would have liked, I felt as though the essay captured my passionate views on how online learning should be conducted. I felt I gave a logical account for the basis of my views and highlighted how an appropriate model of online learning and associated interactive and collaborative technology could and should be used to achieve effective online learning.
Although i personally i feel i have learnt a lot from researching, planning and organising my thoughts for the essay, the essay is perhaps on reflection not as critical as it could be, although i still feel as though I've done a good job. I hope to use my experience of writing this first essay to make improvements in my critical approach for the next MA essay.