When spies fall in love <3

Today it struck me… I am a spy gone native, a spy who fell in love with the target.

I started the MSc Digital Education (among other reasons) as a way of improving my understanding and representation of a cohort I had never been but worked on behalf of every day. The was not new to me, I had been a student sabbatical officer of a large diverse student body and so the ability to infer the needs of a group to which I did not necessarily define was fairly intuitive. But these were only and could only be inferences – I did not actually know what it was like to be a distance learner. So I signed up, applied and got in! I knew I was going to really enjoy the course and was really excited to see more of what it was like over the other side of the fence.

But I fell hard – I didn’t just enjoy the course I <3 loved <3 the course!!! I had not realised just how hard I would fall for fully online education methods (although I had an inkling, and had always had an interest in online developments) to the point where I question if I could ever go back to a fully on-campus traditional experience. Now, fortunately for me, this is not the fifth Bourne film, so I do not need to jump off buildings to escape the University from knowing how much I like the course – they are supportive of the relationship – but the readings this week made me view my ‘representational research project’ in a more ethnographic light. I had essentially gone in to a new community to find out how it worked and what it was like to better inform future developments, but had become so immersed in the experience that I have ended up self-identifying as one of the community – the target! Is this true online ethnography? Well, let’s see where block 2 takes me, but shhhhhhhh *it’s a secret!* ;)

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