5.1 Self-Directed Learning
The student describes his/her participation in communities of practitioners.

5.1 Self-Directed Learning

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I consider myself to be an active member of the designer's society, and I try to keep myself informed and engaged with other designers work and this industry. My love for design has been and continues to be the driver of mostly everything I do on a daily basis. I believe that to be an active or significant participant in any field or forum requires one not only to take initiating actions all the time but to be attentive and informed. So I spend an immense amount of time reading, discovering, and searching for design and related articles. I'm an avid reader and follower of many Medium and Quora members and can constantly be found trying to learn something new. I have a list of sites that I check religiously such as "Life-Hacker", "Apple insider", "Bored Panda", "Webflow Forums", "It's Nice That", "Wired", and the "Verge". I am also constantly looking for apps, tools, innovations, and inventions that could help me achieve my goals more efficiently.

Within the classroom environment, I feel very comfortable openly discussing and bouncing ideas around. Whether we are having discussions regarding philosophical, ethical or other such discussions, I am ready to speak my mind and expressing my opinions. My participation is however not limited to in class discussions as I frequently attend design and technology fair, meet-ups and talks. The latest one I took part in, was the digital design ethics conference and the storytelling in UX meet up. For me, it’s always a very social gathering as I always go with my friends and classmate and after the meet-ups, we can discuss the things we’ve learned, agree or disagree with. I also love sharing the knowledge I have gained from my previous encounters or reads with my friends and classmates as I believe that through communication and the sharing of information, I get to witness and hear other people’s stories and feedback which have always been very inspiring and motivating in my project and for my personal growth as a designer.

I am an active member on various platforms and design forums such as both the Adobe Creative Cloud and the Affinity community as well as the Webflow forums. These are channels, where members share and discuss their projects, help evolve the platform that they represent, ask and answer problems and questions and share inspirational tips, trick, tools and design ideas. A few years ago when I first started design and learning it's tools, these forums were an immensely helpful place to gain knowledge from experts and quickly getting inspired from other community members. As I have grown over these years, I found my role within these platforms to change and helping others in the same way that I was helped before has become a very rewarding task. These forums are not just limited to their respected tools but have become platforms where designers and artists portray their workflow, day to day lives and discuss upcoming projects.

All in all, I find myself to be very communicative and open about my design. My design process often includes many stages of discussing and getting feedback from others, especially designers. During the years, I have made many friends in this field, with whom I have remained in touch and are a back up when I face challenges that are in need of an outsiders point of view or when I simply find myself lost. Within the realms of social media I find myself taking a much less active role, however, recently I have found myself enjoying posting process and project photos, as it reminds me to monitor, gather, and collect more process work and allows me to get feedback from a larger more diverse audience as well as connecting me to designers from across the world.