5.2 Self-Directed Learning
The student reflects on his/her progress towards specific learning goals.

5.2 Self-Directed Learning

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When I first began the Master's program, I had a few clear goals in mind. Although I consider myself to be a reasonably technical person, I’ve always been scared of code. And in foreignness, it is far from my usual work and comfort zone.

One of my initial learning goals was to become more acquainted with the basics of coding and to understand the capabilities that different languages provide. I know of myself that I am not a coder, however, as a visual designer, I still wanted to be able to work with it and know enough to understand the boundaries and possibilities of it. In my time so far at the Master, I have had many opportunities to work with different languages, and although it remains relatively alien to me, the wall between the two worlds is slowly cracking. Experimenting with devices such as the Micro:bit and it's intuitive block based visual coding system and Unity’s integration with visual studio, has made the coding aspect of school fun, and much less scary. While parts of processing remain deeply complicated to me, I still have great fun when it comes to playing around with basic functions and creating amusing little projects.

My second goal for this Master was to further improve my knowledge on ethical considerations and my own values as a designer. Gabriel's class often leaves me questioning various topics that I hadn’t before considered and leave me wondering about the value I have as a designer and human being. Although at times the ethical reasoning behind everything seems to limit and diminish the value in anything I could have produced. I am also fascinated by the social implications that my actions can have and believe that my role can be a significant one in our world.

For my third goal, I wanted to improve and work upon various tasks such as my aesthetic capabilities, illustration style, and dabble in the world of 3d modelling and rendering. Working on a 3d creature/3d map for multiple projects, illustrating welcome screens and making sure that everything I create has a certain static flare to it, are examples of my working towards this goal.

In addition, I have learned a vital lesson and reached a goal I did not initially have in mind, but one which developed and became vivid through time and that is about teamwork and relying on others. Previous to this program, my belief was that I have to be an expert in everything and that I have to take responsibility and actions for anything I want done. However, I have learned that being perfect in everything is simply impossible and to be able to reach big goals and finish projects I have to trust and rely on others. I have come to understand that communication is critical and that I have to learn the language of the experts I want to work with, but that does not require me to be an expert in everything myself. Working with others, trusting them, and relying on them has been the most life-changing lesson of all.