Research

Falling Through the Gaps

Researching Digital Literacy: Becoming Post-Pandemic & Post-Digitally Liberated

A Reflection on the Falling Through the Gaps Project.
Reflection on the Digital Literacy Project by Tamera Cooper

LCC Research funded project

Dr Mark Ingham and Jonathan Martin (On behalf of the Experimental Pedagogies Research Group (EPRG) and written and put into action collaboratively.)

With thanks to the LCC students who took part in the project in more ways than one.

Davinia Clarke

Tamera Cooper

Rhiann Edwards-Roberts

Rivkah Mitchell-Dhillon

Emma Sproat

Juliette Wiggins

Our Research question: What experimental art and design research methods can be hacked to understand how we can further develop digital literacy at LCC?

The project took on the title: ‘Falling Through the Gaps’ as it evolved This is our Falling through the Gaps: becoming digitally literate raw interim report.

This project sought to address the overarching research objective by asking the more prosaic question: How can we make our interconnected digital platforms work better for us at LCC? This work will approach ideas of being with and in the various digital platforms that comprise our virtual environments, from Moodle to Miro, via email and beyond.

FALLING THROUGH THE GAPS: A Creative Research Opportunity for LCC Alumni and Students.

an inextricable puzzle of frustration

engagement embraces disengagement

lack is just another word, another u s e less connection of letters that meets nobody

see’s nobody

classmates now resembling mere acquaintances

I just want to do my own thing

but space is a fine idea

I’m just sitting in my bedroom

a creative cave is what I crave

h e l p

the distance pursues to mock me

self loathing; absence and forlorn for the fifth time today

bouncing ideas off of zoom

but the ball isn’t bounced back

it merely stagnates

the connection that once existed has been replaced by nothingness

blank

error

an idle mass

the interlacing segments are misplaced by imposters.

(This poem is based on conversations with UAL’s students & their experiences over the past year, some excerpts are directly from them) Constructed by Emma Sproat

“Thank you so much for reaching out to me. Wow! That sounds so interesting and definitely something I would like to take part in! “

“I think what draws me to participating in this research project is the fact that this year has been so strange. I have struggled with creative blocks and trying to push through a creative degree whilst going through so much in my personal life, and in society as a whole! I think it’s a brilliant idea to encourage the arts at the moment and how we can express ourselves after this year. I believe that we are about to enter a very exciting time for the art world coming out of the current situation, and I would love to be part of making that happen in our university!” 

“Thanks so much again for inviting me to take part, and I hope to hear back soon! “

We recognised that falling off platforms is not only inevitable, but potentially invaluable. Being more fluid in our appreciation of the digital world we now all work in will afford us creative insight and greater capacity for experimentational navigation. This research will approach these platforms in less statically and striated demarcated ways. Rather than having affordances or fixed capacities, we can increase our own potentials for navigating the platforms as post-humans. Considering what it is for us to move around, across, between and through them, or being with them, rather than conceiving that they control us. We believe it is a cultural imperative that in moving from one place to another we can appreciate where things are lost – and thereby the gaps and spaces where things happen. We could therefore flourish in such liminal intermezzo spaces by conceiving of ourselves more as active agents in cross-platform nomadacy.

Image of our Padlet for Falling Through the Gaps.
Image of our Padlet for Falling Through the Gaps.

Experimenting with A/R/tography (and other ‘exotic’ art and design led research methods) we will explore the transitions between the digital realms we work around. In this living enquiry we conceive of course delivery as situated ‘event’ rather than purely a content-delivery ‘performance’. The experience of being in these platforms and realising what we are actively doing, missing, experiencing and thereby becoming is crucial to our successful, innovative development as a world and field-leading research institution.

Guide on how to navigate through my discussion about digital literacy:

The design of this work was inspired by children’s board games as a linear course from start to finish.

The conversation starts with the question from the interviewer/ researcher (in pink) to the interviewee (in yellow).

The green lines represent when the interviewer agrees with what the interviewee has said.

The red lines represent when the interviewer disagrees with what the interviewee has said.

The first yellow line represents the interviewee answering the first question.

The pink lines represent the interviewer talking about a new topic to ask the interviewee’s opinion on the subject.

The structure of the dialogue boxes resemble those of post-its so that the different topics of the conversation remain clear and precise.

This whole design is not a comprehensive representation of the actual conversation but rather a visual summary to understand how to interview someone in a less formal way than a survey.

In collaboration with us the LCC Changemakers will explore research methods, such as cultural probes, to gather insights on their peers’ experiences in transformed LCC environments. The problem they will be working on is how to elicit student (and conceivably staff) stories that are meaningful to them and translatable to us. These are to be envisaged as multi-modal and in themselves digital resources. The visualised research report will explain the findings of the research process, extrapolating key insights from the activities and resultant gathered information. In this the notion of the hack is fundamental (Gevers, 2016), since the expectation is that more established methods will be adapted for this new generation of communications school designers and collaborators.

By Tamera Cooper

This project is concerned with presenting ways in which experimental digital research methods may be hacked, in order to understand how we can further develop digital literacy at LCC. We will thereby gain greater insights into what art and design research methods work most affectively.

What are we going to do?

Set brief for the project + set up a Miro workspace

Workshops with Changemakers about each one of the Research Methods

Over 3 months Changemakers + students to interview a sample of peers

Collection of findings through visualised stories

Potential prompts for researchers’ response:

What have you experienced?

What did it look like?

Who did the work?

How did it work?

What went wrong?

What could be better?

How did you feel?

How did you manage?

Would you want more?

Of what?

What’s your hack?

Gevers, I. (2016). Hacking Habitat : Art of Control. Art, Technology and Social Change. Utrecht: Niet Normaal Foundation.

‘Exploring through practice how technology affects lives, changes the way society interacts and impacts on communities, cultural production, future society, and economic growth.’ (UAL Research)

We along with the EPRG will be developing this research in the Digital Futures research theme. The centrality of technology to our transformed environment has shifted our interaction and the constellations of our communities; and therefore, has considerable part to play in the shaping the societies of our future.

(Davinia Clarke) I asked people from LCC who are on my course and other courses to say one word that has described their experience of learning during the lockdown.. And most importantly to give an honest answer.

Words:

Said alone and scared first then to separation. A weird experience

A*s (skillshare but triple the cost)

Positive .They were using the LCC online workshops and got support / 1-2-1 tutorials. To note they live in a different country.

Underwhelming & overwhelming : as they had to do their final year all online. Optimistic word : Challenging

Demotivating – stunted their creativity. Liked being around other artist

Difficult

Sh*t then said atrocious if they aren’t allowed to swear.

Uninspiring

BS – hard to take uni serious when from home. Also tired of seeing people through a screen

Challenging (5 people chose this word)

Challenging but helped them work more independently

Resourceful

Extra conversations

Tired of seeing people’s faces through a screen

Whilst at online ‘uni’ they would watch Netflix

Using these responses I might them into a visual format/image e.g emoji / illustration

Continuing to enhance and develop our digital teaching practices and digital research strategies has been a key focus of all LCC staff since February 2020, in this greatest ever challenge to course delivery and academic development. Anecdotally we may be confident that we have achieved incredible results, and most have stories to tell about the effects of the shift to a largely digital ‘blended’ approach to our programmes. If we are truly to ‘respect staff’s and students’ individual voices’ as aspects of this collective endeavour, it is crucial that we gather and explore the nuances of such narrative, both as a cultural artefact for the researchers of future generations to examine and critique, and as live data that enables us to better appreciate this cultural production of social interaction. Responding contemporaneously ensures that we further benefit and enable our students to tailor individual approaches to studentship; and for staff to more effectively utilise digital spaces. If we are to prosper in such uncertainty, we must be increasingly agile and work together to interact in socially transformed and socially just environments.

It is evident that this means of academic delivery in the creative sector has vast implications, and UAL can be an authoritative voice in this field. National and international cultural landscapes continue to be transformed by digital interaction, and successful navigation of these terrains will be essential skillsets for our graduates if they are to survive and prosper as next generation creative practitioners. There is laudable discourse around ‘digital literacy’ in the university, but this cannot yet account for the exponential developments in virtual workshops that we have undertaken in recent months, since these are emergent. The principle of ‘underdetermination’ Carlos Perrotta explores in a recent article is a helpful reminder that we need to maintain awareness of the relation nature of online delivery, which may not be reduced to solely premeditated approaches (Perrotta, 2021). Our environments in the digital just as the physical are comprised of constellations of actors and agents, and just as connections are made, so too they may be lost – or drop-out temporarily.

The world through our eyes : Rivkah

I decided to look into students, staff and alumni that have had access to university resources throughout the current covid-19 pandemic. I focused on a small group of people some with ADHD and some without. I kept my experiment very simplistic. In 2018 I was diagnosed with ADHD when getting tested I was asked to look at numerous sequences and patterns to determine how my brain worked. I wanted to observe patterns the brain through pattern.

Questions I asked :

1.) Can you create a picture only using two colours to portray how you have felt during this time period (with work, school, emotionally)- this can be made with any choice of media and as simplistic or complex as you’d like .

2.) Can you take a picture of your eye up close looking at the artwork you have created?

3.) Have you noticed a pattern with the colours you have chosen to portray? Have these colours shown up in other art works throughout the pandemic?

Answers for Question Three:

Person A : recurrent use of blue and orange. Could not refrain from using brown. Recurrent face appearing in work throughout pandemic.

Person B: Use of green and red showing up in work. Over artists eye – colours cover him.

Person C: Shapes and feelings. Being locked inside of your own thoughts – pattern within work and feelings towards work.

Person D: Simplicity – circles and lines.

Person E: Spirals, purples and words.

To conclude : Everybody I spoke to had been impacted by the pandemic in their work. They felt trapped and restricted. They demonstrated this by being stuck behind spirals, splatters of colour, stuck in a box, blank faced faces, minimalism. They stare straight into the camera allowing us to see their emotion through their art next to them – how they feel when they make the work – allowing them to have a voice. By creating this series of work it allowed them to understand the patterns within their work in the last 18 months that they themselves had not noticed.

The pictures I have collected are meant to look purposefully digitalised. We have been living in a digitised world for the last year and a half. We are virtual to one another, never meeting in person – humans rely so much on eye contact (how we can see how somebody is feeling) not being able to see the eye virtually, how can we understand one another nowadays ? How does this have an impact on how somebody performs at university or in work? I chose to layout my work in squares almost as if they were zoom call pictures.

This research proposal takes very seriously the values as presented in UAL’s 15-22 Research strategy, recognising the approaches to social justice and diversity to which UAL aspires, by encouraging our students to innovate though initiating dialogue, response and collaborative interaction. One intention is to encourage their capacities for creative enterprise by integrating students into the different stages of the design processes of the research project, affording them invaluable active experience of the fundamentally creative nature of academic research. The knowledge exchange which is so intrinsic to such endeavour will likewise nurture their curiosity, that they can experiment further with innovative research initiatives in their own developing practices.

Perrotta, C. (2021). ‘Underdetermination, Assemblage Studies and Educational Technology: Rethinking Causality and Re-Energising Politics’. Journal of New Approaches in Educational Research, 10(1), 2021. Available at: https://naerjournal.ua.es/article/view/v10n1-3. Last accessed 18.01.21.

UAL Research: https://www.arts.ac.uk/research: Last accessed 18.01.21.

Digital Literacy Research Evaluation Malaya Rhiann Edwards-Roberts BAFT Y2

r.edwards-roberts1120181@arts.ac.uk

Process:

The process I used for collecting data was a more direct approach. I contacted individuals between the age groups of 18 and 50 (from different courses and hierarchies of the college) to gage a wider perception of the digital space with would enable specification later in the project. The response rate was around 60%, the reason for this was mainly due to busy schedules or people feeling as though they “weren’t experienced enough to contribute to the study. Considering this, the responses received were still quite fascinating and diverse.

I asked the following questions:

  • How did you navigate the transition?
  • What did you learn and what did you have to adapt to?
  • Have you ever felt left behind, or have you ever struggled to keep up mentally?

I also suggested that respondents share as much or as little as they liked as well as contributing any further points.

Findings:

I found that people felt generally isolated throughout the online transition, but realised they had to make it work for them. People mostly blocked out the negative feelings and kept themselves preoccupied with other tasks, whether that be learning a new skill, attending classes, or picking up new talents. It was all about finding a way for it to work itself out and to maintain a decent level of ‘sanity’.

I do feel that it was an unexpected change for everyone, meaning the support facilities from work or the university were limited at first. I think it was a learning curb and a challenge of security. It also shows that as creatives, freelances, workers, etc we must maintain a certain level of adaptability. Of course, along the way there can be hiccups and not everyone’s circumstance can be that straightforward. The online and digital space was both a blessing and a curse.

Final Notes:

Saving the best till last. The last respondent provided fantastic insight into balancing work life and homelife in relation to having children, being a woman and a studying/working artist. The reference to how it was expected for the workplace to simply solve our problems was very interesting to me. I think a lot of us sometimes failed to realise that our employers are also people and don’t have the answers to everything. Rather there was a far bigger picture to it all. Support and aid could’ve been provided by heads of organisations and the government in due-er course. Options to support people in various circumstances rather than a ‘simple alternative’ of just moving online.

The response also opened up considerations to bigger issues such as: the role of women in the workplace, relieved/ increased pressures of childcare and healthcare, mental health, placement in the workplace, job security and so much more. Things that are worth looking further into during future research.

I truly appreciate the honestly and consideration of these participants. I hope you find insight and wisdom in their words too.

Also: words highlighted are things that I thought stood out and I’d like to use them in my presentation of the findings.

RESPONSES:

The change happened in the middle of her second year. It was strange but adaptable. Collaboration was difficult though, felt like a missed opportunity to meet new people. However, she made it work, the work produced could’ve been better (thinking back). – We were all learning how to create and navigate. Creating work during Covid as an artist is about finding creative ways to work. Spaces: diversity is an ongoing issue. But it depends on how you see the word spaces. – She never felt left behind rather, ahead. It’s just that the quality declined.

Until the summer where restrictions were lifted. She worked with new people and learnt new skills like still life photography and about her culture.

I think being online something we are forced to deal with. I just adapted to the circumstances, but I can’t say I enjoyed it. Everyone builds up their own little online world, so that it becomes an “ideal world”. People have an online personality to become bearable, however in reality that aren’t like that or does that. In real life it’s quite the same thing, we try to build our comfort zone, where we feel included, but there will always be a time when we feel like outsiders, otherwise it’s not life. The online world has been the most exciting one, but also the most disappointing. Mentally, it destroys you. I think that the transition has been very hard on one side, because we were deprived of the chance to get to know people and really start to get along, or at least to try. But on the other side, for people like me, it has been easier, because you couldn’t really get yourself “in danger”, because it wasn’t me, it was just my name on a screen. It was an easier way, but the wrong one. We’re not going to be always like that, so I didn’t push myself enough, and that’s bad.

The transition initially was hard cause of the practical nature of my course and just constant online calls not being what I was used to, but eventually you start to become somewhat accustomed to things. I’ve had to adapt to looking alert or present during tutorials or meetings since we’re always being looked at on screen. It’s kind of been exhausting to keep looking like you’re paying attention. I think overall the online world has been ok, I think I’ve personally struggled to keep up with the social aspects of being online since my course was heavily collaborative this year, so spending extra amounts of time on teams/zoom sometimes was really draining.

I was okay with the change from going from physical to online for the most part. the only thing I would say i had to adapt to was trying to create my own schedules and keeping myself motivated without the stimulation you would get from in-person education. worst part about it was the social side of it. I barely feel connected to anyone in the course, and it all feels a bit lonely at times. Overall, online has been convenient considering the circumstances but I would still choose physical education if I had the choice.

It was difficult as online there were numerous distractions for me which did not let me study or understand what’s being taught online. It’s still hard.

(The transition) was announced in the beginning of the pandemic and for me it was the best decision to make, also I was happy to stay with my family and work online, I didn’t know it would last more than a year. Then the second year began and even though I really liked being with my family, I was sad not to be at school and use all the materials they offer there and be

able to socialise with people because the first year I didn’t make many friends and I wanted to see that friend and maybe make more friends. The online class was not a problem for me to be honest because I don’t like being in London, and I was able to do so many things on the side that I would have not be able to do if I was in London.

I have learned that it doesn’t matter the gears you have with you to film but it is how hard you would have work for that film, how good the screenplay is, the practice you had to film it, and to make the film. Because fear, I think, has overcome a lot of us during this online process, teachers were wondering if they were able to teach everything their students need to, students were afraid to also to not learn enough, not practice enough, parents were also afraid for their children’s career, and when in fear we lost confidence in ourselves and tend to stay in our bubble not doing anything because of fear. And when something is asked to do as a homework we complain because we don’t even believe in ourselves anymore. I was feeling that way, but what took me out of the water is the people I was talking to. Is to see that I am not the only feeling that way, and I hate to hear people complaining, I hate to see people unhappy. Not feeling themselves, so I was cheering for them, and thanks to that I started to believe in my own words, and they were also hyping me.

How I adapted, I had to change my routine at home, I was lucky not to be the only one at home to have online school, so we were all understanding the situation and respect each person, and times and space to have a good work environment.

There were sometimes when I was feeling like a fish in his aquarium not being able to be understood by the humans. When they were online class with people that were in London, I felt the separation, because of the internet, they were so bugs, and the teacher had to pay attention to both online and on campus students something not easy that they did not manage to succeed…I struggled to keep up because they were times when I just didn’t know what to do, I was always checking my emails, attending every class or at least the most important, but then a teacher was giving a homework and the deadlines were not clear, or the instructions were not clear, then I received email from a class I didn’t attend and it makes me freak out, when we were doing our films (the first time) trying to talk to people with different time zone, different schedule, different ideas and creativity it was so difficult.

But I don’t regret anything because what I have learned this last year had taught so many things on myself and my work that I don’t complain. I am grateful and I can’t wait to come back to « normal » and enjoy each period of my life.

The beginning of the lockdown felt quite novel and there was as a general sense of ‘do what you can’ with what you have. As it became more apparent that this wasn’t just a temporary thing, it became trickier. I didn’t have a desk so was sitting on a really crap sofa or my bed, and could really feel how bad that was, not just for my body, but mentally as well. Without a living room, and no space in the kitchen, I was confined to my room 24/7 and this meant that there wasn’t any mental separation of activities (leisure/ work/ study etc). It was difficult to switch off. This was also coupled with the loss of the commute – which I realised had been crucial to me psychologically separating my different roles, responsibilities and mentally preparing for the day, or winding down at the end of it. For example, my commute was just over an hour, and after work I’d stick on my music, think about how the day went, think about what to cook for dinner for the family and prep myself for getting into mum mode once I walked through the door! With lockdown and the loss of the commute, schools shutting/ home learning, I was juggling everything simultaneously which definitely took it’s toll. During spring/ summer I started to go for walks in the evening as an alternative to the commute, which really helped, but during the winter months this was nigh on impossible! As a single mum working (almost) full time, there little top-down guidance or policy from the government or heads of organisations as to what was reasonable, how to manage this all (especially with the shutting of after school care) and protection of jobs. Instead, the honus was placed on line-managers to make judgement calls, which had it’s problems. There have been very little articles/ think pieces in mainstream media about single parents and the impact of online working, as well as those that are carers or have become carers during this time. It’s been super stressful.

Throughout the lockdown there have been increased meetings online – the screen time is pretty exhausting and my eyesight has rapidly deteriorated; I’ve also noticed anxiety amongst both staff and students about the exposure of home living/ circumstances if you choose to out on your camera. I think there is definitely an underlying and unspoken pressure sometimes, to have your camera on, and a need to defend why you dont want it on. I noticed a difference in spring/ summer 21 with students opting to turn off cameras (when they previously had been ok with having it on) and think this was part of ‘zoom fatigue’ and also the over exposure of people’s personal spaces. There has been much less engagement with Creative Shift activities over the last few months, particualrly as the sun started shining, and students were in the thick of it with deadlines and probably, just wanting to get off screens where possible or take up paid work where possible.

During the pandemic, I’ve also been studying on the pgcert and after full day sessions online – I’m exhausted – in a way that I probably wouldn’t have been had the sessions been in person. It takes a different kind of energy to work online, meet new people, learn how to use new platforms. Very energy draining. I remember thinking, how on earth are our students doing this, more or less everyday, supporting themselves financially, running side hustles and then coming along to some of our online zoom events as well? I totally commend the students for their tenacity, but I’m also worried about their wellbeing, and the burn-out. As we’ve on the whole been feeling this as staff.

There has been some positives to online working/ wfh though; particularly as a woman, it’s been great not having to drag myself into work during my ‘time of the month’ comes on, especially when having bad cramps and being able to work in my bed has been a big plus! Also, wfh has meant that when I’ve had to pop into my daughters school or collect her unexpectedly, I’m just round the corner rather than half way across london. It has made me think about how generally work places and hours are based around cis males, and not around women or mothers. Hopefully, this experience will provide real change and greater flexibility particularly for families and women.

COLOURS:

  • Brown
  • Orange
  • Purple
  • Pink

Juliette Wiggins: Guide on how to navigate through my discussion about digital literacy:

The design of this work was inspired by children’s board games as a linear course from start to finish.

The conversation starts with the question from the interviewer/ researcher (in pink) to the interviewee (in yellow).

Juliette Wiggins: Guide on how to navigate through my discussion about digital literacy:

The green lines represent when the interviewer agrees with what the interviewee has said.

The red lines represent when the interviewer disagrees with what the interviewee has said.

The first yellow line represents the interviewee answering the first question.

The pink lines represent the interviewer talking about a new topic to ask the interviewee’s opinion on the subject.

The structure of the dialogue boxes resemble those of post-its so that the different topics of the conversation remain clear and precise.

This whole design is not a comprehensive representation of the actual conversation but rather a visual summary to understand how to interview someone in a less formal way than a survey.

How to interview a friend for a research project without interviewing a friend for a research project?

First of all, always be clear about what the interview really is about and what are the goals you are trying to achieve with it, the point is not to trick your friend into a hidden survey but rather to have a more casual conversation about a specific research topic.

Once you have established the subject of the discussion, ask the first question and really pay attention to the answer. This is important because, in order to keep the casual aspect of it, it is best not to take notes during the conversation, however, it is important to take notes right after so you don’t forget anything they said.

Now, throughout the rest of the discussion, it is important that you let the interviewee express themselves on the subject, however you can asks some questions to keep the conversation relevant.

Self-reflection on digital literacy: (Juliette Wiggins)

Working on falling through the gaps:

I am going to be honest. I did not know what to expect when I started working on this research project. I didn’t fully understand exactly what we were doing and I think I understood the main aspects of this research project only after the second meeting (on the 11th of June) when other participants talked about how they were doing. What I missed during this first part were some directions or examples, just to have a starting point, because I felt that there were no rights or wrongs, which retrospectively was a good thing, but because of that, I struggled to get a concrete idea of what content to produce and under which format (text or visual) to produce it.

Interviewing people about digital literacy and falling through the gaps was more difficult than I thought for many reasons. First, it was difficult to describe the project to other people because I myself didn’t quite understand what we were doing at first. Second, because I realised that I didn’t meet a lot of people this year: we were five in my group of friends, two of them moved out of London to other countries right after the end of classes. I was left with two potential participants and only one of them replied to my message. And finally, I also got the feeling that people were tired of talking about what had happened during this pandemic and that it was perhaps too soon to have an objective reflection over the last year. This is why the replies I got were mostly negative comments about how difficult it has been to study under those circumstances. I felt that the answers I received were only critics about how UAL could have done more for the students’ health and wellbeing and how powerless we were when we found ourselves locked down for months in our student rooms.

Once I had done my interview and got the answers, I searched for a creative idea to display them and I kept thinking about how my friend and I either strongly agreed or strongly disagreed on all of the topics and there was no in-between. It made me think about certain questionnaires that you find in magazines which bring you to a certain conclusion according to your answers to the questions. I put everything on InDesign and ended up with this sort of labyrinth of questions and answers. I feel like I could have done something more detailed and sophisticated if I had more time. Especially to practice on InDesign because I felt that what I did was very basic and I want to do better-looking designs next time.

My final work is a combination of different shapes and visuals, the answers I got from my friend’s interview and a little reflection about the interview process.

My own experience of falling through the gaps:

Navigating through different platforms has been a challenge for all students this year. In my experience, it was very stressful because I am not very comfortable with technology in general: I always assume that something is going to go wrong and I am going to embarrass myself (that did happen a few times actually).

One aspect of this situation was how different it is to communicate with other people online: for example when people talk at the same time because of the slight delay between the different connexions, when people start every conversation with “can you hear me ok?”, the infamous breakout rooms where no one dares to say a word. We had to get used to this new communication mode in a short amount of time because it quickly became our new “normal”.

Another aspect of it was the difference between the formal aspects of some online events (interviews or conferences for example) and the informal environment they were happening in (a small room in a student accommodation). This was especially difficult because my desk was standing a mere 50 centimetres from my bed. I had to be creative and come up with solutions to establish a clear separation between my studies and my leisure and free time because all were happening in the same space. I found that dressing formally and even putting on lipstick helped me be in a “work zone” and as soon as my meetings were done and my day was over, I would quit the jeans and put on leggings to feel more comfortable.

The lack of spatial boundaries between work and leisure meant that I had to set aside some days when I did not work at all because otherwise I would work a little bit every day and never really rest. The main example of this was during the Easter holidays when I really struggled to switch off work completely. After a couple of days of unproductive work alone in my room, I called my brother just to have a chat and he bought me a couple of Sims extension packs for my PC. I then spent the next four days only playing the Sims on my computer which was great for my mental health because for a couple of hours I could escape the reality of my small student accommodation room and live in a virtual world of big houses on the beach.

However, since almost all my leisure time was spent on my computer, I sometimes felt as if my whole life was happening only online: my work, my studies, my hobbies and my social life. The only thing I was doing offline was cooking because it was honestly the only thing left to do since everything else was unavailable due to the pandemic.

Ideas for Showcasing Results from Rivkah

Highlight keywords and creative a graphic illustration that presents recurring words in different languages.

Create an engagement spectrum.

Create a colour map (animated).

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