October 2022 OEG Connect Stats

We are working on improvements to improve OEG Connect and have been participating in a Community Experience Masterclass.

I am curious what others think about what this means for OEG Connect this a valuable community for open educators. What would make it valuable to you?

In the class are looking at metrics in Week 8: If You Ain’t Measuring It… Fortunately, the discourse platform here provides quite a lot of metrics.

Check key community metrics for growth each month:

  • Active Users - target is 30%
  • Traffic - target is 10% month-on-month growth
  • Signups - target is 10% month-on-month growth
  • Likes - target is 10% month-on-month growth
  • Accepted Solutions - target is 10% month-on-month growth

First look at Sept 26-Oct 26 stats in Discourse for OEG Connect, making notes of what has happened which are factors







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As would be the case in assessing pedagogical impact, much of the story will unfold based on qualitative data, including qualitative targets.

One way to put it could be:

“How would you describe the OEG Connect experience from the community’s perspective if all your wishes could come true? What makes that experience different from what the community currently has?”

Of course, there’s a lot of context to bring to every metric. For instance, what counts as active participation? (Some may argue that there are users who are too active for their own good and should get a penalty. :wink: )
In fact… What are “Accepted Solutions”? Since Bacon’s content is closed, I’m not sure where to locate descriptions definitions.

An interesting signal, browsing threads, is when there’s a bunch of “we haven’t heard from so-and-so in a while”.

Cela faisait un moment que nous n’avions pas vu [username]. Son dernier message remonte à il y a 5 mois.

To my mind, it’s useful because it implies that something triggered that person’s response.

Which brings up the connections between threads. Sounds quite likely that the awards announcements had quite an impact on other threads, even if people didn’t respond directly and may not have clicked on those specific links.

It’d also be interesting to do a bit of a scan of other things happening among Open Educators. Say, the ENCORE+ network event or “that other OE conference”.

Interesting @cogdog thanks for sharing - also more anonymous users than I would expect as well. I wonder why that is?

Some because most of our content is open to read without a login. But more than that, the first graph of visits indicates a large amount of visits by web crawlers, which then causes our Connect links to come up in search results.

In our masterclass I have learned this pattern is not unusual.

For example look at this long topic started by a new user @Rimit1

I asked how they found our site and was told it was via a search result on “internet in a box” that lead to an active discussion here.

I like that conversations here can become reasons for more people like Rimit to join this community.

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There are many levels of useful participation, not always posting a lot (sharing, liking, inviting others outside to read/participate).

One of the most valuable things is to mention someone with the @username convention when you post, that creates a notification, like a twitter mention, that hopefully nudges someone into a conversation – @Lena already did that in this thread (let’s see, can I nudge maybe my colleagues @IslaHF @marcela @Mario @paulstacey @igorlesko @LizYata @unatdaly to join here and offer input onto what might work to increase spontaneous community actions? or here I just might be spamming them, but you have to risk that).

And yes, the Discourse platform does many subtle things to encourage, there are a number of settings and things to try out.

Something good kicked in over the last few weeks. Seeing many congratulations messages on the Awards and naming our our new Executive Director is positive- but as I have been whispering on the side, we also like to see replies that spark new conversations, ask for feedback, etc (and saw a good bit of that).

The other part I would like to see more is people starting a topic, unprompted, as you did with the Stack Overflow post (so relevant because of its rich amount of asking and community answering of questions).

I sense some reluctance (no data), and it could be the messy structure here I hope to address soon, but I think more if you do not see other asking questions, will you be the first? (well I know you will).

Ah it took me a while. Most of the participants are in the tech area that look to do Stack Overflow Q&A in community spaces. Discourse has a plugin where we could create a place for open educators to ask specific questions, and replies can be upvoted (I think), and then assigned a status of being a community answer. It works well in Stack Overflow for specific programming examples, I am less sure it works here, but am open to consider.

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@enkerli I like that you posed those questions in an appreciative inquiry based context.

I know I would love to see us have some conversations about the components of our strategic plan and the work that our members do that is aligned. For example, have conversations (knowledge exchange) on where and how we can build the field of OER/OEP, how it’s being done in some areas (successes), what needs are from others, and how we can work together (value co-creation networks).

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Thanks Lisa for the suggestions to tie into or build around the OEGlobal Strategic Plan

So could there be a series of topics that discuss a specific element of the plan, where we call for responses in the areas mentioned?

The design challenge I am trying to unravel here in OEg Connect is that we created a lot of buckets (categories) based on projects/events, but our members (and the public) might come looking to find discussions grouped by their interests.

Our September team meeting came up with four broad areas I am thinking of recasting the front entrance to reflect:

  • Content - courses, OERs, tools, textbook, media, resources, open stuff
  • Practices - pedagogy, research, professional development data, privacy, attribution, licenses
  • Policy - how institutions, organizations create systems to formally support open education, and includes discussions on management, leadership, strategic thinking
  • Vision - big ideas, futurism, global perspectives, SDGs.

And then using tags to cross connect.

Many of the existing areas would fall under an OEGlobal area, and we keep the Plaza as an open place to meet, introduce, etc.

It’s been exciting to see this spurt of activity this month, and I would like to keep that momentum going.

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Those would likely help bring clarity to community activities. Instead of an elaborate map (that few people would ever read), it’d provide enough navigation for our purposes.
Of course, there are also methods to test this type of thing, such as card sorting. Though that might not deliver improved results over your four areas.

That part’s important since it can lead to unexpected types of collaboration. @cogdog you’ve occasionally moved a thread from one section to the other. And, in some cases, the Plaza could start from informal discussions then lead to more formal exchanges, building up shared material for the core areas.

(In most of my courses, I’ve had a “café-style” forum for general discussion as well as topical ones where learners would do the expected work. It often helped me maintain an appropriate dynamic in the group. In some cases, students even used such forums to organize study groups for other classes. I took that as a “win”.)

That’s close to what I see.

At this point I just want to try something different, and yes, I use/abuse my admin rights here and do regularly reorganizing of categories. One of the many positive features of this discourse platform, is that changing a category or even the title, never breaks a link.

As an example and mostly unrelated, the URL for this topic is

 https://connect.oeglobal.org/t/october-2022-oeg-connect-stats/4318/

but discourse ignores all the verbiage in the middle, it has a built in short link that always works.

https://connect.oeglobal.org/t/4318/

And there’s a lot to be said and curated with tags (this one for posts about technology for offline OER), we’ve been doing some of that, but would be interested in any volunteers that might want to contribute here as tag curators.

This does raise a spectre of too much/too loose taxonomy building. That’s another post!

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Teaser!
And there might be a way in Discourse to follow from one thread to the next. (If I recall correctly from other instances.)

Where it gets quite relevant for the movement is that taxonomies, vocabularies, and ontologies are an important part of OER work. Not meant as a joke: maybe some OER librarians with expertise in OER metadata would like to chime in! Not sure who to mention, here. We’ve been using Normetic (based on LOM) and pushing for MLR. @PerrineCoet has contacts using supLOMfr. @annalin uses LRMI. @samedi & @vstojano have presented about OER metadata. @axel.klinger has mentioned a German vocabulary.
Basically, I’m getting the impression that work done on OER indexation could improve the inner workings of this site. In the end, Discourse itself could serve to co-create learning material for people in the OE field.

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