For some reason I'm up at 3:20am. May as well think of analytics.
These are in addition to Pyramid - Bb Mobile App Stats for Forum Posts and Pyramid - Include Thread Name in Forum Submissions Perspective .
As a provider of online education, as well as internal classes, discussion forums are a key resource for our academics, as well as for our students: not only as a place to have questions answered but to foster a sense of community in a dispersed cohort. Forum analytics are one of the types of analytics we constantly get asked about, and a major project underway at our uni has investigating successful ways of using the forums as part of its brief.
Currently through A4L we get can get posts students have made via the Submissions reports, but these do not scale to large analysis. Pyramid somewhat fills this gap: we can get very useful statistics on the % of staff / students posts, the number of posts by week, etc., and even better we can drill down, export the data, and produce Pivot Tables in Excel, for instance, showing which students contributed to which forums, which weeks individual students posted in, and more.
But, as annoying users, we want more. And get asked for more. I am aware my list may be long, and may be complex, but I provide it as a means of highlighting what we are being asked for. And it may be some of these are better suited to "big data". But I ask anyway. I'd be very interested in others' thoughts as to how they currently use forum analytics, and want to use forum analytics.
Our wish list:
* in the Course Item Activity perspective, full reporting on accesses and time spent accessing the Forums and Threads would be great -- we often get asked who are the lurkers, not posting, but reading. And, also, who is not posting and not reading. Time spent in a forum and thread [as we have time spent in blank pages, content folders, etc.] would be useful here too. We understand, and we may be wrong, that accesses in this perspective to Forums and Threads are only counted if a course link [or tool link?] is clicked to access the forums, and accesses through the left-hand menu links are not counted, so a full and complete count of accesses would be great and enable us to answer the posted questions. If my understanding is wrong, please let me know;
* to the Forum Submissions perspective, the time a post was made would be great also. We have produced heat maps through Pyramid and Excel of when are the popular times for students to post and academics to respond, but being able to give a timeframe and say, on average, or for a particular thread, it took the academic x hours to respond would be helpful;
* also in the Forum Submissions, we can see if posts are original posts or replies -- is there any way to include a number for replies?: e.g. reply 1, reply 2, reply 3; and
* finally!, in the Forum Submissions perspective we can see if a file is attached to a post. What would be better would be to see what type of file it is [audio, video...] to give an idea of what content is being posted.
Thanks for reading all this. As above, interested in all and any feedback -- even telling me I'm asking too much.
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