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What are you doing with Discussion Forum Analytics?

Question asked by Ian Holder on Apr 26, 2018
Latest reply on May 13, 2018 by Ian Holder

Hi all,


We're currently looking at extracting some interesting learning analytics from discussion forums, which are a key interaction tool for our online courses.  My manager had discovered Kumu, and when people ask me for stats I usually get from Pyramid (how many students posted; who posted to which forum...), I have been using Kumu to produce Social Network Analysis diagrams as a bonus for them to get their feedback.  Early days yet, but the response has been positive.


To do this I need to use the SQL Server Analytics database, and I've been extracting who is replying to whom as well as the roles of the participants -- and those who did not post at all.  I then get something like this when I upload the data:



[ red=never posted; pink=student who posted; orange=assistant;  green=faculty :  I think -- I'm red/green colour-blind

  thickness of lines indicate strength of communication, as does the colour from red to blue]



I'm having fun doing these, and probably spending more time than I should on them!  But I wanted to share it [I'm sure other tools are available] as something I think could bring value to the questions "Are my forums working as I intended?", "Who are the key students in my forums", etc...  And they are fairly easy to do once you get the SQL right!  Happy to share what I have here too.


And that got me thinking of other tools and visualisations and representations that might be out there.  What are you using to represent discussion forum analytics?  Or perhaps analytics from blogs or journals?  Any nifty tools you know of, or any work you've done in Excel or another common tool that gave you that 'A-ha' moment?  I'd love to hear about them.