Our Mental Wealth: know it and grow it course came to end on 29th November. There is still some facilitation going on, just keeping an eye on badges and such. It's been a great learning experience and the facilitators are hopeful of running it again, and exploring different approaches.
I just thought to share a few snippets of our adventures with you. Sorry it's a bit messy, but just wanted to share this now, despite being a little busy at the moment.
We included an anonymous optional survey at the start and end of the course. The start-of-course survey allowed us to tweak the course on-the-run (a little, not as much as we would have liked) and this was fantastic to be able to respond to the cohort in some way.
The end of course survey (just added to the site) has much more richly qualitative responses, about whether participants enjoyed their experience. We actually did not ask permission from respondents to share responses (should have done that in hind sight - even though the surveys were anonymous) otherwise, I'd be happy to share some of the qualitative commentary here with the community. Responses so far are very positive!
What I can share at the moment, is some demographics/observations which are are interesting insight into the cohort as a whole:
226 signed up (not all active participants)
and we had 91 responses to our optional anonymous start-of-course survey
How they found us
Email and word of mouth through organisations brought a majority of our traffic (mental wellbeing and mental health organisations)
A majority of respondents identify personal interest as the main reason for participation, next was professional development
Where they were from
80% respondents live in Australia, and respondents represented 14 countries are represented
(Note: To get a true reflection of the countries represented, we could take into account those who represented their location in the discusion forums and our interactive map - and it would be great to compare this with server data/logs - not sure if this kind of data is available though?)
About the respondents
25 respondents indicated that English was a second language, and that their proficiency was some proficiency to high range.
80% of respondents were female
34% of respondents were 45-54 years old
22% 35-44 years old
14% 15-24 years old
Formal education and employment
(This was useful to know to determine if expecting participants to spend 2 hours a week on a course is realistic)
50% had existing formal undergraduate qualifications (Bachelor's or equivalent)
15% had other short-cycle tertiary education qualifications
* Note: We used the UNESCO ISCED (International Standard Classification of Education) list to make sure these qualifications options were applicable choices
70% of participants are currently employed.
Just under half (42.9%) respondents are currently employed part-time, followed by those who employed full time (27.5%).
Students make up nearly 20% of the respondents, a majority studying full time.
Experience of online courses
60% of all respondents rate themselves as having no experience to some experience of online study.
Nearly 30% of this group indicate that that have no experience at all with online courses.
5 badges have been awarded so far. (Note: The badge interface seems to require you to upload an image, although it doesn't seem to indicate this is required field.)
A few minor bits of P2PU interface feedback:
We had 5 or so people contact us (there may have been more who didn't contact us) via Facebook, or contacting the facilitators directly, who encountered problems with sign-up. With troubleshooting I was able to find out that in a majority of cases this was because they weren't seeing the error message relating to username on the sign up page (error message are in the default text colour) and were also thrown a little by the terminology of 'slug' for username.
This meant they invested a lot of attempts trying to change their password, thinking that this was the problem. One or two people also reported using the 'recaptcha' interface more difficult than other similar human verification interfaces on other sites.
A few participants (myself included) discovered that if you post into the forum accidentally as a Guest, you can't delete your post.
That's it. Sorry for the length of this message, but I hope there are points of interest.
I would be very happy to share more stories of our experience, particularly if it can help or encourage other people to try P2PU. It worked really well and one of the key advantages is that for facilitators, it's simple to use. It's not like trying to learn a complex learning management system. This is an advantage for participants too, particularly in our case - we didn't expect so many participants completely new to online courses.