Mini-report: Mental Wealth: know it and grow it


Hello everyone

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:

Sign-up form

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.




Hi @angela,

I really enjoyed reading your “mini-report”. I think it was such a great idea to have the pre and post course surveys. I have two questions for you if you don’t mind.

First Question: I saw the age breakdown you provided and also the 80/20 split in gender. I was just wondering if that 80/20 gender split was consistent across the age categories. Generally, females have more predominantly been involved in the field of psychology, and it would be interesting to see if the gender split is equalising in the younger generations. I realise this is a bit stupid of me to ask, as there are not statistically significant numbers, but I would still be interested to find out from you if that gender split is consistent or not.

Second Question: What did you and other organizers do in terms of advertising the course leading up to its commencement? And do you have any recommendations regarding public advertising of P2PU courses?

Thanks again for all that interesting information in your report.



Thanks for the great update @angela! Great to hear that the course went so well!

Would you be interested in doing a guest post on our blog? I’m sure @bekka would be delighted to help.


Totally! Let me know how I can help, @angela


Thank you for sharing your experience - I found it super useful. I second Dirk and Bekka’s comments and hope you will turn it into a blog post. We can help with that.

(@Bekka I wonder if notifications are working - maybe it’s worth to follow up with Angela by email as well)


Thanks @bekka and everyone. Notifications are working, I did see these wonderful replies last week, just super-busy (mother of two mini geeks when I’m not online).

I’d be happy to turn this into something more suited to the blog. Thanks for the invitation. :slight_smile: With some guidance on what readers might be interested in knowing, hopefully I can share our experiences in a way that could be valuable for others starting their own P2PU journey.

Will follow up with you @bekka.




Hi @ralfe

It’s actually a good question, everyone seems to be excited about big data, but I think even small data hold relevant insights. We can always learn a lot from the microcosm. :slight_smile:

In our small sample of respondents, the gender split didn’t equalise in younger generations.

Here is the breakdown:




Hi @angela,

Thank you for your response. It’s interesting how consistent that ratio is.



Sorry @ralfe, I just realised I neglected to answer your second question, about promotion.

We promoted the site in any way we could think of that bore no cost - although we had University support in terms of using existing resources, e.g. time-in-kind, there was no budget for development of this actual course site and there were plenty of volunteered weekend hours.

We began approx 3 weeks before the course started:

  • facilitators promoted through their existing professional networks (health, educational, government, international colleagues) via email, and Facebook
  • word of mouth
  • uni website, social media (twitter, google+, Facebook)
  • local newspaper and radio coverage in Adelaide, South Australia
  • listing on MOOC directories

In term of ideas for promoting P2PU courses, I’m not sure I have any innovative ideas for this, but I do think there is a lot of enthusiasm among organisations (particularly not-for-profits, but also businesses) where an open course covers something in their domain. Health is a relatively easy area because everyone is interested in health to some extent, personally too. Health impacts us all, but I think there are other areas - in fact any area, can be just as energy-driven. If you can communicate a passion and belief in your open course with a well written message, I think groups, organisations and individuals are usually extremely happy and excited to help you promote the course via their own social media, for example. Hmmm…maybe I’m just a foolish optimist, but I never underestimate the infectiousness of passion and enthusiasm!. :smile:


Hi @angela,

Thank you very much for that detailed response. I totally agree with your thoughts on the infectiousness of enthusiasm, but people still need to be presented with that enthusiasm in some form to then be “infected” and pass on the information to others. I think collaborating with relevant organizations is another great suggestion, as they are likely to already have their own followers, subscribers, readers, etc. to whom they can promote.

Thank you again. It is really nice to see feedback like this.

Kind Regards,