Student use of blogs and mobiles
I’ve done a little quick-&-dirty research on use of blogs and mobiles on H800 as part of my end of course assignment, and publish the results here in case anyone else finds the data useful.
1. Course-related blogging
Seven months into the course, I counted 70 students who were maintaining or had maintained course-related blogs – just over half the enrolled student cohort. I don’t know how many students had dropped out by Week 29, but a fairly conservative drop-out rate of 15% would push 70 student bloggers up to nearly two-thirds of the still-participating cohort. Of those 70, 80% had begun their blogs on H800, the remainder starting to blog on previous MAODE courses or elsewhere.
Student bloggers’ productivity ranged from just three posts and less than 1000 words, to more than 100 posts and well over 50,000 words. Most bloggers posted several times a month, and around half received regular comments from fellow students, where regular = a comment:post ratio of 1 or more.
Clearly, a substantial minority of students – more than 33% – blogged reluctantly or not at all. But it’s clear too that for many H800 students, blogging was an important part of their experience as learners.
2. Mobiles for learning
Eighteen students took part in my online survey of mobile usage on H800 during Weeks 28 and 29. I have no idea how representative the sample might be of the cohort as a whole.
More than 8 in 10 respondents (83%) reported using “mobile phones or other mobile devices to help with their H800 studies”. Of these, the vast majority (87%) used pocket-sized devices for this purpose – mobile phones, smart-phones, iPod touches etc – the remainder using a netbook or iPad.
In joint first place, the two most popular types of mobile study support were “To access the course website/VLE” and “To read posts in the tutor group forum”; with “To read or write H800-related updates to Twitter” and “To communicate with other students” sharing second place. The table shows all the use-type responses in order of popularity.
Finally, I asked all respondents “how important is mobile functionality to you as a learner?” Just under three quarters – 71% – replied “really important” to this question, with 29% saying “useful but inessential” and 6% “not important”.