The Undergraduate Education Technology Ecosystem @ PSU: Wikispaces

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With a big project just wrapping up, I'm starting to explore how students here at PSU leverage our wide variety of technology platforms.  Luckily, Penn State has a wide variety of in-house platforms we leverage for undergraduate education.  The first platform I'm exploring is Wikispaces from Emerging Technologies (thanks to the folks at ET for the data!). 

The data below represents a very quick pass at the numbers.  I started by looking at all the students who used Wikispaces in Fall 2009 and made AT LEAST one edit to a page (n = 1095).

  • 52.4% are classified as adult learners.  This needs further exploration because the wikispaces entire data set (n = 3414) seems to show a great deal of institutional use of the space vs. student use.  My initial guess is that a lot of these students classified as adult learners are also PSU employees, and their use of wikispaces might be work related vs. education related.
  • 25.6 average number of edits per user.  This number doesn't mean much until you break it down further.  Of the 1095 students, 420 students (38.3%) made only 1 edit and 783 students (71.5%) made less than 10 edits. Students with 10 or more edits made an average of 166.3 edits in Fall 2009.  I would consider this a potential dividing line for regular users vs. power users of wikispaces.
  • The College of IST represented the largest userbase at 201 unique users, followed by Liberal Arts (186), Engineering (92), Capital College (92), and the College of Education (75).  Two things jump out at me: IST is one of the smallest Colleges on campus but has the highest number of users. Not surprising given the context.  Capital College (Harrisburg) coming in at the number 4 spot is very interesting and merits deeper exploration.
  • In terms of Campus utilization, UP had 715 unique users, followed by World Campus (171), Harrisburg (97), New Kensington (41) and Altoona (11).
  • The gender split is nearly even, with  males representing 57.9% and females 42.1% of users.
  • The average GPA of users is 3.23 and average credits is 59.45.
Obviously much more exploration is necessary, but I thought I'd put these numbers up for people to get a snapshot of Wikispaces utilization by undergraduate students in Fall 2009. 

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5 Comments

It's pretty cool to see this kind of analysis. Brad, Millet, and I are all test cases for the employee/student question. All of us are currently enrolled in a degree program and taking a course this semester.

Yeah, that reminds me I should probably run a grad students vs. resident vs. CE comparison as well.

One of the frustrations is that I can't get a full picture of the data because I can only map it against students (I don't have access to employee staff/faculty info in the warehouse). I'm curious what the breakdown looks like, especially when you start looking at faculty classifications (full prof, associate, assistant, fixed term, etc).

We'll see where it goes. Just having the ability to crunch various data sources together should return some interesting findings.

...this might be a gold mine for those of you looking to write a thesis/dissertation down the road :)

This is really great stuff. On Captial College, I think I can potentially pull that back to a day long wikispaces session we did for all the faculty in the Business department. They were/are interested in co-authoring collections of texts and case studies to share throughout their courses.

Would love to see a similar round up with Blogs.

I wonder if I skew the average as I am considered an adult learner and have made 1551 edits. What's the stdev on that?

The total user population of the service as of today is 15,182.

I wonder if I skew the average as I am considered an adult learner and have made 1551 edits. What's the stdev on that?

The total user population of the service as of today is 15,182.

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