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Forum Usage Survey Results

Discussion in 'Mathematics' started by DM, Aug 7, 2011.

  1. DM

    DM New commenter

    Over a three day period in August 2011, people were asked to best describe their use of the TES Mathematics Forum.

    214 people responded
    21 were regular users (at least one post per fortnight)
    58 were occasional users (at least one post per quarter)
    132 were lurkers (rarely or never post)
    3 were Department for Educations spies

    10% regulars
    27% occasionals
    62% lurkers
    1% spies

    So not exactly in the ratio 1:10:100 but, in the last 24 hours, responses were almost exclusively from lurkers.

    Any suggestions about how we might encourage our hooded, shadowy friends to engage (I'm not talking about the DfE spies)?


     
  2. DM

    DM New commenter

    Over a three day period in August 2011, people were asked to best describe their use of the TES Mathematics Forum.

    214 people responded
    21 were regular users (at least one post per fortnight)
    58 were occasional users (at least one post per quarter)
    132 were lurkers (rarely or never post)
    3 were Department for Educations spies

    10% regulars
    27% occasionals
    62% lurkers
    1% spies

    So not exactly in the ratio 1:10:100 but, in the last 24 hours, responses were almost exclusively from lurkers.

    Any suggestions about how we might encourage our hooded, shadowy friends to engage (I'm not talking about the DfE spies)?


     
  3. CarrieV

    CarrieV Lead commenter

    I would imagine a few are primary teachers who take one look at the titles of some of the threads, don't understand a word of what's going on and race back to the Primary Forum as fast as they can, thanking their lucky stars that they only have to get their heads round the Primary curriculum[​IMG]
    And you can include me in there too!
     
  4. DM

    DM New commenter

    Well we could do with them here on September 5th when the new Primary mathematics curriculum is unveiled.
     
  5. Two thoughts. Firstly, a lot of the threads are very specific - a certain problem, a certain qualification, a certain notation etc. No problem with that at all, but perhaps we could appeal to a wider group of people with discussions on wider issues - Classroom Environment, Assessment, Low ability? My second thought is more an opinion, but I find too many of the contributions needlessly unhelpful, impolite and unwelcoming.
     
  6. DM

    DM New commenter

    I agree with your first thought brookes. Unfortunately, I know I am highly unlikely to start any generic threads (although I would read them and possibly contribute to them). You may have just found yourself a new role.
    The other point keeps cropping up but I don't think we can expect any poster to be friendly or welcoming - whether adults choose to be cordial or disagreeable is entirely up to them. Our army of lurkers will just need to toughen up and try not to take offence.
     
  7. Colleen_Young

    Colleen_Young Occasional commenter

    Good thoughts Brookes. We have had some interesting threads in the dim and distant past on wider issues such as homework / marking / being efficient. We also had one - something like 'what worked well this week?' or something like that.
     
  8. DM

    DM New commenter

    Oh God. Can we make a pact to shoot anyone who turns into a facilitator?
     
  9. DM

    DM New commenter

    Feel free to ignore my previous post if it appears in any way unfriendly or unwelcoming.
    [​IMG]
     
  10. bombaysapphire

    bombaysapphire Star commenter

    Lol! Not wishing to facilitate in anyway but some general threads that I would find (and have found) useful are:
    • ideas for first lessons
    • rich tasks
    • functional tasks
    • revision lessons
    • lesson ideas which went well
    No point in starting these threads until closer to September though I would suggest.
     
  11. Colleen_Young

    Colleen_Young Occasional commenter

    All good ideas.

    Was going to say something about facilitators earlier...but thought - better not!
     
  12. Thanks for doing the survey, it has been interesting!
    For myself, whne I have lurked it has been for a number of reasons.
    Sometimes I don't have time, enough time to write a really useful post, rather than just dash something off with more mistakes and confusion.
    sometimes I like to read some of the longer posts, like Tandy does, and go away and think about them.
    Sometimes I just can't add anything because it doesn't make sense. Or having read the title I click in and then realise it's not as interesting as I thought.
    Perhaps the lurkers need a button just to show that something has been read. A bit like the Facebook 'like' where you don't have to add a comment. You can just show you like it. Perhaps the Maths site needs a 'read it' button?
     
  13. Colleen_Young

    Colleen_Young Occasional commenter

    Some forums actually have a count of the number of views - which really shows up the number of active participants compared to people just reading. I agree with pipipi - sometimes a thread is not quite what you thought - so you just read and go away. Sometimes you think that's really interesting / useful appreciating the contributions but have nothing to add.

    Sometimes posts are really really long and you have other stuff to do.
     
  14. Tandy

    Tandy New commenter

    Oh eck! Am I putting people off? Do I do long posts?
     
  15. Tandy

    Tandy New commenter

    Thanks for the survey. I looked in to this a couple of years ago too. When I talked to teachers about it (and other folk invovled in maths ed), the common sentiment that came through from self-confessed lurkers was that they felt that putting their thoughts in writing exposed them to criticism or that they felt that their beliefs were not worthy of being shared.
    Teaching, for many reasons, does seem to have a large proportion of people who have low self-confidence in their own thoughts on education. One of the criticisms I have heard of forums is that the content is often too "high brow" for regular teachers. I find this saddening. Every teacher out there has as much to contribute as every other. And just because some of us don't want to jabber on with long educational theory words, or prefer to talk about what is seen in schools on a daily basis - the practical, the real - rather than quote Gatengo, it doesn't (shouldn't) make our opinions less valuable.
    There is a place for both, surely.
    Teachers would often talk about feeling intimidated by other posters. Actually, I think the TES forum is less guilty of this than some other maths ed forums, because there are enough regular folk on here who are... well... regular
     
  16. Hi all ,
    Willl have to admit i am a lurker, have been for the past 7 years!!!. Enjoy reading all your posts. Thanks Keep it Up, don'[t feel the need to post much.

     
  17. I like the idea of having some discussions on general topics/themes.
    It is certain that there does appear from time to time some unnecessarily unhelpful responses to fairly reasonable questions/requests. Yes we are all adults and choose how to respond, and indeed lurkers "toughening up" would prevent this but isn't necessarily a realistic expectation, and this attitude puts off many contributers who could very well have something interesting to say. I am distinguishing between contributors having a healthy disagreement over issues from contributors who respond in an unhelpful manor to a simple question.
    Perhaps some ground rules could be a compromise. I'm thinking a sticky at the top of the page with a few dos and don'ts, such as:
    • Don't post asking for someone else to plan your interview/observation lesson for you. By all means ask for advice by suggesting what you've come up with so far.
    Other than these obvious annoyances, perhaps there is a middle ground where lurkers can toughen up a bit and regulars can be a bit more sensitive to the different needs of all contributors?
     
  18. totally agree with the above, unhelpful and sometimes sarcastic responses tends to put us off!!

     
  19. DM

    DM New commenter

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  20. I personally like the sarcasm, but then again I'm told by many people that I often come across as quite rude, and so all I'm saying is that maybe we need to accept that <u>if</u> we want to get more debate and discussion going on the forum (I highlight the 'if' not because I don't want it, but because it appears that that's what others, including DM, want), then maybe the sarcasm will have to be saved for regulars, and not a contributor who is posting for the first time?
     

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