I thought I would take a stab at defining what connectivist metrics could include. Having read in Stephen’s post, Connectivist Dynamics in Communities, that connectivist networks produce connective knowledge and that four elements (autonomy, diversity, open-ness and interactivity & connectedness) distinguish a knowledge-generating network from a mere set of connected elements, I thought it would make sense to start here.
The metrics that are typically being suggested are metrics such as page views, new memberships, number and type of new media contributions, number of discussion threads, ratings (satisfaction and post ratings), number of new topics, number of connections, social network tracking and number of posts/discussions etc.
I would venture some possible metrics for the four categories that Stephen outlined. Disclaimer: These are random speculations for now.
- Number of individuals who joined the network through invitation vs. requested membership/enrolled by their own agency?
- Number of members who understand how to use tools that are engaged by the network to perform basic functions necessary to participate in the network?
- Number of members who initiated a conversation that involved other people?
- Number of people who participated in a learning activity initiated by others?
- Number of times a member agreed or disagreed with an opinion expressed in the community?
- Number of members belonging to distinct backgrounds (coud be multiple views here)
- Unique resources bookmarked by the member?
- Unique connections vs shared connections
- How many unique conversations exist at any point in time?
- Number of homogeneous or differentiated conversations, by context and by participation?
- What is the net flow of connections to and from the network? Positive/negative vs high/medium/low
- Number of accepted/rejected requests to join the network
interactivity & connectedness
- How many members are engaged in each conversation on average?
- Per member, per background, per conversation statistics of participation
- Trend analyses offered by SNA
Further, the RoI from the network would perhaps emerge if these metrics can answer the following questions:
- Did the network generate new knowledge?
- Did members who needed to learn in order to perform actually learn?
- Were any members disadvantaged in any way and could not benefit from the interactions?
- Did any innovative ideas arise out of the interactions?
- Did nodes in the network become more connected?
- Did members show an increased ability to manage new information and adapt?
More thoughts to follow.