Wednesday, 21 December 2011

A year in the life of the Elevate Team blog

The Elevate Team blog is the central communication tool for the Elevate Team. It is the communication channel which helps us meet our broad aims;

  • Help staff to integrate innovative technologies to enhance their teaching programmes

  • Share innovation and good practice through facilitating an active community

  • Evaluate the impact of enhancements on the student learning experience

  • Develop and pilot ways to enhance and develop learning through innovative technologies

Therefore, a question for us is, to what extent is it being used, and our people engaged with it?

In terms of use, we have focussed on disseminating the enhancement aspects of our activities, and less around service news (performance and availability) of our key services. We are seeing regular blog posts from the team, and the wider UCS teaching community. An encouraging development is the re-tweeting of some blog posts. This indicates a sharing of innovation and good practice. An aspect which we've not encouraged, but do need to, is the use of comments. This is important if the tool is to facilitate an active community.

So, back to the questions at the start? Well, a quick  review of Google Analytics indicates people are engaging with the blog. A fuller picture is evident from:

We are seeing an increase in absolute visitors per month, with over 670 in September 2011. It is encouraging to see the return rate (vs new visitors) is nearly 50%. Therefore, over the year, one out of every two visits was someone returning to the blog. In terms of where these people are located, we are clearly focussing on our region (which is want you'd expect), with the vast majority of people accessing the resource from Ipswich, London or Norwich. Interestingly, we do have an increasing international following, with the people in the USA, Brazil and France regularly being in the top three locations. This international dimension is evident from the image, which indicates we have had visitors from all over the world

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