Improving the OpenEd Conference, Report Back 1

Two and half weeks ago I extended an invitation to attendees of the annual OpenEd Conference to “please help make the OpenEd Conference better.” This invitation was extended (successfully delivered by email) to the 2,240 people who (1) have attended the OpenEd conference at some point in the past and (2) are still subscribed to the OpenEd Conference information mailing list. 924 people opened the email (41.3%). The email invited them to either (1) anonymously answer a series of questions about the conference and how it can be improved or (2) indicate their willingness to participate in a 30 minute conversation about the conference and how it can be improved. 214 (9.6%) people clicked on one of the links in the email (taking them to one of the Google Forms collecting this information).

To date, 130 people have answered the questions about the conference posed in this Google Form and 110 of those 130 have licensed their anonymous responses CC0 so that they can be shared with the broader OpenEd Conference community. I have skimmed a dozen or so of these responses but have not begun reading and analyzing them in any detail.

32 people have indicated that they are willing to participate in a 30 minute phone / Skype conversation about the conference (via this Google Form). We started scheduling these calls earlier today (eleven are scheduled so far).

Like everyone else who has ever asked for feedback, I’m worried by how low the participation rate is (~7%). Specifically, the low participation rate causes me to worry about how representative the responses will be of the thoughts and feelings of the broader community of OpenEd attendees. My goal is to get the participation rate up around 15%.

I’m going to send out a second request to the mailing list later this week and see how many additional responses that will garner. Then, if necessary, I’ll begin looking for other ways to increase participation.

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