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August 4 - August 15: Net Neutrality

May 12 - June 8: TeachTheWeb

Partnerships & People

What went right

We partnered with P2PU to develop a new platform that is wildly better than anything we've had before. We connected with "non-Webmaker" communities such as:

  • P2PU
  • School of Open
  • Open Coalition
  • NCS Digital Graduates

and others. Our "professors" were highly engaged. We had a successful turnaround on outreach, despite last minute hacking and short staff.

What went wrong

We didn't have enough buy-in from staff, so the production of the platform required a steep learning curve for a non-developer/non-designer. It also meant we didn't have enough outreach to communities to drive participation, which resulted in a shortage of co-facilitators / super mentors helping to facilitate and encourage. Due to small staff, we were unable to capture the School of Webcraft community (who are mostly autonomous learners), and we have been unable to keep up with content refreshes on the platform itself.


What went right

The rework of the original #TeachTheWeb content was great. We had a better structure, flow and graphical look. We were able to integrate the Make Gallery to display potential projects, creating a stronger tie between Training and Webmaker proper.

The discussion threads that went deep went deep, and our Discourse install is beginning to feed into new content initiatives such as the need for more multimedia and video content, Net Neutrality/DRM work, and a Training specifically :For Librarians.

We also received participant feedback that our emails were awesome and very helpful.

What went wrong

We need to iterate towards more concrete "first steps" and CTAs that have a better balance of ambient and directed learning. We should consider better branding as "Training" implies people will get a 1-2-3, and the cMOOC allegiance may be more inline with the vision. Finally, “Training” implies some kind of "certification", which we do not yet have.

We need more broadcast quality media and ideas, prototypes and hands to create the content, and we need more quick access libraries of resources/assets to help people navigate their learning.

The decision to implement badges for participation went back and forth for more than two weeks after the launch of the Training, so when we finally decided for them, it was too late to weave them into the narrative.


What went right

We are getting better at defining what appropriate ecosystems of tools are for learning and for the Webmaker community. Switching to a new platform and encouraging the use of Discourse is strategically smart because both backends allow us to iterate towards what we need (whereas previous platforms like G+ will not scale or integrate in a manageable way). Training also pushed the "what is/are" prototyping conversation forward.

What went wrong

Changing technologies is always hard. The difference between G+ and Discourse has been a problem that we still need to communicate. People were also confused about whether they were on Webmaker. We built a Webmaker login for Training, but the domain separation meant that users had to “sign into Webmaker” twice, which was confusing.

Modularity and Timing

What went right

The entire experience was shorter and more modular, which resulted in fluctuation of new participation and more evergreen signup. Modularity seemed to show that people want to have more synchronous activity or know start-end date, which will allow us to design for more modes.

What went wrong

We used segmentation in BSD, and it did more harm than good. We desperately need to figure out the list and signup strategy.

There were significant timing issues as well. We had too much overlap with #clmooc and #ds106, where a large part of our community and target audience also like to participate. We should work more closely with #clmooc to complimnet each other's initiatives.

The timing hard in the US because it was right before school ending, and it was difficult internally because of All Hands and the reworking of Webmaker.org

See numbers and draw your own conclusions


#TeachTheWeb: So you want to run a cMOOC