PLENK (Personal Learning Environments, Networks and Knowledge) is a course where we are exploring the literature relating to PLEs (personal learning Environments). I want to capture these publications in a reference management program. While I use one of the major ones, I have heard a lot about another, and I thought it would be a good idea to survey what other participants are using. Collaboration is one of the features that might be tried within the course. I placed a quick one-question survey in Survey Monkey which I linked to from a discussion post in the General Discussion area this past Saturday. My surprise is that there have been a mere 7 responses out of a course base of 1,000+.

This is a MOOC (massive open online course), and participants are approaching it in a number of different ways. Perhaps a great number are not making it to the General Discussion topics, or perhaps many are tired of surveys. There is even the possibility that informal polls are not in favour. Someone might suggest it be advertised in a different way. I will give it longer, but I just wanted to note my surprise!


  1. The way a MOOC works isn’t to try to mass 1300 people into one activity or event. It’s distributed, like a network. Probably only a small percentage of the participants are reading discussion posts, and of those, you’ve obtained the usual 1 percent response.

  2. It was excellent to offer a simple one question survey – i think your tactic was good. There is lots to do – if people don’t read the daily, i suspect most people would have missed your link.

  3. Susan O'Grady

    There are currently so many discussions going on and I’m sure most people don’t follow all of them so perhaps its simply that it wasn’t seen/noticed amidst the offerings

  4. Ken

    Tony, I think you need to realize that just because the survey is there, doesn’t mean people will want to take it. You’re trying to do research. You may see it as just a survey, but it is research. So, you need to stick to some of the research rules, more information, consent form, what is going to happen to the data, why should I take it (just to be kind?), etc. One question or one hundred – the rules apply. Your description is very short. (Also, it may just be where I am, but the survey site took a really loooooooooooong time to respond).

    But, hopefully, you’ll get a good response, now that your notice is in the Daily.

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