Making Connections – Google Analytics

April 29, 2008

Tony Hirst – talking about course analytics, his slides are over on slideshare. His approach was to see via Google Analytics what students do. On the whole we tend to be ignorant about actual behaviour. He showed how to use this to see for a n online course our students come around 2-4 times per week, and how much they read (~8 pages per ivisit), More details on Tony’s slideshare but he did warn about artefacts such as a headline average of access that lasts ~12 minutes turns into more like 20minutes wheeen quick bounce visits are eliminated.

OpenLearn has used analytics in three ways, Moodle logging, across OU analytics (the only way we can establish links with activity such as eventual registration with the OU), and Google Analytics as well. These are very interesting reports but interpretation cannot be rigid – at a simple level we have (at least) three different numbers for how many visitors we have. BTW we use the one from the OU analytics package – significantly less than Google Analytics but more than from Moodle  (which cannot count all pages). Tony has made really good use of the analytics – we have not used the goals feature and it could help us identify routes. A bit tricky though when we are so open to know what the goals are, and when we are set up to leak our content beyond the site.

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