So I’ve finished going through all the applications for my Entrepreneurial Marketing course and notified everyone of their enrollment status (or at least I hope I have).
Having to choose was not easy. Having to send “sorry you didn’t get in messages” was worse. As was receiving “can’t you let more people in” messages back. (Here was my response. Ugh.)
Some general notes of interest:
- I got a total of 84 applications. Of those, only 3 were so brief or incomplete that I didn’t even score them. My original class size was set at 25. I ended up accepting 41.
- The most popular entrepreneurial enterprises folks are looking at include: Web 2.0 and other technical pursuits (like other open ed projects, P2PU seems skewed that way), web design and/or photography, health/nutrition, and music. There were also a handful of NGOs, non-profits, and personal passions/pursuits.
- Commonly cited examples of effective marketing given in the sign-up task included Apple, Facebook, and fast food in general.
I read all the applications and scored them, but also kept a notes field and a field to indicate my more subjective feeling about the applications (including a go or no go in some cases). After totaling the scores and sorting, the vast majority of the applicants that I had subjectively thought would be strong participants also scored well. There were a few that for one reason or another didn’t. Most of these I added in anyway.
Things I would do differently next time:
- Publish the scoring rubric with the sign-up task
- Better manage communications with applicants (I tried to notify people when I got their applications, but the number of applications and the dynamics of the internal messaging system on P2PU tripped me up, and I was never sure I got to everyone or didn’t message some twice.)
- Consider adding a sign-up task question geared toward peer learning, e.g. “How or what do you think you can contribute to this class as a peer learning experience?” This might be a good way to emphasize the peer learning aspect which not everyone seemed to really get. (I did add this to my rubric scoring but it was not always obvious since I didn’t ask a specific question.)
- Ask people to spell out acronyms. I spent a fair amount of time researching stuff I didn’t know…a good learning experience, but…. (I will do this in the course intro as well and ask folks to ASK if they don’t know what something is.)
I liked being able to add comments to the applications (but unfortunately have been unable to figure out how to view these as a participant — I’m still looking). I think this could be a way to help people refine their learning objectives for the course even before it started.