The SoTL Advocate

Supporting efforts to make public the reflection and study of teaching and learning at Illinois State University and beyond…

Assessing the Reach of the SoTL Advocate Blog

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Written by: Jennifer Friberg, Cross Endowed Chair in SoTL and Associate Professor of Communication Sciences and Disorders at Illinois State University

The SoTL Advocate blog started as an advocacy and outreach effort to provide news, ideas, and resources for those interested in SoTL at and beyond Illinois State University in November of 2014. Our intention at that time was to post one blog per week and see what happened, assessing the process periodically. Here we are, 30 months later, so it seemed like a good idea to see where things stood in terms of the status of this blog.

The SoTL Advocate uses wordpress.com for publication of the blog. Statistics are available for all blog managers to use that yield interesting data related to readership and reach of the blog as a whole and of individual blog posts. I accessed the stats for the SoTL Advocate last week and am pleased to report the following:

  • Since November of 2014, we have posted 133 individual blogs and have counted 7197 visitors to our blog. These visitors have combined for 12,119 views of various blog posts.
  • The SoTL Advocate is accessed, on average, 5 times/day by unique readers.
  • Blog posts have most typically been categorized as SoTL resources (65 tags), ideas for SoTL research (47 tags), SoTL news (43 tags), publishing (43 tags), or SoTL report/opinion (18 tags).
  • While posts have been written primarily by Kathleen McKinney and I, there have been over 20 guest bloggers who have had their work posted on the SoTL Advocate.
  • In any given week, the most popular time for this blog to be read is Monday evening at 7pm (CST).
  • Since November of 2014, the SoTL Advocate has been viewed over 10,000 times by individuals in 56 countries. Countries most frequently accessing the blog in that timeframe are as follows: the USA (8208 views), Canada (1074 views), Australia (692 views), the UK (349 views), Malaysia (192 views), the Philippines (186 views), Brazil (136 views), South Africa (81 views), India (77 views), Ireland (77 views), and the Singapore (62 views).

blog reach

  • The most popular blogs (measured by views from unique readers) posted to this site have been:
  1. Developing SoTL Research Ideas and Questions
  2. SoTL Applied: Evidence-based Strategies for Better Classroom Discussions
  3. SoTL Methodology Series #1: Case Study Research
  4. Application of SoTL: Strategies to Encourage Metacognition in the Classroom
  5. Might the 4M Framework Support SoTL Advocacy?
  6. Do We Need to Be Meta-theoretical in our SoTL Work?
  7. SoTL and Institutional Review Boards
  8. Reflections on the SoTL Scholar-Mentor Program
  9. Ideas for Engaging Students in SoTL: Notes from a Panel at the Annual Teaching-Learning Symposium at ISU
  10. Tips for Publishing SoTL Work

I have to admit that the readership of the SoTL Advocate was much larger than I had anticipated, and that we truly have a global readership. It would seem that the blog that Kathleen McKinney and I started has realized its mission (at least in part!) of being a useful resource for individuals interested in SoTL at and beyond Illinois State University. For that, I am thrilled. Thanks to the readers who have read and shared blogs from this site. Your readership and support is very much appreciated!

This recent assessment of the SoTL Advocate has led to clear areas of emphasis for this blog in the future:

  • Our global readership needs to be represented with global authorship! While we have posted blogs written by individuals from Canada and England, it would be wonderful if we could feature SoTL opinions, reports, and ideas from outside the United States with greater frequency.
  • The SoTL methods series (started in 2015 then shelved to cover other topics) will be resurrected in 2017. The three methods blogs that were posted were among the most read in the blog’s history.
  • Applied SoTL blogs are also quite popular, with posts featuring information about how to apply extant SoTL research being frequently accessed by readers. As such, resources will be devoted to increasing the number of applied SoTL blogs, moving forward.

More ideas are percolating, so stay tuned. Feel free to comment with suggestions below, as inspiration is always welcome.

Again, thanks for your support of the SoTL Advocate!

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