Friday, November 23, 2012

The Impact cycle

The purpose of a social entreprise represents its impact. Hopefully one would expect to make a positive impact. But some unexpected positive or negative impact might happen. It is important to take into account these considerations about the impact of one's social endevour:

1. Define the expected impact.
2. State a measure of the desired impact.
3. Find ways to get information about the unexpected positive or negative results.
4. Record the results obtained.

In creating Open Popular University the primary impact I expected to create is for people to realize that   the accumulation of knowledge beyond the minimum is not a privilege reserved to a few. People have to realize how educational institutions can deceive people in attaining their educational goals. I have been myself deceived by some predators located behind some american so-called educational institutions. My realization is that the attainment of some degree of knowledge is not the prerogative of educational institutions, people with degrees or people with some exceptional cognitive abilities. Knowledge is not necessarily acquired from educators and educational institutions. Knowledge primarily resides in books and books are acquired by educational institutions. Now knowledge resides in the world wide web. Learning in formalized educational institutions is  managed by private and government administrators who decide what to teach and who can teach. However learning doesn't take place exclusively in this manner. Knowledge is acquired by oneself from books, the web, radio, television and from family members, friends, the community, etc. Knowledge comes also from one's personal inquiry, intuition, reflection, etc. Whether one wants it or not knowledge starts from birth and stops at death at least in that lifetime. Learning is a lifelong process.

Specifically for Open Popular University the desired impact is that students. professionals, self-learners worldwide access the site to satisfy their educational needs. I expect that many people come to the site, spend a reasonable amount and come back. More specifically the impact for students is that they can use the site to understand concepts they misunderstood in class and to deepen their knowledge. Professionals can use the site to review a subject that they learned in college, undertake new studies or study a subject related to a project, etc. Educators can enrich their curriculum  from the content of different subjects. More importantly the most important aspect of the impact is that people after spending a lot of time exploring the resources in the site are urged to cultivate self-learning and lifelong learning. I will measure this impact by surveying people who accessed the site.. This can be done by setting a form in the site asking people specific questions. It can also be done by e-mail and on other social media pages for Open Popular University. As in any human endevour there are unexpected positive or negative results. Unexpected positive results might be defined by people having obtained spectacular results from using the site. Unexpected negative results are that the site has made no impact on people. Unexpected positive results  can be assessed by asking questions like: " What huge benefits have you gotten by using the site?". Unexpected negative results can be assessed by asking questions like this: " What are the negative effects of using the site? In summary the impact can be defined by the number of people  accessing the site and the benefits obtained from its use.

In a follow-up to assess the impact I can report on the access of the site. Specifically I can say
1. I have had positive feedback from people using the site. Although there isn't a huge amount of people accessing the site but the number of users is growing.
2. As unexpected positive result I have seen the access increasing suddenly
3. I haven't seen any unexpected negative result.
The statistics suggest that people benefits from using the site because of a fair amount of returning users. The nature of the benefits cannot be assessed at this time but a protocol will be set for this. Cycling on the use of the site I will increase its marketing to make the access growing although the number of users suddenly keeps growing.

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