MLX Great Package Race: The Sprint to the Finish Line

Months of pleading, cajoling, nagging our folks to contribute to the Maricopa Learning eXchange produced a fair stream of new items, but the 2 days prior to the close of our “Great Package Race” is when most of the action takes place. This is where we tabulate for a 6 month period how many MLX items each of our colleges have sent as well as a list of the top individual contributers.

We use our New Media Consortium software discounts to purchase 3 software prizes (multi-license versions of Adobe and Macromedia products) for the top college producers– we tally the college totals, and normalize by a top secret scaling factor based on the full time employee count of each college and an incentive factor that favors multiple contributers per college.

The current scores show 5 of our sites have been most active, some with perhaps more than 35 in the last 24 hours. However, it is disconcerting that across the system, the activity of people contributing is a few dedicated at each college, with sites of employee counts between 181 and 676, the range of participants per college is between 0 and 9 each, so we have less than 1% of our total employees putting stuff into the MLX. Let’s hear it for those bleeding edge, early adopters!

For individuals, we have some nice prizes donated by our computer friends at Macromedia, Apple, and Apreso (Apple just promised an iSight 3 days ago, woohoo!) with some people sending up more than 20 new items in the last 6 months (or 6 hours!).

I did get a message from one of our contributers who has shared some excellent teaching activities– this person apologized for “sour grapes” but was dismayed that it looked like people were tossing up quickie software how-tos just for the goodies. I understand the issues of people worried about “quality control”, but have stood firm that the MLX is open, and we expect the people who choose to share are professional and ethical in what they contribute in the name of sharing resources. I like to believe in a market model, where quality items are valued and recognized via comments (hardly used) and hopefully a visitor rating tool to be added in the next few months.

While this incentive program works well to some degree, I am wishful that it was not necessary, that people would share because of the spirit of being public about teaching (a core value of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning we ascribe to), the shared “values” posted in framed plaques in our hallways, and heck, because we all gain when we all share. Cue the music….

Kum-Bah-Ya, I believe…..

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Profile Picture for Alan Levine aka CogDog
An early 90s builder of the web and blogging Alan Levine barks at CogDogBlog.com on web storytelling (#ds106 #4life), photography, bending WordPress, and serendipity in the infinite internet river. He thinks it's weird to write about himself in the third person.