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Encouraging "collegiality"

POSTED IN: My DTL blog: Chris' blog

Currently I'm working on measuring "collegiality".  I'll talk below about some of the things we're going to measure and analyze.  But that's not what's most important: what's most important is that we're going to help users to collaborate and work better together.  You won't need to know anything about the collegiality score -- if you behave collegially, then your score will go up.  Dream to Learn is not a game; and we want people to focus on the substance not the scores.

With all that said, collegiality will be a user attribute that will measure the extent to which you are a helpful, constructive member of Dream to Learn.  Here are some of the data that I'm considering using:

  • how often you rate content written by others that you view.  Ratings are critical to helping to surface good content, so being a good colleague means rating content.  What your ratings are doesn't matter, what matters is that you do rate content.
  • how often you comment on documents you view (where you have the opportunity to comment -- the permissions may be set such that you can't comment).  Don't want to overdo this one, as too many comments can simply be distracting.
  • proportion of the documents that you write that are co-authored.  Co-authoring (working collaboratively to write content) is the mark of a good colleague
  • how often you blog, author documents, participate in chat, or comment.  being a regular contributor is the mark of a good colleague.  however, because we don't want people to be penalized for having families or other interests, so long as you are active on an average of at least one day in 3, you get the full boost to your collegiality score.  That is, you get no additional benefit for being active every single day over someone who is active one day in 3.  However a person who is active one day in 3 will get a higher collegiality rating (everything else being equal) than someone who is active just one day in seven.
  • for communities that you are a member of, or have applied to become a member of, how often you blog, author documents, participate in chat, or comment in that community.   It's expected (and encouraged) for community visitors to be watching and absorb, but once you start the process of becoming a member, you should contribute.  How you contribute should be up to you -- some will blog, others will prefer to comment on content, while still others may prefer to participate in community chat.  
  • ratings that others give on the constructiveness of the comments that you make

The collegiality score will be number that will be displayed for each user.  In addition, the collegiality score will affect the rankings of your own documents.  A high collegiality score will provide a boost to each of your document scores, while a low collegiality score will tend to reduce your document scores.


I've now implemented an initial version of the 'collegiality' score.  You'll see your score if you view your profile.  Currently, it takes into account the following:

  • what proportion of the document and blogs that you view you leave a rating for
  • how many documents and blogs you have viewed (the more the better)
  • how regularly you create new blog entries, create new versions of documents, comment and participate in chat.  To score perfectly (which of course nobody will; this is all relative), you'd need to do at least one of those things each day, and also do it in each of the communities for which you are an applicant, candidate or member.
  • to a certain extent, the more communities you belong to the higher your rating will be, but the returns are greatly diminishing; we want to encourage people to be members in a relatively small number of communities and to participate actively in all of them.  You can be a visitor in as many communities as you like; this doesn't affect your collegiality score.
  • you collegiality score is displayed on your user profile (you can see mine here).  It's a number between 50 and about 200 (there's no fixed upper bound).  A collegiality score of less than 100 will tend to reduce all of your blog and document scores, while a collegiality score of above 100 will tend to increase all of your blog and document scores.


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About the Author

Chris Tennant

Chris Tennant

I co-founded Dream to Learn in 2013. I love the outdoors, growing and building things, and the challenge and beauty of writing computer code. I live in Eugene, Oregon with my wife Giuditta, my two kids Joshua and Rebecca, and our cats Sprinkie and Hugino.

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Created: June 28, 2014


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