[Sugar-devel] The quest for data

Martin Dluhos martin at gnu.org
Mon Jan 6 03:48:46 EST 2014

On 4.1.2014 10:44, Sameer Verma wrote:

> True. Activities do not report end times, or whether the frequency
> count is for the number of times a "new" activity was started, or if
> it was simply a resumption of the previous instance. Walter had
> indicated that thre is some movement in this direction to gather end
> times. 

This would be indeed very useful. Is anyone working on implementing these features?

> Yes, the methods that use the datastore as a source rely on the
> Journal, but the sugar-stats system does not. I believe it collects in
> GNOME as well.

Have you done any processing, analysis, or visualization of the sugar-stats
data? Is that something that you are planning to integrate into OLPC Dashboard?

> 4) The reporting can be done either via visualization, and/or by
> generating periodic reports. The reporting should be specific to the
> person(s) looking at it. No magic there.

I think that many questions (some of which we already mentioned above) can be
answered with reports and visualizations, which are not deployment specific. For
example, those you are targeting with OLPC dashboard.

> How the data will be used remains to be seen. I have not seen it being
> used in any of the projects that I know of. If others have seen/done
> so, it would help to hear from them. I know that in conversations and
> presentations to decision makers, the usual sore point is "can you
> show us what you have so far?" For Jamaica, we have used a basic
> exploratory approach on the Journal data, corroborated with structured
>  interviews with parents, teachers, etc. So, for instance, the data we
> have shows a relatively large frequency of use of TuxMath (even with
> different biases). However, we have qualitative evidence that supports
> both usage of TuxMath and improvement in numeracy (standardized test).
> We can support strong(er) correlation, but cannot really establish
> causality. The three data points put together make for a compelling
> case. 

I think this is a really important point to emphasize: None of these approaches
to evaluation provides the complete picture, but all of these used in aggregate
can provide useful insights. Here at OLE Nepal, we already use standardized
testing to compare students performance before and after the program launch. We
also follow up with teachers through conversations using surveys on regular
support visit. I agree with Sameer that supplementing those with statistical
data can make for a much stronger case.


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