UBC Web Analytics: “Introduction to Web Analytics”

This is part one of a four-part series on my experience enrolled in the UBC Award of Achievement in Digital Analytics Program. As i make my way through i will document my evaluations on a course by course basis.

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UBC’s 100% online courses use the Moodle Course Management System for their delivery, therefore, all course content must be read by the student in order to fully grasp the material. There are also no more than 25 people per course and one online tutor.

Introduction to Web Analytics as its name implies is the first of four courses in the program. It is also the prerequisite for all the other courses. The reading is a lot, but necessary i think to successfully deliver a broad enough introduction to the field. A good majority of the reading material is actual case studies making it highly relatable for the student/practitioner. It can be a bit dry at times, but i guess that is to be expected given the analytic nature of the content.  But, if you’re passionate about the web and curious about the study, then you’ll find it super interesting and continue to plough ahead.

There are three assignments in total designed to assess if you’re actually reading the material and make sure that it’s getting absorbed. In this specific course, group discussions are a major component and ultimately affect your final grade. In fact, two out of the three assignments are discussion-based – either stating your stand on an issue or providing feedback on another student’s response. Discussions are facilitated through various forums spread throughout the duration of the course.

Jeff Young was our online tutor and was extremely attentive to student questions and provided great industry insight in his communication.  He also tried to encourage student participation by initiating questions of his own or by framing his responses to other student questions in a way that promoted further dialogue. He also has a very kind demeanor which makes approaching him with questions very very easy.

All in all, this course provided an excellent introduction to web analytics and was really not that hard [technically] if that is a concern of yours. Upon successful completion, UBC administration can provide a letter of attendance if you’re like me and qualify for professional development funds from your employer. That goes for all courses in the program and is very nice indeed. Keep in mind though that “course grades may not be available until four weeks after the last day of the course” which may make getting the reimbursement funding longer than you may have originally expected.

I highly recommend this course if you’re thinking about getting into web analytics. It gives you a solid footing in understanding the field, introduces you to key terminology and industry concepts and provides specific direction going forward with the three remaining courses in the program.

Continue onto part two in this series: Web Analytics for Site Optimization

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