How do peers contribute and participate in a n=1 network experiment? What is a network experiment? n=1? n is short for the word number and equals one means a single peer. n = 1 trial is used in science where a sole individual self experiments with results published and shared. Are these results scientific? On its own it is hard to allocate causation to a n=1 experiment, science would rather scale up the trail to a blind or double blind clinical trial. The increasing numbers allowing for controls measures to be put in place, for example some peers are issued with the new treatment while others are given a placebo. Controls can also be in the form of adherence to the ‘rules’ of the trial. That might be blood tests proved a time based treatment was actually taken at the time prescribed. Designing an effective clinical trial is still a hotly debased area of science. Even the whole construct of trial can be debated. Isn’t real life the ultimate clinical trial and that is complex and messy to measure. This is the realm in which a n=1 network experiment lives and where robust scientific methods need to be applied to make new discoveries.
Designing a peer learning experience in a network context throws up new challenges. How is information received back on the state of the experiment? Simple status like is a peer connected to the network, is the peer participating and how are the results presented, which context can results be visualised? These are all demanding questions the DIY HealthScience Toolkit is grappling with right now.