Identifying Criteria which Influence the Effectiveness of Public Profiles in Online Learning Environments
Faculty of Computing, Health and Science
School of Computer and Information Science / Centre for Security Research
Public profiles in online environments allow users to share general demographic and contact information, as well as information relating to skills, background and interests. The inclusion of a public profile has been identified as a method to foster the social presence which is lacking in most Online Learning Environments (OLEs). This research surveyed a sample of online students via a questionnaire in order to explore public profiles in depth and identify the criteria and factors which influence their effectiveness in OLEs. The research found that participants preferred task-related and general demographic information above socially oriented information, as well as several supporting factors relating to the format and presentation of public profiles. The findings provide a framework for the effective implementation of public profiles in OLEs, and further research into the feature.