Design Considerations for Today’s Online Learners: A Study of Personalized, Relationship-Based Social Awareness Information
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AbstractThis article examined online learners' preferences in personalized, relationship-based social awareness information sharing in course management systems. Three hundred seventy-seven online learners' willingness to share social awareness information was measured through a national survey. Results indicated that today's online learners are open minded in sharing social awareness information and their trust of course management systems is high. They prefer sharing information with more authoritative figures such as teachers. Differences among age groups existed, but none of the generations were consistently more open in sharing social awareness information. Overall, a strong preference in personalized, relationship-based social awareness information sharing was found. Instructors of online courses and designers of course management systems need to consider these characteristics of today's online learners in their design. This would help online learners to acknowledge themselves as feeling, intentional, thinking, and social human beings. This will cause improved learner interaction and engagement and eventually a successful online learning experience.