Date of Award

Spring 2014

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Computer and Information Technology

First Advisor

Mihaela Vorvoreanu

Committee Member 1

Ji Soo Yi

Committee Member 2

Ronald Glotzbach


With the booming of Web 2.0, cyber recruiting becomes much more prevalence. This makes online self-presentation literacy a necessity for college students to prepare for better career opportunities. This study proposed to design and implement a working prototype of an online educational platform for college students to learn about online self-presentation management. The design and implementation of the working prototype followed an iterative design process, through which the design was created, evaluated, and improved. Within this process, cognitive walkthrough study, competitive analysis, and usability testing study were adopted as major methods to design and evaluate the prototype.

Through the design study, many existing design guidelines for online learning platforms were confirmed, such as segment learning materials, index learning contents, and ensure learner flexibilities. In addition, new design implications were discovered, pointing out new design focus of online learning platforms.

By conducting thorough competitive analysis and integrating Web experience analysis methods with general usability testing methods, this study identified opportunities to improve procedures and outcomes of such design study.

The outcomes and contributions of this study are three-folds: (1) a working prototype was delivered with relatively high perceived usability and utility; (2) design suggestions for designing online educational platforms were provided, to supplement existing design guidelines; and (3) implications for improving procedures of future design study of this kind were discussed.