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In this paper we explore the idea that ratings systems, common across successful e-commerce sites, can better engage individuals in online learning networks. To test this we implement a ratings system as a mechanism for influencing social interaction in our university's online learning community (OLC). Our research measures the impact this system had on five graduate courses over the course of two semesters. Our research also provides insight into how user-driven content can provide input into other systems, such as a recommender system to aid in fostering new online social connections.