Case Study of the Presentation of Faculty Credentials on a University Web Site

V.F. McGowan (USA)


Web Design, Faculty Credentials, Heuristic Evaluation


The purpose of this paper is to discuss the procedure and findings of a heuristic evaluation of the digital faculty credentials presented at the Web site of a higher educational institution. Interviews with the institutional Webmaster and Web content manager present qualitative findings that speak to the importance of faculty credentials to the institution and to the broader issue of university Web governance. Interview findings explain that a combination of departmental and faculty ownership has resulted in the content analysis findings that the appearance, location, and order of both link and credential fields varies for nearly every departmental Web site at the studied institution. Additional interview findings describe the formation of the Web Governance committee at the institution and challenges faced by that body in regards to policy-making. Research findings are linked to relevant literature and discussion addresses the need for Web page consistency across the Web site. This case study contributes to the underdeveloped analysis of digital faculty credentials and to the larger concern of improving institutional Web site marketing of faculty in higher education.

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