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Survey: How to make the real name searchable?


Kristina Hoeppner's profile picture
Posts: 4049

16 February 2010, 12:10

Hello,

As far as I have seen on our installation, once a person enters a display name only that name is used for a user search. Thus, if he chooses a nickname that I don't know, there is no way for me (as normal user) to find that person.

Now the question is: Should the real name (first and last name fields on the Edit Profile page) be made searchable? If yes, just for a certain group of people or everybody?

My proposal

As we use Mahara officially, students must be found by their name. Thus, the search should include their real name for both students and staff because students can give access to each other's views. However, if Mahara is used voluntarily, allows public portfolios and is offered by a provider somewhere online, people may not want to reveal their real name to everybody or the admin may want to choose such a setting.

If the name fields are not locked or bound to Moodle, users can always change them. In a university setting (and similar) where the portfolio is used for assessment etc. that is not a good idea IMHO. Thus, would it be possible to have an admin setting: "Allow to search the fields first and last name instead of only the display name"? If the latter is chosen, the admin could have a setting: "Allow users to decide whether their real name should be searchable".

On the profile edit page, the user would then be informed whether his first and last name or only display name is revealed to other users. And if the admin chose the setting "User can decide to have his first and last name displayed", he will get a "yes/no" box for that.

What do you think?

Have a nice day

Kristina

anonymous profile picture
Account deleted
Posts: 808

16 February 2010, 19:56

This sounds good to me.  Do you think we could get away with having just one admin setting? (as well as the one user preference you mentioned).  The admin setting would be "allow users to hide their real name when they have set a display name". (That's a long-winded title for the setting, but we can put some of that in the setting's description).

I think we should also make sure the user's real name is always displayed in the search results whenever it's searchable.

So if there's a user called "Elvis Presley" who has set his display name to "The King", we could always show him in search results as "The King (Elvis Presley)" if he's not allowed to hide his name, or has chosen not to hide it.  In either of those cases any search for "Elvis" or "King" would find him.

He'd just show up as "The King" when he has chosen to hide his name, and then searches for "Elvis" won't find him.

anonymous profile picture
Account deleted
Posts: 808

11 March 2010, 17:03

This is now completed and will be in Mahara 1.3.  Thank the University of Luxembourg!
Kristina Hoeppner's profile picture
Posts: 4049

15 March 2010, 13:46

Great. Thanks Richard.

I'll check the developer installation once it's updated (currently I see it as a version of March 10). There is already an option "Users can hide real names", but I did not see a corresponding box in the user's profile setting. I'll be patient. Smile

Cheers

Kristina

anonymous profile picture
Account deleted
Posts: 808

15 March 2010, 16:26

Ah, sorry, it's in Settings -> Preferences, but only appears if the admin setting allows users to hide their real names.
Kristina Hoeppner's profile picture
Posts: 4049

16 March 2010, 13:21

Hi Richard,

Looking for it in Preferences makes sense. Smile I had only checked the actual contact information page because that was the most obvious for me. Found it on the master dev. installation. Looks good. Thanx.

Kristina

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