Personal Learning Environments (PLE)

A PLE is an approach to managing an individual’s access of e-learning services. Its purpose is to make sense for an individual the multitude of software that are available such as blogs, iTunes, virtual learning environments, individual forums, e-portfolio, wiki,, etc.

The conference session I attended today included some show and tell presentations of prototype Jisc funded projects that, hopefully, will continue to be funded to make reality of the Jisc rhetoric on sustainability.

Nothing particularly breathtaking in concept terms, but it was good to see some software demonstrated.

My observations:

  • a migration strategy from the numerous virtual learning environments on offer would be essential as the technology may be so disruptive to work practices that it might only be adopted enthusiasts
  • the greater functionality of applications and the portability of web based access means that both approaches will probably be required (possibly flash could bridge the divide)
  • the PLE should enable both online and offline use
  • at a rudimentary level, a collection of links to services could be all that is provided
  • providing there are common standards, it will be possible to enable data transfers between services and the PLE
  • HE institutions will increasingly not support an increasingly wide range of software, and may simply offer a PLE or enable students to use their own ‘Google’ PLE to access university core services
  • there are considerable technical issues around database versions when different points of access are used to link to web services
  • this approach directly addresses the issues of personalisation and choice by enabling an individual to have a ‘customised and customisable’ view as well as the possibility of interacting with different Universities web services
  • technology like friends of a friend (foaf) should allow greater ability to form and find groups and individuals to learn with

    It reads like a great list to me, however:^)

  • 3 thoughts on “Personal Learning Environments (PLE)

    1. Stephen Powell

      Thanks Steve, the diagram works for me. I would comment that It mixes technologies with approaches and they aren’t the same thing. If you wanted to include technologies then mobile devices would need to be included.

      Cheers, Stephen.

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