Skip To Content

Technology Enhanced Knowledge Research Institute (TEKRI)

Personal Learning Environments, Networks, and Knowledge

TEKRI & NRC sponsored Open Course on:
Personal Learning Environments, Networks, and Knowledge

In the last five years, the twin concepts of the personal learning environment (PLE) and personal learning network (PLN) have been offered as alternatives to more traditional environments such as the learning management system (LMS) and institutionally-based courses.
During that time, a substantial body of research has been produced by thinkers, technologists and practitioners in the field. Dozens of studies, reviews, conference presentations, concept papers and diagrams are now available.
The purpose of this course will be to clarify and substantiate, from the context of this new research, the concepts of personal learning environments and networks. Course facilitators and participants will analyze the research literature and evaluate it against their own experience with the intent of developing a comprehensive understanding of personal learning environments and networks.
Personal Learning Environments, Networks, and Knowledge is a course sponsored and organized by the Technology Enhanced Knowledge Research Institute (TEKRI) at Athabasca University. Stephen Downes and Rita Kop from the National Research Council of Canada (NRC) Learning and Collaborative technologies group, Dave Cormier from University of Prince Edward Island, and George Siemens from TEKRI are course facilitators.

Signing up for the course:

PLENK10 starts September 13, 2010. If you are interested in participating in the course, please sign up here (your email address will only be used for the purpose of this open course. You can unsubscribe at any time).
As we get closer to the course date, we will be sending information on how to participate. Once the course starts, we will send regular email updates on course activities, guest speakers, and how to access the live sessions (in Elluminate).

PLENK10 will be offered as a connectivist course, therefore offering participants to acquire the experience of developing and working within a learning network while studying the body of relevant research.
In a connectivist course course materials and course content are defined by participants as the course progresses, rather than prior to the course by instructors. Though the course outline defines a set of selected topics, these function as signposts for an iterative process of search, practice and reflection, as described here: 
To facilitate this process, course facilitators will maintain the following levels of course support:  
  • a course wiki, which may be edited by participants, describing the course outline
  •  a daily newsletter, which will aggregate student blogs, Twitter posts, and discussion posts
  • each Sunday readings and resources will be posted to the wiki and (on Monday) to the Daily
  • a Moodle discussion forum, read and responded to by course facilitators
  • Wednesday Elluminate session, usually featuring a relevant guess speaker
  • Friday Elluminate session, as a weekly review with course facilitators
The course may not be limited to this level of support as course participants are encouraged to develop their own course supports and to share those supports with other participants. Examples of such supports in previous courses have included concept maps, Google groups, Second Life sessions, in-person meetings, course-meetups, and more. Facilitators will participate in these additional supports as possible given time and facilities constraints.

PLENK10 starts September 13, 2010. Sign up information is available here

Week of Topic
13-09-2010 A tour of PLEs and PLNs - diagrams, discussions, examples
20-09-2010 Contrasting personal learning with institutional learning, PLEs with LMSs
27-09-2020 Understanding the neXt/eXtended Web
04-10-2010 Using PLEs successfully - skills, mindsets, and critical literacies
10-10-2010 PLE/Ns and personal knowledge management
17-10-2010 PLE/Ns in the classroom (PLE/Ns and blended learning)
24-10-2010 PLE/N Tools - What Exists, What is Being Built?

Evaluating Learning in PLE/Ns


7th november 2010       PLE/Ns in the classroom (PLE/Ns and blended learning)

14th november 2010     Critical perspectives on PLE/PLN


George Siemens, TEKRI
Stephen Downes, NRC
Dave Cormier, UPEI
Rita Kop, NRC