Developing Appreciative College Experience with Personal Learning Networks
Kam Hou Vat
Source PublicationEncyclopedia of Information Science and Technology
Author of SourceMehdi Khosrow-Pour, D.B.A.
PublisherIdea Group Inc (IGI), 2009

One of the 21st Century teaching and learning enhancements in higher education is the use of personal learning networks (PLNs) (Richardson & Mancabelli, 2011; Weisgerber, 2009; Nielsen, 2008). By a personal learning network (PLN) ( An important learning theory in support of PLN comes from George Siemens (2004) in his now famous article Connectivism: A Learning Theory for the Digital Age, where it is argued that learners create connections and develop a network that contributes to their professional development and knowledge. Indeed, PLNs share a close association with the concept of personal learning environments (PLEs), which as described by Martindale and Dowdy (2010), is a manifestation of a learner’s informal learning processes via the Web. Moreover, it has been observed by Ivanova (2009) that different learners contribute and derive knowledge in a PLN, through individual choices of peculiar PLEs, VLEs (virtual learning environments), and relevant social media. In particular, the PLN learner chooses who to interact with in such media, and how much to participate. Oftentimes, the learner enters the PLE with certain goals, needs, interests, motivations and problems that are often presented to the people they include in their PLNs. Increasingly, PLNs are becoming an important part of professional development in various fields with different businesses creating their own e-learning content and PLEs for their employees’ individual and organizational learning.

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Document TypeBook chapter
VersionThird Edition
AffiliationUniversity of Macau, Macau
First Author AffilicationUniversity of Macau
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Kam Hou Vat. Developing Appreciative College Experience with Personal Learning Networks[M]. Third Edition:Idea Group Inc (IGI), 2009,2015.
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