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Conceptual design and empirical study of a personal learning environment and network (PLE&N) to support peer-based social and lifelong learning

Haley Wing Chi Tsang (Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University , Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China)
Eric Tsui (Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University , Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China)

VINE Journal of Information and Knowledge Management Systems

ISSN: 2059-5891

Article publication date: 8 May 2017

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Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to describe a conceptual design of Personal Learning Environment & Network (PLE&N) and a learning model developed in support of peer-based social and lifelong learning in higher education, which collaborate with classroom learning.

Design/methodology/approach

The model consists of students, instructors and external parties interacting synergistically in learning in PLE&N-enabled courses based on the collaborative designs of instructor-led pedagogical approach and external parties-assisted lifelong learning “first-mover” development. The research constructs, tests and assesses this model in courses of 12 subjects in nearly two years.

Findings

The practicality of the designs is evidenced in post-course surveys and reflected by students’ ability in productively using collaborative resources over the internet to create an ever-expanding personal learning space stretching from home to campus and beyond, oriented toward individuality, universality, ubiquity, interactivity and connectivity.

Originality/value

The research contributes to PLE&N, social and lifelong learning seamless integration in theory and practice to dramatically enhance students’ virtual learning skills.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This work was supported by an internal teaching and learning grant at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University. The authors would like to acknowledge this financial support.

An introductory view of the early stage of this research, student interviews to gather their initial requirements and some preliminary partial observations were published in a preceding conference article authored by Tsui and Sabetzadeh (2014).

Citation

Tsang, H.W.C. and Tsui, E. (2017), "Conceptual design and empirical study of a personal learning environment and network (PLE&N) to support peer-based social and lifelong learning", VINE Journal of Information and Knowledge Management Systems, Vol. 47 No. 2, pp. 228-249. https://doi.org/10.1108/VJIKMS-03-2017-0010

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited