NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ1070049
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Pages: 12
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: EISSN-1436-4522
Personal Learning Network Clusters: A Comparison between Mathematics and Computer Science Students
Harding, Ansie; Engelbrecht, Johann
Educational Technology & Society, v18 n3 p173-184 2015
"Personal learning environments" (PLEs) and "personal learning networks" (PLNs) are well-known concepts. A personal learning network "cluster" is a small group of people who regularly interact academically and whose PLNs have a non-empty intersection that includes all the other members. At university level PLN clusters form spontaneously among students and are known to last over an extended period of time. Little is known regarding the workings of these PLN clusters of students. The claim is that these PLN clusters are at the heart of student learning and are aligned with the current trend of a knowledge-pull community of learning. In this paper we investigate the activities and characteristics of PLN clusters in two different fields of study at a South African university, namely mathematics and computer science. We discuss the benefits that these clusters offer, investigate the mashup of activities and tools and we contrast experiences in the two fields of study. It is the commonalities rather than differences that are striking between the two groups of students. Although computer science students lean more towards digital communication, both groups impress with the pride they take in their PLN clusters and are vocal in describing the benefits that these clusters offer.
International Forum of Educational Technology & Society. Athabasca University, School of Computing & Information Systems, 1 University Drive, Athabasca, AB T9S 3A3, Canada. Tel: 780-675-6812; Fax: 780-675-6973; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: South Africa
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A