A personal learning environment framework (PLEF) needs to fulfil the following requirements:
- Personalisation: PLEF should provide the learner with ability to incorporate myriad of tools and services; and ability to determine and use the tools and services the way she deems fit to create her own PLE, adapted to her own situation and needs.
- Social features: PLEF should offer means to connect with other personal spaces, so that learnres can engage in knowledge sharing and collaborative knowledge creation. Social features such as tagging, commenting, and sharing have to be supported.
- Social filtering: The problem with a knowledge-pull approach is information overload. Therefore, there is a need for “filters” (e.g. recommendation, rating, ranking, review, votes, attention metadata) to help learners find quality in the Long Tail.
- Incorporate various Web 2.0 concepts and technologies. The web as platform, mashup of services, widely use of widgets, content aggregation, opened identity, small pieces loosely joined Web and rich user experience are the concepts which should build up PLEF. Web 2.0 technologies, such as, RSS, openID and social tagging have to be adopted as the basis to develop PLEF.
- Flexibility and extensibility, such that new services/modules can easily be plugged into the basic framework. PLEF should be based on a Web Oriented Architecture (WOA) that makes it possible to extend the framework with new Web modules. It should also provide a public API that can be used by third party applications.
- Web browser platform: With web browser as the platform, the independence of operation system can be assured. This also enables PLEF to aggregate and integrate third-party services.
- Aggregation/Mashups: PLEF should allow a learner to aggregate and remix different learning artefacts (e.g. feeds, widgets and media).
- Ease of use: PLEF should provide rich experience with e.g. AJAX support. A learner should be able to copy&paste and drag&drop elements to personalize and manage her PLE with minimum effort.