Tuesday, September 23, 2008

PLEF Requirements

I’m currently working on a Personal Learning Environment Framework (PLEF) that needs to address the following attributes:

- Personalized: PLEF should provide the learner with ability to incorporate a 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. It is crucial to provide access to a wide range of tools and services that support different learning activities such as production, distribution, reflection, and discussion. It is also important to enable customized search across the collection of learning items in one’s own PLE as well as in peer PLEs. PLEF should also offer learner-defined access control mechanisms for each PLE item, as well as support for multi-views of the PLE, enabling the learner to filter the mass of available knowledge sources based on her needs, and switch between multiple learning contexts.

- Social: PLEF should support the building of interactive environments by offering means to connect with other personal spaces, such that learners can engage in knowledge sharing and collaborative knowledge creation. Social features such as social tagging, commenting, and sharing have to be supported.

- Extensible: PLEF should have a flexible architecture enabling learners to enrich their PLEs with a heterogeneous set of services. A learner should be able to easily integrate, aggregate, and mash-up different learning services (e.g. feeds, widgets, media, lightweight JSON/REST-based Web Services) based on her needs and interests.

- Open: PLEF should be based on open standards (e.g. RSS, OpenID, OAuth, OpenSocial) to ensure interoperability and communication with other services. It should also provide a public API that can be used by third-party services.

- Ubiquitous: PLEF should provide means for flexible delivery and ubiquitous access to PLEs from multiple channels and wide variety of platforms and (mobile) devices.

- Filter: One concern with knowledge-pull approaches is information overload. Therefore, PLEF should provide powerful filters, that tap the wisdom of crowds (e.g. recommendations, ratings, rankings, reviews, votes, comments) to help learners find quality in the Long Tail.

- Easy to use: PLEF should provide rich experience with e.g. AJAX support. A learner should be able to copy-and-paste and drag-and-drop elements to personalize and manage her PLE with minimum effort.

What do you see are other critial requirements of a personal learning environment framework?

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