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Task: create your own Personal Learning Network map

Now it is time for you to create your own Personal Learning Network (PLN) map.

To create your PLN map, you will need to complete a survey.

It will ask you to think carefully about all the different types of network interactions you had yesterday and how many times you had them. You will need to answer the questions for all the devices that you used. It will take about 20 minutes, so be comfortable before you begin! The more care and thought you put into your answers, the more accurate your PLN map will be. At the end of this task you will have access to your unique PLN map.

Note: this task will work most easily if you use a large screen (not a smartphone-sized one), especially when answering the survey questions and viewing your PLN map.


Understanding your Personal Learning Network map

Once you have completed the survey and accessed your PLN map, it should look something like this:

example network map

The thicker the line connecting the icons, the more frequently you interact. You can see your preferred patterns of interactions by following the thickest lines from you (in the middle), to your devices, then to your actions, and finally to the people and institutions you interact with.

If using a desktop or a laptop, when looking at your map, if you hover your cursor over each icon on the map, a ‘tool tip’ pop-up will appear telling you what it is.


How to create your Personal Learning Network map

Please follow these instructions:

  1. Select the link at the bottom of the page and complete the survey.

  2. Very Important! Your Unique Participant Number will be displayed on screen at the end of the survey. Look out for it! You will need this to access your network map. Photograph or store it safely, and DO NOT lose it - you will need to use it again in the next two steps and if you want to see your map at any time in the future. You will have to repeat the survey in full if you do lose it, so be careful.

  3. Select the link at the end of the survey and input your Unique Participant Number to view your PLN map.

Once you have finished viewing your network map, you can use the ‘Return to Futurelearn’ button to come back to the course.


Next Steps

In the next two steps you will explore the interaction patterns in your PLN, then discover any similarities or differences between your PLN map and the Combined PLN map (the aggregate map for all learners on this course). You will be able to filter the Combined map by a range of variables in order to make further interesting comparisons - more on this in later steps.


Helping us with our research

The anonymous aggregated Combined PLN map (found under the ‘Combined’ button) will form part of University of Southampton doctoral research, so by creating your own network map you will also be helping us to learn more about the subject. Your PLN map (found under the ‘Personal’ button) will not be used. Further details about the ‘Ethics and Research Information’ are available in PDF format from the bottom of this page.


Time to begin …

Don’t forget to record your Unique Participant Number….!

Create your Personal Learning Network map


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This article is from the free online course:

Learning in the Network Age

University of Southampton

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