Online Personal Learning Network

Online Personal Learning Network:  Students will design and curate their own online personal learning network throughout the semester. A media presentation or written report and resource list will share the details of the network. 20 points

As a new LIS professional it is important for you to identify resources that can help you continue your education and sustain your professional development for years to come. In LIS, it simply isnʼt acceptable for its professionals to become stagnant when new technologies and methods emerge that influence how information is created, organized, distributed, and received. While similar could be said about a number of professions, it seems much more relevant and consequential for LIS professionals.

This assignment will stimulate you to begin curating online professional resources that will continue your learning outside of your formal experiences here at SJSU SLIS. I define an online personal learning network in the broadest way possible: If a resource is online and it helps you to achieve your learning goals, it is a part of your learning network. I implore you to do the same and think comprehensively about your resources.


This posting will be published to your blog by the date specified. If you are using media, information on embeds can be found at


For this assignment, you will develop your own PLN. This exercise will take the form of a blog post and/or downloadable PDF from your blog. This document will be a minimum of  800 words in length. Enhancements with media, Web tools and other course resources are encouraged. Required elements of your online personal learning network include:

Goals Statement:

Your goals statement will clearly indicate what you hope to accomplish in your online personal learning network. Since your resources will be disparate you cannot tie your goals to any specific resource; they must be overarching, comprehensive. Part of your goals statement may include something like “My online personal learning network will help to educate me about specific user-centered services incorporating emerging technologies in academic libraries.” The key is to include what you expect to learn. In this example it is clear that user-centered services with technology are the what is expected to be learned. You should include multiple goals. The goals statement should clearly indicate what learning could be accomplished.

Defined Scope:

If you aim to be a public librarian in northern California, say so! If you expect that you will be providing information services to a private company, talk about who that company is and how you will serve them! If you are applying for academic technology positions, describe one of them that you can envision yourself in! Provide a brief narrative that can help define the scope of where you will be culling your resources. There will be overlap in some of your resources, but I would like to see you curating resources from specific areas of LIS that will help you in particular types of jobs.

Resource Network:

Your resource network is, essentially, lists of resources that meet your goals and scope. The network should be diverse, comprehensive, and include from a wide range of types of resources, from e-mails listservs, to Facebook groups, to Twitter hashtags, websites, etc. You may organize your network however youʼd like, but there needs to be a clearly discernible method of organization with headings. Your individual resource is required to have a title, a URL, and a brief sentence description of why you chose it. Note: Building an online resource via sites such as Netvibes, iGoogle or ScoopIt can be an optional add on to the section on your resource network.

Problem-Solving/PLN in Action:

In this section, share briefly how you solved a problem or learned more about an issue by tapping into the resources of your network. Link to resources or posts that helped you. This might be as part of our Learning 2.0 work or it might be for something else related to the course, school or your personal interest. Reflect on future problems to solve  or issues to understand as a professional.

Network Maintenance Plan:

How will you maintain your online personal learning network? When will you adjust it? At what points will you actively add to it or delete from it? Is there a particular type of technology that you will employ to make the best use of your network? Will there ever be point where you would create a new plan from scratch? These are just a few questions that you should ask yourself in writing this brief narrative section.

These may seem like very specific requirements. Use them as a guide, and donʼt stress out about them. This assignment should be fun and reflective!

Your assignment will be evaluated within the following areas on a scale ranging from Poor – Fair – Good – Very Good – Excellent:

  • Resources reflect use of course content as well as individual interests and focus
  • The goals statement is precise; there are multiple, significant goals
  • All sections reflect a high degree of personalization to your chosen scope and focus
  • The action within the network maintenance plan is attached to specific moments in the professionalʼs career (e.g., graduation, first job, promotion, etc.)
  • The PLN assignment is posted on time and accessible during our virtual “poster session” week and engagement is encouraged.
  • Delivery mechanism is error free (text, etc)

20 points

Special thanks to Kyle Jones for his insights about this assignment.

One thought on “Online Personal Learning Network

  1. Pingback: PLN Post at TTW | LIBR 281 Transformative Learning and Technology Literacies

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