Analysis of PLEs’ implementation under OER design as a productive teaching-learning strategy in Higher Education. A case study at Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia


  • Esteban Vázquez-Cano UNED
  • Elena Martín-Monje UNED
  • María Dolores Castrillo de Larreta-Azelain UNED



Personal Learning Environment, Open Educational Resources, Higher Education, competences, teaching methods


This paper shows some research which analysed the didactic functionality of Personal Learning Environments (PLEs) and Open Educational Resources (OERs). They were created by students from the Master’s Degree in Information and Communication Technologies applied to language teaching and processing, at Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia (UNED, Spain). A thorough analysis has been carried out based on a virtual ethnography methodological framework, with a twofold qualitative dimension: on the one hand, by using the Atlas-Ti program and on the other hand by following a reticular, category-based social network analysis with UCINET and yED Graph Editor. Results show that the joint use of PLEs and OERs designed by students improves their digital competence, mainly in capabilities such as: accessing and searching for online information; articulating information needs; finding relevant information; selecting resources effectively; navigating between online sources; and creating personal information strategies. Furthermore, the scrutiny of the forums using the reticular social network analysis shows how the main benefits of the implementation of PLEs and OERs are: a student-centric approach, the development of personal knowledge management strategies and the formation of a self-regulated learning model.


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