Type of work: Article (academic)
Categories:e-Learning and Instructional Technology
The main objective of this paper is to analyse the effect of the affordances of a virtual learning environment and a personal learning environment (PLE) in the configuration of the students' personal networks in a higher education context. The results are discussed in light of the adaptation of the students to the learning network made up by two undergraduate, inter-university and online courses. Besides, we also examine the influence of this effect in the learning process. The findings reflect the effectiveness of a PLE for facilitating student participation and for assisting students in the creation of larger and more balanced personal networks with richer social capital. However, the findings do not provide evidences about a difference in the learning performance between the two environments. From a methodological point of view, this paper serves as an illustration of the analysis of personal networks on digital data collected from technology-enhanced learning environments.