Theoretical Framework of Personal Learning Environments: SPET Model

Xiaoshu Xu, Yilin Sun, Jie Weng, Y. Zhang

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


The lack of a compelling educational theory underlying the advancement of Personal Learning Environments (PLEs) has an impact on PLE implementation in Higher Education (HE). The purpose of this article is to introduce the concepts and theoretical framework of PLEs in the context of higher education. Constructivism, Connectivism, and Cognitivism have all been used in previous studies to explain the principles and implementations of PLEs. However, in order to promote the development of PLEs in higher education, a comprehensive theoretical framework is required. We developed the Society, Policy, Education, and Technology (SPET) framework to explain the environmental factors involved in accelerating the promotion of PLEs, beginning with redefining the value of Higher Education. Furthermore, we created a PLE framework that incorporates four major perspectives in the educational field to explain the internal factors of PLEs. These are academic administrative, learner and learning, teacher and teaching, and information communication technology (ICT) perspectives. All stakeholders involved in promoting PLEs in higher education can benefit from the two PLE frameworks.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTechnology in Education. Innovative Practices for the New Normal - 6th International Conference on Technology in Education, ICTE 2023, Proceedings
EditorsSimon K.S. Cheung, Fu Lee Wang, Kam Cheong Li, Naraphorn Paoprasert, Peerayuth Charnsethikul, Kongkiti Phusavat
PublisherSpringer Science and Business Media Deutschland GmbH
Number of pages18
ISBN (Print)9789819982547
Publication statusPublished - 2024
Event6th International Conference on Technology in Education, ICTE 2023 - Hong Kong, China
Duration: 19 Dec 202321 Dec 2023

Publication series

NameCommunications in Computer and Information Science
Volume1974 CCIS
ISSN (Print)1865-0929
ISSN (Electronic)1865-0937


Conference6th International Conference on Technology in Education, ICTE 2023
CityHong Kong


  • PLEs
  • higher education
  • personal learning environments
  • theoretical framework


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