The NIIMLE Project in Northern Ireland begins, implementing a personal space for students integrated from multiple institutional systems. A similar project, SHELL, is initiated at the same time, as part of the UK funding agency JISC's Managed Learning Environments for Lifelong Learning development programme.
May 7–11, 2002: "EDUTELLA: A P2P Networking Infrastructure Based on RDF" is presented at the WWW 2002 conference. Edutella uses P2P protocols to enable the construction of a distributed global learning object network based on social networking principles. This enables any learner to publish or search for learning objects to enhance their educational experience.
2003: The ROMA project begins at the Open University of the Netherlands, focusing on the use of stigmergic connections within social networks to enhance individual learning experiences through the mining of anonymized information on the pathways chosen by successful learners. This work provided a foundation for the educational use and methods of social network analysis to support learning. (Similar work was also undertaken by INSEAD in France - more details needed)
February 2004: Working in collaboration with the University of Wolverhampton, Pebble Learning added a Flash-based interface to their ProfilAbility tool to create the first version of PebblePad, originally called PACE (Personal, Academic, Careers and Employability). A key feature of even the earliest version of the system was absolute control by the user both in terms of choices over interface and output designs, and over what was shared with who, with what permissions (view, comment, copy, collaborate) and for how long.
September 2004: The University of Wolverhampton launches a year long pilot for PACE with 160 students in four academic subject areas. While originally promoted as an ePortfolio system, with the inclusion of tools such as action planning facilities, meeting recording, sharing and commenting as well as linking to wider tools on the Internet the system began to be recognized as a Personal Learning System.
March 2004: The Elgg personal learning system was developed by Dave Tosh and Ben Werdmuller. Initially described as an e-portfolio system, and as a personal 'learning landscape' (which was, coincidentally, the original name of the Colloquia system), Elgg had from the beginning many of the characteristics that would become the critical features of PLEs, including social networking (based on FOAF), feeds, and a high degree of personalization.
Interactive Logbook
Interactive Logbook is an integrated Personal Learning Environment (PLE) for use in both formal and informal settings. The metaphor of a multimedia logbook describes its functionality and simplicity.
The PLE brings together all the tools and networked resources required by the learner. Running on the learner’s PC it helps the user to plan, manage, track and review their learning activity. The Logbook is essentially a shell application with plug in support for any local or networked tool. Example plug-ins include: word processor; email client; virtual learning environment (VLE); internet messaging; weblog aggregator.
The system keeps a record of the user's activities, which the student can then review as a personal learning diary, or revise and present as a portfolio of achievement, where evidence of learning can be mapped to a Personal Development Plan (PDP).
For the mobile learner, three features are key: offline access to online resources when out of network range; Tablet PC enhancements for note-taking; a mobile phone client for when access to a PC is impossible or inappropriate.
The phone client is a ‘helper’ application, allowing the user to continue making log entries wherever they are, whilst accessing a subset of the networked resources such as email, calendar and news feeds.
March 31, 2006: PLEX Beta released by the Personal Learning Environments Project at the University of Bolton. Informed by theory from Heidegger, Winograd & Flores, and Beer, the basic structure of PLEX has echoes of Colloquia: There is a resource manager, a people manager, and activities consisting of resources and people. People and resources are discoverable. PLEX supports the setting and realisation of learner goals with the creation of learning opportunities and their transformation into learning activities. Two versions were produced, a desktop version based on Eclipse, and a web-based version using a LifeRay portal. The Eclipse version is highly pluggable via Eclipse’s plug-in architecture.
Manchester PLE
2007 Mark van Harmelen and team release versions 1 (Sept) and 2 (Dec) of the Manchester PLE, an innovative system that merges social networking services with learning maps that initially express a learning plan and are then transformed to show knowledge gained by an individual or community.
2009 Dokeos released Dokeos 1.8.6 BETA, a PLE that focusses on individual learning through a personal notebook, conditional surveys (go to question 3 if answered B to question 1) and an individualized testing tool with scenario and redirections depending on the student's answers.
2009 RWTH Aachen University released the Personal Learning Environment framework (PLEF) (, a PLE mashup service that supports learners in aggregating, managing, tagging, commenting, and sharing their favorite resources (e.g. feeds, widgets, and different media) within a personalized space.
Personal Competence Manager
2009 The EU Funded Integrated Research Project TENCompetence released the Personal Competence Manager. This open sources and open standards based system aims to support lifelong learning and provides full control and ownership to the users themselves to manage, create, use and share eportfolios, learning activities, assessments, learning goals, social interaction, etc.
June 2009, launhced a PLE project,[1]. This approach appears to be much more alligned with theories of instructional design rather than falling withing the European paradigm of learning environments which are assembled and customised by the learner individually
LIP (Learning In Process)
Interactive Logbook (ver Corlett 2005)
Plearn (ver Fournier 2010)
LeContract (ver Poldoja 2010)

The ROLE project is a European-wide project that is addressing the responsive and intuitive element of PLEs and building an environment which is both responsive and open. Responsive Open Learning Environments (ROLEs) will empower the learner to build their own responsive learning environment – an environment which is aware of the learner’s preferred learning process and that reflects this back via individually-adapted content and elements.
The ROLE project is a consortium of 16 European organisations – and represented in the UK by the British Institute for Learning and Development and the Open University.

PLEM: Personal Learning Environment Manager

PLEF-Ext: Extensibility of Personal Learning Environments
In contrast to traditional LMS-driven e-learning solutions, a Personal Learning Environment (PLE) takes a more natural and learner-centric approach and is characterised by the freeform use of a set of lightweight services and tools that belong to and are controlled by individual learners. Rather than integrating different services into a centralised system, the idea is to provide the learner with a plethora of different services and hand over control to her to select and use the services the way she deems fit. A PLE driven approach does not only provide personal spaces, which belong to and are controlled by the user, but also requires a social context by offering means to connect with other personal spaces for effective knowledge sharing and collaborative knowledge creation (Chatti et al., 2007).

Kolas, L., & Staupe, A. (2007). The PLExus Prototype: A PLE realized as Topic Maps. In J. M. Spector, D. G. Sampson, T. Okamoto, Kinshuk, S. A. Cerri, M. Ueno & A. Kashihara (Eds.), Proceedings of the 7th IEEE International Conference on Advanced Learning Technologies (ICALT'07) (pp. 750-752). Washington, DC, USA: IEEE Computer Society Press.
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