Validating teachers competence for personal learning environments a delphi study
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Validating Teachers’ Competence for Personal Learning Environments A Delphi Study. Zaffar Ahmed Shaikh (Presenter) Dr. Shakeel Ahmed Khoja. To Be Discussed. What is Learning? What is Personal Learning? What are Personal Learning Environments? Teachers’ Role in PLE Design

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Validating Teachers’ Competence for Personal Learning Environments A Delphi Study

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Validating teachers competence for personal learning environments a delphi study

Validating Teachers’ Competence for Personal Learning EnvironmentsA Delphi Study

Zaffar Ahmed Shaikh (Presenter)

Dr. Shakeel Ahmed Khoja

To be discussed

To Be Discussed

  • What is Learning?

  • What is Personal Learning?

  • What are Personal Learning Environments?

  • Teachers’ Role in PLE Design

  • Teachers’ Competencies for PLEs

  • What is Delphi Study?

  • This Study

  • Results

  • Discussion

  • Conclusions

  • Recommendations

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Validating teachers competence for personal learning environments a delphi study

“Man is by nature a social animal...Society is something that precedes the individual.”


Social construction of knowledge epistemology holds that we human beings create knowledge and ascribe meaning and definitions to terms and concepts; that our epistemologies originate with us and within us and not outside of or beyond us.

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Validating teachers competence for personal learning environments a delphi study

What is Learning?

The acquisition of knowledge or skills through experience, practice, or study, or by being taught.

  • Formal learning has been linear.

    • School knowledge is pre-determined by a centralized authority, anddelivered in a linear format to a mass audience. 

  • Informal learning has been non-linear (network). Our brains learn non-linearly (links & nodes).

  • Fortunately, we are in the age of Networked Learning.

  • But, beware, informal learning is unguided, with no particular end in mind.

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Validating teachers competence for personal learning environments a delphi study

What is Personal Learning?

Learning that is for any personal interest or hobby

From totally unguided, with no particular end in mind to totally focused with very particular goal in mind

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Validating teachers competence for personal learning environments a delphi study

What are Personal Learning Environment?

From linear learning to interactive learning hypermedia

From instruction to the construction of knowledge discovery

Learning focused on the learner. The teacher as the facilitator

Learning how to learn, think critically and navigate

Learning bored by inactivity to learning fun and challenging

Of learning by interacting only with materials, to learn by interacting others

PLE recognizes individual’s role in organizing his learning

PLE extends access to educational technology to everyone

PLE includes and brings together all learning

PLE facilitates sharing of learning artifacts

PLE supports networks of people, content, and services

The argument for the use of PLEs is not technical but rather is philosophical, ethical and pedagogic

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Validating teachers competence for personal learning environments a delphi study


“A personalized environment that is constructed for learning purposes.”

“Systems for enabling self-directed and group-based learning, designed around each user’s goals, with great capacity for flexibility and customization.”

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Fitting ple concept with l earning process

Fitting PLE Concept with Learning Process

  • Are learners familiar with PLE conception?

  • Do learners know how to develop a PLE to get benefitted in formal and informal learning settings?

  • Do they need scaffolding that enable them to exploit PLE for social interaction, global participation, peer review, and content management?

  • How to use PLE conception to make them lifelong learners? Because no one can depend of a teacher in the whole life.

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Teachers role in ple design

Teachers’ Role in PLE Design

  • Teachers are asked to help learners (specially millennials) to develop a PLE for them.

  • Teachers should equip themselves for personalized learning scaffolding.

  • Question: are teachers capable and ready to provide PLE scaffolding to learners?

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Teachers competencies for ples

Teachers’ Competencies for PLEs

  • Teachers don’t know enough about PLEs, personalization, and personalized learning scaffolding (Leadbeater, 2010).

  • They don’t know about their roles and competencies for PLE process (Väljataga & Laanpere, 2010).

  • Only, recently, the literature has been providing some rigorous discussions on this topic (Downes, 2011; Shaikh & Khoja, 2012).

  • This study intends to explore and validate teachers’ competencies and readiness for PLE process.

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This study

This Study

  • Questions

    • What changes in teachers’ traditional competencies are required due to the induction of PLE conception in students’ learning processes and changes in pedagogy, which favor a more constructivist and less teacher-centric approach?

    • Which skills and knowledge are necessary for teachers to provide proper PLE guidance to their students?

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Delphi study

Delphi Study

  • A collaborative problem-solving method which is used to solve emergent problems without holding face-to-face meetings.

  • Types of Delphi studies:

    • Classical Delphi: for establishing facts from vague concepts

    • Policy-Delphi: for generating ideas from any new phenomenon

    • Decision-making Delphi: getting concrete results to make better decisions

  • Delphi’s distinction:

    • liberty of selecting a small number of experts, multiple round probe, individual reporting to each participant, avoids the drawbacks of face-to-face debates, respects minority views, etc.

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Why delphi

Why Delphi?

  • The phenomenon teachers’ capabilities and readiness for PLE processis new to higher education people.

  • Requires community contribution for establishing facts in order to make better future decisions.

  • The opinion of domain experts encourages wider level debates and provides future research agendas.

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  • 34 international PLE experts participated.

    • teachers, researchers, designers, and practitioners

  • Extensive literature review of papers published between 2006 – 2012.

  • Questionnaire containing a 60-item teachers skills list for PLE process was designed.

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Data analysis

Data Analysis

  • Agreement/acceptance measurement (5-1 likert-type scale)

  • Consensus measurement - High consensus, moderate consensus, low consensus (0 to -2 biased weights).

  • Desirability measurement for important skills (1-0 weights)

  • To determine whether to accept the competency or not, weights of 1st two columns were summed to final status column (5-1 likert-type weights)

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Validating teachers competence for personal learning environments a delphi study

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  • Results show that the participants achieved an overall consensus on statements.

  • The consensus developing process shows moderate-to-high convergence (IQR<=1.0).

  • The statements that gained strongly accept or accept statuses are considered the results of this Delphi.

  • Delphi Participants reviewed the competency list and reduced it to 54 skills in three rounds (Table 2).

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Validating teachers competence for personal learning environments a delphi study

Planning & Design Competence

  • Defining participatory, social, and supportive learning processes.

  • Designing personalized, collaborative, & peer learning activities.

  • Guiding students setting a PLE for themselves.

  • Designing courses that emphasize a high degree of trust in students’ ability to self-manage learning.

  • Harnessing resources that exist outside the formal spaces.

  • Designing environments that offer dynamic perspectives to incorporate pedagogical scaffolds.

  • Adapting curriculum to include learner-focused forms of feedback and assessment.

  • Developing facilitated online community of inquiry.

  • Defining instructional design procedures that enable learner-driven participation in developing learning processes.

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Instruction learning competence 1

Instruction & Learning Competence/1

  • Embracing learner-centred and provider-driven approach to instruction.

  • Fostering self-actualized skills of learners.

  • Knowing collaborative, connective, active, constructive, reflective, and authentic aspects of learning.

  • Managing non-formal and informal learning spaces.

  • Providing adaptable and flexible learner and task scaffolding.

  • Using tools to create authentic assessment, discourse analysis, rubrics, etc.

  • Determining applicability, relevance, and accuracy of information sources.

  • Understanding how humans learn, assimilate information, and use knowledge.

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Instruction learning competence 2

Instruction & Learning Competence/2

  • Knowing PLE conception, teaching methods, teaching and communication styles, etc.

  • Promoting development of learner autonomy and effectiveness.

  • Critically reflecting aspects of teaching and academic work .

  • Diagnosing misconceptions about learning, concepts, etc.

  • Enabling learners to become co-producers of learning resources.

  • Mixing presentation methods in effective and efficient manner.

  • Correctly identifying present and future understandings and needs of students.

  • Understanding cognitive aspects of instruction and learning.

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Communication interaction competence 1

Communication & Interaction Competence/1

  • Empowering learners to actively define their own learning trajectories.

  • Encouraging peer learning, social links, and participation.

  • Promoting teamwork among learners.

  • Engaging students in the processes of inquiry together as a cohort, etc.

  • Building learners’ confidence and communication skills.

  • Creating personally meaningful and authentic learning opportunities.

  • Recognizing learners’ forms of skills and knowledge.

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Communication interaction competence 2

Communication & Interaction Competence/2

  • Achieving personalization through dialogue-based negotiation process.

  • Understanding, acknowledging, and reinforcing learners’ contributions.

  • Analysing patterns of cooperation among students and teachers.

  • Helping students understand their learning style.

  • Identifying areas of consensus for improving learners’ performance.

  • Prompting and controlling discussions.

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Management administration competence

Management & Administration Competence

  • Managing within and outside classrooms environments.

  • Promoting accessibility for learners.

  • Providing learning guidance, feedback, and advice to students.

  • Enabling self-direction, knowledge building and autonomy of students.

  • Assessing efficacy of learning processes and learning services.

  • Performing front-end analysis by comparing actual and ideal performance levels in workplace.

  • Ensuring learners are capable of making informed educational decisions.

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Use of technology competence

Use of Technology Competence

  • Facilitate learners to become prosumers of knowledge.

  • Help learners adapt to the changes brought on by Web 2.0 technologies.

  • Support applications of learning, learning communities, and networks.

  • Facilitate information presentation.

  • Facilitating learners in sharing/managing online file areas, etc

  • Creating online interactive content.

  • Capitalizing learners’ interests and digital competencies.

  • Solving learners' programming problems.

  • Providing traditional and virtual learning environment uses of applications for web-based learning.

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  • Teachers need not to master in all 54 competencies suggested.

  • At least some familiarity and understanding of these competencies is necessary for them to prove they are capable.

  • Teachers should excel in 36 strongly accepted competencies.

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  • Teachers’ familiarity and awareness with suggested competencies should be given importance at the time of staffing and training of teachers, and curriculum development.

  • Qualitative studies may be conducted that augment in depth the competency statements of this study.

  • University administrators may use the results of this study in developing strategies that intend to integrate traditional learning approaches with personalized learning processes.

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References 1


  • Aragon, R. and Johnson, D. (2002): Emerging roles and competencies for training in e-learning environments. Advances in Developing Human Resources, 4(4): 424 – 439.

  • Arenas, E. (2008): Personal learning environments: implications and challenges. In D. Orr, P.A. Danaher, G. Danaher, & R.E. Harreveld (Eds.), Lifelong learning: Reflecting on successes and framing futures. Keynote and refereed papers from the 5th International Lifelong Learning Conference (pp. 54–59). Rockhampton: Central Queensland University Press.

  • Attwell, G. (2007). The personal learning environments - the future of eLearning? eLearning Papers, 2(1),

  • Attwell, G. (2012): Reflections on Personal Learning Environments. Video Interview,

  • Brill, J. M., Bishop, M. J., & Walker, A. E. (2006): The competencies and characteristics required of an effective project manager: A web-based Delphi study. Educational Technology Research & Development, 54(2), 115-140.

  • British Columbia. (2011): Personalized learning in British Columbia: Interactive Discussion Guide,

  • Chatti, M. A. (2010): LMS vs. PLE. Mohamed Amine Chatti's ongoing research on Knowledge and Learning

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References 2


  • Downes, S. (2010): The role of educator in a PLE world, Stephenʼs web,

  • Drexler, W. (2010): The Networked Student Model for Construction of Personal Learning Environments: Balancing Teacher Control and Student Autonomy. Australasian Journal of Educational Technology, Vol 26, No. 3, pp 369-385.

  • EIFEL. (2006): The Teacher/Trainer eLearning Competency Framework Skills check,

  • Fazio, L. S. (1984): The Delphi: Education and assessment in institutional goal setting. Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education, 10 (2), 147-158.

  • Guasch, T., Alvarez, I., Espasa, A. (2010): University teacher competencies in a virtual teaching/learning environment: Analysis of a teacher training experience. Teaching and Teacher Education, Volume 26, Issue 2, February 2010, Pages 199-206

  • Häkkinen, P., and Hämäläinen, R. (2011): Shared and personal learning spaces: Challenges for pedagogical design, Internet and Higher Education (2011).

  • Harmelen, M.V. (2006): Personal Learning Environments. In Kinshuk, Koper, R., Kommers, P., Kirshner, P. Sampson, D. and Didderen, W. (Eds.), Proceedings of the 6th International Conference on Advanced Learning Technologies (ICALT'06), Kerkrade, Netherlands: IEEE,

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References 3


  • Kenis, D. G. A. (1995): Improving group decisions: Designing and testing techniques for group decision support systems applying Delphi. Doctoral Dissertation, the University of Utrecht, The Netherlands. 20-34.

  • Prensky, M. (2001): Digital natives, digital immigrants, part II. Do they really think differently? On the Horizon, 9, 6, 1–6.

  • Prestridge, S. (2010): ICT professional development for teachers in online forums: Analyzing the role of discussion. Teaching and Teacher Education, 26 (2010) 252–258

  • Riecken, D., (2000): Guest ed. Personalized views of personalization (special section). Commun. ACM 43, 8 (Aug. 2000).

  • Sanders, E. (2001): E-learning competencies. Learning Circuits. March 2001. American Society for Training and Development.

  • Shaikh, Z.A. and Khoja, S.A. (2011): Role of ICT in shaping the future of Pakistani higher education system, Turkish Online Journal of Educational Technology, vol. 10(1), 149 – 161

  • Shaikh, Z.A. and Khoja, S.A. (2012). Role of Teacher in Personal Learning Environments. In: Digital Education Review, 21, 22-32. [Accessed: 18/06/2012]

  • Ziglio, E. (1996): The Delphi method and its contribution to decision-making. In Gazing into the oracle: The Delphi method and its application to social policy and public health, ed. M. Adler and E. Ziglio, 3–33. London: Kingsley.

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Thank you

Thank you

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