Human Factors in New Personal Learning Ecosystems: Challenges, Ethical Issues, and Opportunities

  • Helene FournierEmail author
  • Heather Molyneaux
  • Rita Kop
Conference paper
Part of the Communications in Computer and Information Science book series (CCIS, volume 1034)


This paper highlights over a decade of research on emerging technologies and learning innovation by the National Research Council, starting in 2008 with Personal Learning Environments (PLEs), connectivist-type MOOCs (cMOOCs) and more recently, new learning ecosystems. Late breaking research on human factors involved in critical learning on an open network will highlight participants’ experiences in a recent cMOOC on distributed learning technologies - E-Learning 3.0. Human factors research is essential in identifying the types of support structures needed to create a place or community where people feel comfortable, trusted, and valued, as part of critical learning on an open network. Gaps and limitations in current research and development efforts in the area of new learning ecosystems are addressed as well as future areas of research worth exploring.


Personal Learning Environments PLEs cMOOCs Connectivism Learning ecosystems Human factors 



We would like to acknowledge Stephen Downes, E-Learning 3.0 course facilitator. His philosophy on open and accessible learning has made this research possible and has contributed to over a decade of research and development on Personal Learning Environments and MOOCs in particular.


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Copyright information

© Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.National Research Council CanadaMonctonCanada
  2. 2.National Research Council CanadaFrederictonCanada
  3. 3.Yorkville UniversityFrederictonCanada

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