Perceptions in Higher Education of Professional Learning Networks (PLNs)
Wednesday, March 8 4:35-4:55 PM Location: Capitol G
Abstract: Many faculty members in higher education have turned to professional learning networks (PLNs) to take advantage of reduced temporal and spatial constraints in an effort to engage with colleagues. While we know that professors have cultivated PLNs, there is scant research about what PLNs mean to the professional lives of higher education professionals. This manuscript reports initial findings of a qualitative study in which we investigated PLN experiences through analysis of survey data from 151 higher education faculty members. While findings are similar in some regards to studies completed with K-12 teachers, data analysis suggested that higher education participants had stronger connections to professional associations and a more intense focus on resources. These findings have implications for defining the present and future of learning in higher education in the 21st century.