Personal Learning Environment

The resources listed on this page are organized by knowledge-building strategies:4

  1. Information Resources - Finding text-based information. These include books, magazines, or Internet-based information.
  2. Interactive Tools and Media - Creating interactive activities and exploring media. With these resources, you can complete self-paced tutorials, create new projects, experiment with programs, and analyze resources available on the greater Web.
  3. Knowledge Networks - Seeking out structured learning and building a knowledge network. Students may join a special interest group, or subscribe to a specialty journal listserve. Mentorships, conversations, and group work forms an essential component of learning.
  4. Please complete the Academic Student Success module prior to starting the program in May.
  5. Review this article on phone usage during childhood. 

PA Studies Laptop Requirement

Beginning with your enrollment in the PA Program, you will need to have a Windows or Mac based PC laptop computer with internet access, microphone, and webcam.  Most course information is available online through our D2L program and Marquette email correspondence is required. iPads or tablet computers may be used for personal use, but all students must have access to a PC or Mac laptop computer for all program testing and specific assignments. Wireless access is available in the PA building and most campus structures.

Information Resources

When buying a computer, be discerning. The most inexpensive computers cost less for a reason. Read the specifications to make sure the computer has everything you need to be successful with your studies. Some minimum guidelines for computer configurations are below. IT Services recommends that you at least meet these standards when bringing a computer to campus.

Please contact the IT Services TechSquad at (414) 288-7799 with any questions regarding bringing a computer to campus.

Laptop Minimum Recommendations

Required Marquette University Applications


  • A PLE is a valuable tool for learning, as you are free to choose from a variety of ideational resources that can spark and sustain interest in learning. By using resources chosen for you by the program and instructors, as well as by developing and creating knowledge-building opportunities for yourself, you will cross the educational boundary and drive self-sustaining lifelong learning.4

Evidence-Based Medicine

Point-of-Care Products

  • UpToDate
    Evidence-based content on 10,000+ medical topics, drug and patient information, and medical calculators.
    • Login using VPN for free access. Download the mobile app for continued access off campus without VPN.
  • Epocrates

Medical Databases

  • Cochrane Library
    Includes the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, Cochrane Register of Controlled Trials, Cochrane Clinical Answers, and other evidence-based resources.
  • PubMed from National Institutes of Health International coverage of over 5,600 journals in biomedicine, including allied health, nursing, and dentistry. Includes access to other NCBI databases including molecular biology and genomic resources.
  • Web of Science Searches 12,000+ scholarly journals in the sciences, social sciences and arts and humanities. Cited Reference Search locates articles that have cited an older document.
  • CINAHL Indexes journals, dissertations, and other materials in nursing and allied health.
  • PsycINFO Comprehensive index of scholarly journal articles, books and dissertations in psychology and related fields. Subject coverage includes basic and applied psychology, abnormal and clinical psychology, experimental psychology, human and animal development, social psychology, professional psychology and educational psychology. Also includes bibliographic citations and abstracts of periodical articles, reports and dissertations, books and chapters.

Online Medical Journals


  • An emphasis on mastery goal orientation (learning a lifelong skill), as opposed to performance goal orientation (focusing on test scores), is important for self-efficacy. This is associated with greater utilization of additional learning resources in addition to and outside the classroom environment.5 

Interactive Tools & Media

Additional Study Resources

  • from Primal Pictures
    Provides images and video of human anatomy models and scans. Includes Regional, Systemic, and Sports & Therapy modules. Specialty titles include Dentistry, Head & Neck: Basic Neuroanatomy, and Speech Language Pathology. Features interactive 3D human anatomy models (The 3D Real-time Body), MRI scans, quizzes, movies, interactive animations and more. Content may be exported for use in lectures, student presentations or patient handouts.
  • Bates Visual Guide from OVID
    VPN Required
    Bates’ Visual Guide delivers head-to-toe and systems-based physical examination techniques for the (Advanced) Assessment or Introduction to Clinical Medicine course. The site features more than 8 hours of video content.

Note-Taking Apps

To-Do Lists

YouTube Channels and Playlists

Additional Recommended Applications

  • Zotero
    A free, easy-to-use tool to help you collect, organize, cite, and share research.
  • SPSS
    Statistical software

Knowledge Networks

Good students learn with understanding: generating verbal explanations that refine and expand example solutions. This self-instruction, mediated by self-explanation, plays a crucial role in the knowledge-building process. PA students can benefit from this activity through the formation of study groups. By taking turns leading group discussion for a particular topic, conceptual knowledge is enhanced through explanation and helps to build the self-identity of the learner as one who is knowledgeable.7

Social Connectedness and Belongingness

  • Students with higher social connectedness report more subjective well-being. Being online on social media platforms can provide a sense of belonging.6


Social Media Networking


  • Research shows that excessive stress undermines students' ability to pay attention, stay on task, and persist toward academic goals. Practicing mindfulness helps create a state of quiet calm and focus that can facilitate personal cognitive, emotional, and physiological conditions conducive to learning.8



  1. Dabbagh N, Kitsantas A. Personal learning environments, social media, and self-regulated learning: a natural formula for connecting formal and informal learning. The Internet and Higher Education. 2012;15(1):3-8. doi:10.1016/j.iheduc.2011.06.002
  2. Vansteenkiste M, Simons J, Lens W, Soenens B, Matos L. Examining the motivational impact of intrinsic versus extrinsic goal framing and autonomy-supportive versus internally controlling communication style on early adolescents’ academic achievement. Child Development. 2005;76(2):483-501. doi:10.1111/j.1467-8624.2005.00858.x
  3. Chatti MA, Agustiawan MR, Jarke M, Specht M. Toward a personal learning environment framework: International Journal of Virtual and Personal Learning Environments. 2010;1(4):66-85. doi:10.4018/jvple.2010100105 
  4. Barron B. Interest and self-sustained learning as catalysts of development: a learning ecology perspective. Human Development. 2006;49(4):193-224. doi:10.1159/000094368
  5. Archer J. Achievement goals in the classroom: students’ learning strategies and motivation processes. Journal of Educational Psychology. 1988;80(3):260-267.
  6. Kırcaburun K, Kokkinos CM, Demetrovics Z, Király O, Griffiths MD, Çolak TS. Problematic online behaviors among adolescents and emerging adults: associations between cyberbullying perpetration, problematic social media use, and psychosocial factors. Int J Ment Health Addiction. 2019;17(4):891-908. doi:10.1007/s11469-018-9894-8
  7. Chi MTH, Bassok M, Lewis MW, Reimann P, Glaser R. Self-explanations: How students study and use examples in learning to solve problems. Cognitive Science. 1989;13(2):145-182. doi:10.1016/0364-0213(89)90002-5
  8. Kabat-Zinn J. Bringing mindfulness to medicine: an interview with Jon Kabat-Zinn, PhD. Interview by Karolyn Gazella. Adv Mind Body Med. 2005;21(2):22-27.