A Personal Learning Environment (PLE) is your individual educational ecosystem consisting of the unique tools, resources, and spaces you employ to integrate formal and informal learning and to foster self-regulated learning.1 PLEs enable students to create, organize, and share content, participate in collective knowledge generation, and maganage their own meaning making. Your PLE will consist of resources specifically chosen for you as a part of your formal education as well as those resources curated by you for the pursuit of knowledge. When you choose your own learning resources, you increase self-regulation and engagement.2 Furthermore, unlike the traditional LMS, these resources will continue to be useful upon graduation. Learning is not restricted to the classroom, and thus the PLE will be a tool that is returned to and built throughout your life.3 The tools and resources listed below have been selected to reflect the unique needs and challenges of PA school, professional practice in healthcare, and self-development.
Personal Learning Environment
The resources listed on this page are organized by knowledge-building strategies:4
- Information Resources - Finding text-based information. These include books, magazines, or Internet-based information.
- 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.
- 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.
PA Studies Laptop Requirement
Beginning with your enrollment in the PA Program, you will need to have a Windows 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. Mac computers may be used for personal use, but all students must have access to a PC laptop computer for all program testing and specific assignments. Wireless access is available in the PA building and most campus structures.
Laptop Minimum Recommendations
- Processor: Intel Core i5/i7 recommended
- Operating System: Laptops must have Windows 10 installed
- Memory: 4 GB RAM or greater
- Hard Drive: 256 GB or greater solid state hard drive or greater
- Network: Either Wi-Fi 5 (802.11 AC) or Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax)
- Other: Portable mouse, HDMI dongle, and 1 TB USB thumb drive also recommended
- Academic Discount: Lenovo
Required Marquette University Applications
- Brightspace (D2L)
- Microsoft Office 365
Use Office 365 Pro Plus for free on up to five desktop computers (Mac or Windows) and up to five mobile devices. Save up to 5,000 GB of file storage.
- Global Protect VPN
- Duo Multi-factor Authentication
Print from your personal computer to any campus PrintWise printer.
- 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 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.
A clinical reference tool designed for point-of-care use. Mobile version available.
- 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
- Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA)
- New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM)
- British Medical Journal (BMJ)
BEYOND THE CLASSROOM
- 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
- Anatomy.tv 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
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.
- PA Core Education from OVID
Physician Assistant students from across the country have developed sets of study materials. Look for sets that are case-based, as traditional flash-cards are not as useful.
YouTube Channels and Playlists
Additional Recommended Applications
A free, easy-to-use tool to help you collect, organize, cite, and share research.
Social Connectedness and Belongingness
- Students with higher social connectedness report more subjective wellbeing. Being online in social media platforms can provide a sense of belonging.6
- 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 condusive to learning.8
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 Media Networking
- MUPANow (PA-3 Students, Alumni, and Professionals)
- Marquette Physician Assistant Alumni Facebook Group
- Marquette Health Sciences Twitter
- Marquette University PA Instagram
Is your favorite app or resource not listed? Share your favorite PLE tool so your PA school peers can benefit too!
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- Archer J. Achievement goals in the classroom: students’ learning strategies and motivation processes. Journal of Educational Psychology. 1988;80(3):260-267.
- 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
- 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
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.