Criminal Justice Studies: Creating a Personal Learning Network (PLN)

“A strong personal/professional learning network (PLN) provides an advantage for learners and educators not available to those who work alone” (Davis, 2013, p. 1).

The personal learning network (PLN) concept developed from connectivism learning theory (Davis, 2013). A PLN is a network created by the learner consisting of likeminded people who wish to share ideas and thoughts on specific topics with the intent that the sharing and socializing offers additional learning opportunities (Davis, 2013).

What is a PLN

Benefits of the PLN on Criminal Justice Scholars

Learning occurs in many different formats. The benefit to the criminal justice scholar is connecting and collaboration with law enforcement professionals and other criminal justice scholars within the discipline who share the same research or topic interest (Davis, 2013). The networking and relationship building is flexible and provides any person within the PLN to have access to the network 24/7. Learners within the PLN are not bound by geographic locations and can be a global PLN (Davis, 2013).

PLN offer the opportunity for rich currency of diverse people in the network (Davis, 2013).

PLN share the latest criminal justice research literature, discuss current law enforcement trends, criminal justice policy, and stay informed on upcoming conventions and conferences.

There are many different social media platforms available to create a PLN that allow learners to stay connected and share information (Davis, 2013).

Intro to Creating a Personal Learning Network


Davis, T. (2013). Building and using a personal/professional learning network with social media. The Journal of Research in Business Education, 55(1), 1-13.

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Mark Bond

Mark Bond worked in law enforcement and has been a firearms trainer for more than 30 years. His law enforcement experience includes the military, local, state, and federal levels as a police officer and criminal investigator. Mark obtained a BS and MS in Criminal Justice, and M.Ed in Educational Leadership with Summa Cum Laude Honors. Mark has a Doctor of Education (Ed.D) with a concentration in college teaching and learning. Mark is currently an assistant professor of criminal justice at a university and adjunct professor of administration of justice studies at a community college.