Building identity in an institutionally supported personal learning environment: the case of SAPO Campus

  • Mónica Aresta Universidade de Aveiro
  • Luís Pedro Universidade de Aveiro
  • Carlos Santos Universidade de Aveiro
  • António Moreira Universidade de Aveiro
Keywords: Online identity, SAPO Campus, Personal Learning Environments, Higher Education, Digital environments


Social media is changing the way individuals learn, collaborate and express themselves, fostering the construction of an identity and reputation available to almost everyone. More than Curriculum Vitae, the construction of an online identity may reveal the sum of the learners’ skills and experiences. Introducing online identity as a concept that reflects the path of the learner’s personal, academic and professional lives, this paper presents the results of a case study developed at University of Aveiro, aiming to analyse how a group of thirteen students build identity in both open social online platforms and a platform provided by their Education Institution. Data was collected through in-depth interviews, questionnaires and  observation. Although still in progress, the study revealed the presence of two different online identity profiles (context-driven and user driven online identities), and the student’s awareness about their own online identity and reputation as learners and as professionals.