Personalized Learning May 3, 2023

Understanding the Key Components of Personalized Learning

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Understanding Key Components of Personalized Learning

Personalized learning is an educational framework that aids students as they acquire knowledge, skills, and information. The fundamental underpinning of this approach is that the most efficient instruction adapts to meet the needs of each student’s strengths, conditions, and goals. This blog focuses on four key components of personalized learning: learner ownership of learning, formal and informal assessment data, creating learner profiles and learning pathways, and using flexible learning environments.

4 Key Components of Personalized Learning

Let’s dig into the key components of personalized learning that make it unique from other learning approaches.

4 Key Components of Personalized Learning

Taking Ownership of The Learning

Teachers and students share the responsibility for the learning process and culture in a personalized learning framework. To foster the learners’ sense of ownership and responsibility, educators develop a collaborative classroom community as they offer rigorous academic instruction. In this community, learners feel supported in taking risks, empowered, and responsible for themselves and their peers.

They learn to share opinions, listen carefully to others’ ideas, agree and disagree respectfully, reflect on their interactions, and brainstorm ways to manage any conflicts. These skills are vital in transforming the learning environment into a learner-centered one.

Taking Ownership of The Learning

The learning process in this collaborative community becomes customized when instructors engage in one-on-one conferences with learners to work on specific skills or strategies and provide feedback and guidance for applying that learning to each learner’s own educational journey.

Moreover, these one-on-one discussions guide learners so they understand what they are learning, why they are learning, how they will learn it, and how they will demonstrate what they have learned. Outside the classrooms, students can engage with one another around learning material, practicing what they have acquired as they apply it in real-life situations.

Formal and Informal Assessment Data

Educators who use a personalized learning framework also utilize learning evidence from multiple sources, such as pre-and post-assessments, and frequent formative assessments to generate a unique learner profile for each student. Summative assessments empower instructors to assess and measure students’ learning progress as a consequence of instruction, whereas formative assessments, like individual conference notes and observations, assist teachers in reflecting on students’ progress over time.

Formal and Informal Assessment Data

The multiple data points that the evaluation offers prove helpful in identifying each learner’s strengths and needs. With this picture of the “whole student,” instructors can tailor instruction to the individual, starting at each student’s developmental level and scaffolding the educational journey from that base.

Creating Learner Profiles & Learning Pathways

The unique learner profiles help in developing student-specific learning pathways. To create learner profiles, the skills, knowledge, and traits of a college and career-ready graduate are recorded against each learner’s individual strengths, areas for improvement, and academic goals.

Creating Learner Profiles & Learning Pathways

Multiple sources are utilized to develop such profiles and keep them up to date, including formative and summative assessments throughout the year. As a result, educators can collaborate with each student to generate an individualized learning plan that supports the learner in accomplishing standard-based learning outcomes using these learner profiles. Hence, the learning pathways constantly change as each learner progresses through instruction to meet and go beyond the learning results.

The instructional pace in classrooms based on learning pathways differs from that in traditional classrooms, where general scope or sequence based on state standards and district timelines determine pacing. In customized learning classrooms, the instructional pace is based on individual requirements. For example, an individual student may spend more time on one lesson or standard or accelerate through another topic based on their personal learning pathway.

Using Flexible Learning Environments

The collaborative classroom’s learning environment considers the diverse needs of each student in a way that educators adjust the learning space to meet the needs of learners and the instruction, providing constant support through anchor charts. Likewise, learners are gathered closely during the lessons to allow them to hear and respond to each other.

Moreover, institutions organize classroom libraries to enable students to quickly locate books of their interest at their reading levels and develop procedures and routines to allow learners to work independently at stations while the instructors work with small groups.

Utilizing whole-class instruction and individual conferences helps students become independent with a propensity to extend their learning beyond lessons and school days into all aspects of their lives.

Final Thoughts!

It is vital to remember that personalized learning is a framework that varies from district to district, institution to institution, and classroom to classroom. Nonetheless, whatever the setting is, the framework displays a common trait: learner-focused first. Therefore, starting from a clear understanding of learners’ skills, needs, and strengths can transform a traditional learning environment into a personalized learning classroom.

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