Personalized Learning

I am currently in a MOOC that is addressing digital learning in the 21st Century. Over the next set of posts, I am going to discuss the topics for each week of the course. The first week discusses Personalized Learning. What exactly is Personalized Learning? The US Department of Education defined Personalized Learning as:

“Instruction that is paced to learning needs (individualized) and tailored to the specific interests of different learners. In an environment that is fully personalized, the learning objectives and content as well as the method and pace will vary.”

At first glance, Personalized Learning could be mistaken for differentiation or individualization. This is a common mistake. True personalization  requires a shift from teacher-centered instruction to a more authentic, student-centered approach. Personalization instruction requires a program and approach that specifically is tailored to abilities, interest, preferences and other individual student needs.

When it comes to Personalized Learning, educators have discussed the main elements that are needed in any personalized program. Those elements include:

  1. Flexible, Anytime Learning
  2. Redefine the role of “Teacher” (Teacher is more of a facilitator)
  3. Project-Based and Authentic Learning Opportunities are present
  4. Student-Driven Learning Path
  5. Mastery or Compentency-Based Progression