Personalised Learning

Personalised learning has been around for a while but now it’s gaining unprecedented momentum among educators. Its application in lower and higher education settings is based on the idea that each student should have access to learning resources that are most relevant to their specific needs, strengths, and goals.

Personalised learning can be practised at any age or grade level and at the pace of each student; it means helping students reach their own potential through strategies that match their interests and styles. Imagine a world in which every student receives the perfect education right when they need it. Personalised learning promises to take us there — and it can’t come soon enough.

For students, this means getting the right information understood, retained, and applied in ways that allow them to grow into informed decision-makers in their personal lives, both present and future.

What is Personalised learning?

Personalised learning is the use of information at your fingertips to enable you to take charge of your own education. Personalised learning is a way of teaching and learning that is uniquely tailored to each student’s current knowledge, skills, and interests.

By understanding each student’s strengths and weaknesses, teachers can adapt, pace, sequence, and personalize learning for all students in ways that promote engagement and personalization in the classroom.

Its goal is to support the attainment of competencies that are important for individuals, communities, sectors, or regions. The emphasis is on participation, connection, action and reflection.

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Benefits of Personalised learning

Besides academic skills, students gain life skills that will be useful for their future careers

Each Individual child is unique, and when his/her needs are recognised, that is the start of Personalised learning. It can begin to modify behavioural issues with more sensitive handling.

Personalised learning will help prevent some students from being left behind academically by providing remedial help to meet their needs. It allows educators to get a greater sense of what is going on mentally and emotionally in students’ lives.

Besides, life skills like organisation, time management, and goal setting will help students have a more successful future.

Significantly enhances knowledge

Personalised learning pursues this new objective in education: to design the most effective learning path for each individual student by drawing upon a rich set of assessment data.

Rather than using a one-size-fits-all classroom model, Personalised learning would allow students to take different paths through school based on their ability and interests.

Personalised learning goes beyond capturing knowledge for the sake of knowledge; it seeks to maximize understanding and retention.

Collaboration becomes more efficient and effective

Personalisation provides on-demand access to resources, activities, and lessons specific to a student’s skill and learning needs. Rather than following pre-determined pathways or schedules, student progress is assessed regularly and instruction is provided in a timely fashion.

Learning becomes more dynamic and students become more engaged as they receive more frequent opportunities to practice and demonstrate what they have learned.

Teachers are able to effectively manage their time

When teachers are able to harness the power of Personalised learning effectively, they have time to spend with students on things that truly matter.

Teachers are able to create a rich and engaging classroom environment that centres on the needs of students – skills they need to succeed in the workplace after high school.

An improvement in academic performance

Personalised learning is an education model that helps children reach their full potential. This approach to teaching provides each child with the support and guidance he or she needs to achieve academic success.

Research has shown that Personalised learning improves not only academic performance but also student engagement, confidence and motivation.

Personalised learning examples

Mentoring

Mentors play a critical role in helping students develop and grow as learners. When paired with a mentor, a student is more likely to increase academic engagement, improve grades, and progress towards their goals. Mentoring can take many forms.

You can be a formal or informal mentor, participating in school activities or learning alongside your student as they advance through the curriculum. Whatever arrangement you prefer, mentors play an incredibly valuable role in a student’s overall development.

One-on-one tutoring

One-on-one tutoring provides flexible, Personalised instruction for each student. A tutor can provide students with frequent and immediate feedback for better learning.

When it comes to learning, one size definitely does not fit all. That’s why students turn to tutors. Whether a struggling student needs to help understanding fractions or a gifted student wants help learning advanced robotics, tutoring is the fastest way to truly learn.

Search engines

Given the amount of information available online, finding what you need is no longer a simple matter of Googling keywords. More often than not, it involves applying a series of filters to retrieve not just the most relevant information but also the highest quality.

Search engines help users identify which online resources are relevant to them by returning tailored search results. Search engine results provide users with an opportunity for targeted learning by surfacing information that is specific to their interests and needs.

Course providers online

No need to wait for the next term. Students can now sign up on various online course providers at any time and receive access right away, so they can start learning right away.

What’s more, they can access past courses, and all of their feedback from past courses will always be stored in the system. It’s easy to navigate for students who want to start at the beginning of a course or jump around on demand.

Personalised learning approaches and strategies in schools

1. Allow students to contribute to their learning

In education, giving students the opportunity to contribute to the development of their own learning is known as student-centred learning. Being involved in meaningful activities will increase student motivation and encourage them to take on more independent roles.

One of the keys to creating motivation is to avoid controlling students’ behaviours and instead let them figure out how to do the work. When possible, give students a choice in how they are going to learn the material and give them some autonomy in deciding when and where they will engage with it.”

2. Provide teachers with training on how to assess students and tailor their experience

The essential core of a Personalised learning approach is to assess learners and then use the data from these assessments to tailor the learning experience. If teachers are not trained in how to collect, organise, and use assessments effectively this will severely limit the likelihood that these approaches will be successful.

3. Create a Personalised learning environment using technology

Learning approaches and strategies that help meet the learning needs of students with varied backgrounds, needs, and interests will become increasingly important to future-ready schools.

Teachers and other leaders can use technology tools to reduce barriers to Personalised learning in their classrooms and schools by providing flexible, enriching opportunities for all students to share their voices in instructional decisions’

Furthermore, this approach will enhance interaction with one another regardless of where they are located physically or digitally, and actively participate in their own learning.

4. Offer students multiple ways to demonstrate their knowledge

Students should be given a variety of ways to demonstrate their learning. Providing students with the opportunity to choose a project that they think is important or interesting shows them that you value their opinion and helps them become invested in their learning.

Furthermore, allowing students to choose from multiple methods for a given assignment can help to increase student engagement. This is true especially in students who may not be motivated by the traditional approach to teaching and assessment, as well as those who are already avid and successful learners.

There are many ways for students to demonstrate what they know. Find the right ways for students to show they understand the content.

5. Make the classroom flexible

A flexible classroom means that different activities and lessons can happen in different places on any given day. The way we think about the classroom changes from a permanent space filled with desks and bookshelves to one that is always adapting to the needs of students and teachers.

The physical classroom will become more flexible and students will be given their own learning space where they can carry on a conversation, learn using multiple modalities and work with peers. The teacher will become the manager, rather than the provider of the curriculum.

6. Choose the most appropriate lesson delivery method

When you’re planning lessons for the students, it’s important to consider how each one will be delivered. Will students read from a textbook? Will they watch a video? Or see a demonstration in class?

By considering these options, you can choose higher-interest material with more flexible delivery methods. In addition, when choosing which method to use for information delivery, remember that different approaches can help make learning meaningful and memorable.

7. Gradually assess students

Gradually assessing students is one of the key principles of differentiated instruction. Giving students a sense of what is expected in relation to their learning goals will give them a direction and a focus.

Normalising the assessment process by introducing it early on and gradually increasing how much students are involved, will help them become more familiar with it.

Finally, monitoring student work for gradual improvement will help you to continuously assess where students are coming from and what you can do to support them.

Final thoughts

Personalised Learning in the classroom is quickly becoming the norm. This approach to learning is not just about how we teach students, but it also extends to our interactions with them.

Today, customised teaching based on each student’s preferences and needs is making an enormous comeback. Although there is a lot of hype around Personalised learning, this method is proven to help many students learn better and increase their overall performance.

Personalised learning is about cultivating curiosity and discovering one’s passion — both of which are best discovered by doing, building, tinkering, creating, and trying new things. In this way, Personalised learning supports 21st-century skills, as students learn to apply knowledge to new situations and solve problems in their own way.

Additional Information and FAQs

How does Personalised learning help students?
Personalised learning identifies each student’s individual strengths and areas for growth, allowing teachers to personalise instruction to help every student reach their potential.

Students learn at their own pace, working through problems and challenges by taking a hands-on approach to learning. The curricula incorporate real-world situations that relate directly to the students’ interests and passions. It’s a revolutionary way to approach teaching and learning.

Is Personalised learning effective?

Yes, Personalised learning can improve student achievement. Research shows that when students are presented with questions that they actually struggle with, their ability to grasp mathematical concepts improves.

With Personalised learning, students’ proficiency on a skill is continually assessed and students are exposed to questions aligned to their skill level. This gives teachers a clear understanding of what areas each student needs to work on with sufficient instructional time and resources to help each student improve mastery.

Do Personalised learning strategies work?

Depending on what you mean by “work,” yes. Of course, no single strategy can be guaranteed to work for every student, just as there are no guarantees that teachers will be able to help all of their students achieve academic success.

That being said, Personalised learning strategies have a strong research base supporting them.

The evidence is clear: schools with a focus on Personalised learning produce students who are more engaged in their learning, persist longer in the face of challenges, and outperform their peers.

How did the new focus on Personalised learning arise?

Personalised learning is a response to the changing demands of the world in which we live. As a society, we are increasingly global and interconnected. People today are living in a diverse mix of cultures where it’s imperative to understand how others think and learn.

The original focus of Personalised learning came from a consensus around the many definitions of the words ‘differentiated learning’, ‘differentiation’ to ‘autonomy’ and so on.

It was commonly accepted that this kind of learning was crucial for effective teaching and learning. Students need and deserve access to Personalised learning – the ability to learn in a way that best works for them.

How does Personalised learning work?
Personalised learning is a revolutionary way of teaching that tailors lesson content to the needs and interests of every student. In a digital world, this means starting with individual students’ prior knowledge and building on that knowledge through concepts taught in classrooms.

Teachers work with students to assess their strengths and weaknesses so that interventions can be provided when students need them. Instruction then focuses on improving students’ understanding of the content and strategies that will help them achieve their goals.

What is the purpose of Personalised learning?

The purpose of Personalised learning is that it was designed to help teachers create powerful, student-directed learning opportunities that address each student’s unique academic, social and emotional needs as they pursue their passions for learning.

Personalised learning features a collection of powerful tools, content and professional development resources that make it easy for educators to personalize instruction to meet the diverse needs of today’s learners.

If educational technologies are a bridge over which students walk to be successful, Personalised learning is the bridge design itself. It is the pathway that will take all learners where they need to be based on their particular aptitudes, desires and educational or developmental needs.

Technology as a tool for Personalised learning

A new direction to personalise learning is here already. With new technologies emerging and the spread of internet access to classrooms, education has come a long way from the good old days of sitting at a desk listening to teachers lecture using chalkboards.

Now with technology, discussions can be online while teachers work collaboratively via class blogs. Students are able to access the world’s content by tapping onto the power of search engines and with social media, students can develop their critical thinking skills and work on flexible projects that suit their interests.

With so many schools and teachers using technology, the question is no longer whether to learn with technology but how to create a Personalised learning ecosystem that allows every child to work at his or her own pace, at any time. Putting technology in students’ hands gives them access to resources they can use in a variety of ways and learn from over and over again.