What Is Personalized Learning

Wouldn’t it be lovely if you had the time and energy every day to personalize learning for each student, so that all students were more engaged and more apt to learn?

Is that even remotely possible, though, in a crowded classroom full of diverse students who have different learning styles?

Personalized learning might be easier than you think…

What Is Personalized Learning

Personalized learning, in brief, is the art and science of individualizing instruction for each of your students. With the loftiest of goals, if you fully implemented personalized learning into your classroom, you’d have unique lesson plans for all of your students, based on what they know, what they need to know, how they learn most effectively, and their skills, interests, and cultural backgrounds.

Personalized learning is the opposite of the “one size fits all” approach that’s been prevalent in teaching for far too long. Instead, this type of instruction begins with the assumption that students have different learning styles and learn at different paces. When you tutor a student, undoubtedly, you’re using a variety of personalized learning techniques. The key is to take your tutoring-type skills and apply them on a classroom level.

Types Of Instruction For Personalized Learning

Below are four examples of personalized learning instruction.

Student-Centered Instruction: With this type of instruction, you pay attention to what students need and adjust your teaching style and lesson plans to accommodate them. Student-centered instruction exercises include: group activities and projects, soliciting student input, and making learning activities culturally and socially relevant.

Inquiry-Driven Instruction: With this type of instruction, you encourage students to ask questions, share ideas, and give input into what they’ll learn and how they’ll learn it. In inquiry-driven instruction, you start by asking open-ended questions, then prompting the students to ask questions. From there, you develop a plan that will ensure that students learn certain skills and concepts.

Data-Driven Instruction: With this type of instruction, you gather data to inform your instruction. You’re probably doing this already, perhaps without even being aware of it. You watch to see how many students are engaged while you’re teaching. You ask for a show of hands, tests, and homework to check understanding. In data-driven instruction, whether the process is simple or complex, you collect and analyze data, decide what to do with it, make a plan, and implement the plan.

Assessments: With this type of instruction, you use summative and formative assessments to measure what students are learning and adjust your teaching and curriculum accordingly. Summative assessments (tests) are usually administered at the end of a lesson, unit, or time period. Formative assessments are used continually and can help determine, in “real time,” how much students are learning.

Education 4 Equity

At Education 4 Equity, we offer a variety of online professional development courses for teachers, including a 3-credit course on Personalizing Learning and a 1-credit course on Formative Assessments. Our online courses qualify for graduate level credit for teachers. The courses are also approved for LAUSD salary points through the Los Angeles Unified School District.