Training Academicians to Develop Personalized Learning Environment and Students Engagement (PLEaSE)

Training Academicians to Develop Personalized Learning Environment and Students Engagement (PLEaSE)

Raja Maznah Raja Hussain (Universiti Utara Malaysia, Sintok, Malaysia) and Huey Zher Ng (University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)
DOI: 10.4018/ijvple.2013100102

Abstract

This paper presents a Personalized Learning Environment and Students Engagement (PLEaSE), a project that examines ways of embedding technology and empowering learners to become co-designers of their learning. One of the ways is to engage the lecturers in the design of the learning environment. This paper wlecturers to engage students online through training. Five training sessions were conducted in three different higher education institutions in Malaysia. Data was collected from the online observations, online questionnaire and forums. The feedback and comments from the participants have shown that the training is useful and the engagement model is suitable for their own online courses.
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Personalised Learning

According to Järvelä (2006), personalized learning can be seen as an approach in educational policy and practice whereby every student matters, which equates to learning opportunities in terms of learning skills and motivation to learn.

A similar definition also can be seen from Pollard & James, in the report for the Economic, Social and Research Council (ESRC), (2004). They argued that:

Personalised learning is not a matter of tailoring curriculum, teaching and assessment to ‘fit’ the individual but is a question of developing social practices that enable people to become all that they are capable of becoming.

The term personalized learning is the promotion of self-realisation, with learners considered as active and responsible co-authors of their educational script (Leadbeater, 2003). By being in-charge of the learning company, students would set their own learning targets, adopt continuous self-assessment for learning and develop flexibility in learning beyond the classroom. The learners are supported to become self-organized (Kalz, Rob & Hornung-Prähauser, 2009).

The principles of personalized learning (Leadbeater, 2003) have been researched, repackaged and refined by several research bodies such as the UK DfES (Department for Education and Skills) Innovation Unit; Demos, an independent organization in UK; and National College for School Leadership-UK (NCSL), to comply with the recent education situation.

The British Educational Communications and Technology Agency (BECTA) has outlined clearer constructs for personalization to meet the needs of 21st century learning and teaching (BECTA: ICT Advice – 2005-2006). They include:

  • Tailoring content to user needs and learning styles;

  • Continuity of learning and out-of-hours learning;

  • Supporting anytime, anywhere learning;

  • Enabling peer/mentor dialogue;

  • Assessment for learning;

  • Involving learners in their own learning.

The words used to represent personalized learning include choice and preference, engagement and participation, responsiveness, flexibility, tailored and adaptable, and independence (Becta, Version 0.9: 3 January 2007).

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