Advantages and Disadvantages of Personalized Learning

Advantages and Disadvantages of Personalized Learning

DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-4237-8.ch008
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In this chapter, the advantages and disadvantages of personalized learning are presented in detail. What the evidence will clearly show—as demonstrated in the following paragraphs—is that the advantages of personalized learning clearly outweigh the disadvantages. Students who participate in a personalized learning environment through high school are better equipped to manage a job—a position where they will need to practice critical thinking skills and creativity—because they are more focused and can work independently. Although it can be expensive to initially establish a personalized learning environment in a school, eventually the students will benefit and be better prepared for the job market.
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According to Hall Rivera (2017), the advantages to PL are numerous. Personalized learning allows students to take ownership of their own learning. They determine their destiny and are responsible for what they need to learn in order to satisfy the state academic standard. By the schools and teachers giving students this power, the pupils feel that they have a purpose, and for some it may be the reason they remain in school. Hall Rivera further noted that PL may also assist students with learning to collaborate and communicate with their peers, which will transfer to skills they can use in the workforce as adults. Personalized learning can also provide students with the sense that they belong to a group, which can support them both emotionally and physically. It also provides a straightforward way for students to demonstrate mastery of knowledge through means other than paper and pencil, the traditional way to show one knows something about a specific topic. Since many students become upset to the point where they may make themselves physically sick when asked to take a traditional paper and pencil assessment, being able to demonstrate that they have learned the material using another modality allows the pressure of classroom expectations to dissipate. In addition, students who participate in PL environments have less absences from school, and the pupils tend to submit their assignments on or before the due dates because they learn to manage their time more efficiently (Hall Rivera, 2017).

Morin (2019) concurred with Hall Rivera (2017), stating that because PL is still in its infancy stages, many various aspects of it can be explored and tried. It may also assist with getting rid of the stigma associated with students who have special needs since everyone works at their own pace and ability level on tasks that they are interested in. With PL, no longer will the child who has an identified learning disability be singled out for having to complete a task on the computer in order to have it read to them because all students will be working on the computer at their own pace accomplishing the state standards (Morin, 2019). It is a great advantage for all students.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Corporate World: The world of business and industry that will employ students once they have completed high school or college.

Personalized Learning (PL): Developing lessons based on student-specific learning needs and interests. It can be used for students with and without an identified disability.

Self-Paced: Students determine how much time they want to spend on a particular academic content area. They may want to spend an entire day completing their math modules or spend 2 days working on a science project. The student is in total control over what they learn, when they learn it, and how long they spend learning it. The only requirement is that they must met the state academic standard for that content area.

Self-Discipline: The idea that students are responsible for determining their own learning and the methods to accomplish it, whether by sitting in front of the computer or in a classroom, and are willing to put in whatever hours are necessary to complete the assignments.

Professional Development: Classes or courses teachers take, for a fee or for free, to improve their teaching skills or to earn another degree These courses may be offered within their school or district, online, or at a college or university.

Self-Determination: Students taking control of their own educational path and eventually their lives.

Traditional Learning Environment: Typically, a setting where the teacher stands in front of the classroom and talks to the students. The student may have an opportunity to interact with peers and the teacher or use manipulatives, but most of the time the student is a passive rather than an active learner.

Self-Advocacy: The ability of students, especially students with an exceptionality, to explain to their teachers and employers what their needs are and how those needs can be met. Many students with an identified disability lack this expressive ability.

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