Personalised Learning: A Case Study in Teaching Clinical Educators Instructional Design Skills

Personalised Learning: A Case Study in Teaching Clinical Educators Instructional Design Skills

Iain Doherty (University of Auckland, New Zealand) and Adam Blake (University of Auckland, New Zealand)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-884-0.ch012
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The authors consider personalised learning in the context of delivering a specialist postgraduate course – ClinEd 711, ELearning and Clinical Education – at the Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences, University of Auckland. They describe the pedagogical theory underlying the course design and their experience of delivering ClinEd 711 with particular reference to the personalised learning process that the course design facilitated. They present their research results for the student experience of ClinEd 711 and discuss changes made to the course as a result of student feedback. They make reference to the introduction of student-led modules to further personalise the students’ learning experience. ClinEd 711 is a specialist postgraduate course with low student numbers; with this in mind the authors discuss the implications of their pedagogical approach for those educators involved in teaching larger classes. They conclude their paper with a discussion of the role of the educator in personalised learning.
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Personalised Learning

A key characteristic of personalised learning is that the student is located at the centre of the learning process. Personalised learning meets the individual learning needs of a diverse range of students whilst encouraging independent learning (Johnson, 2004) through learners taking greater responsibility for their own learning and through learners being more actively engaged in the learning process (Hannafin & Land, 1997; Ong & Hawryszkiewycz, 2003). It is the design of a particular type of learning environment “shaped by its foundations and assumptions about learning, pedagogy and the learner” that provides the conditions for personalised learning (Hannafin & Land, 1997, p. 197). For example, teachers can facilitate personalised learning by adopting teaching strategies that meet the needs, abilities and aptitudes of each student thereby providing for an individual learning pathway (Sun & Williams, 2004). This can be achieved through shifting responsibility from the teacher to the student for discovering, organising, analysing and synthesising content (Brush & Saye, 2000; Downes, 2005). Such strategies can maximise student motivation and attainment so that students realise their full potential (Johnson, 2004). However, the role of the educator remains crucial if students are to succeed (Hannafin & Land, 1997) with the educator fulfilling the necessary roles of facilitator and mentor (Johnson, 2004; McLoughlin & Lee, 2007; Ong & Hawryszkiewycz, 2003).

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