Personalized Learning

Personalized Learning

DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-4237-8.ch001
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This chapter is designed to inform teachers, administrators, policymakers, and researchers on the history of personalized learning (PL), the definition of personalized learning, and how it differentiates from other teaching strategies such as individualized, blended, differentiated, and adaptive. The chapter provides an introduction, background information, a brief history of personalized learning, as well as challenges associated with adopting a personalized learning strategy. Additional resources and readings are included as well.
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A Brief History Of Personalized Learning

Just as PL lacks a clear definition of what it is, it also lacks a linear history. Personalized learning, in one form or another, has been around for a long time, whether it has involved an individualized education plan for a special education student or differentiated instruction for a classroom of 30 students. As long as there have been schools, educators have been attempting to reach students through their interests, skills, and abilities.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Constructivism: A student-centered learning theory that entails students building upon or constructing new knowledge based on prior experiences. Students learn by doing rather than gathering information from an external source.

Flexible Learning Spaces: An area for students to learn that can be adapted to students’ learning needs. Flexible learning spaces may be on- or off-campus and established in unique facilities (e.g., home, library, office, park, classroom, etc.).

Individual Method: A teaching method developed by John Dewey wherein students learn based on experiences in context of their interests.

Lancasterian or Monitorial Method: A teaching method developed by John Lancaster in which the teacher is a facilitator, and students tutor one another until competency is achieved.

Differentiated Learning: A strategy in which all students have the same learning goals, but teachers vary their teaching methods in order to meet the individual needs of the students and vary the complexity of the tasks and the learning supports for each student.

Implicit Theories: A construct used to make predictions and judge the meaning of events in one’s world. In other words, they are a commonsensical explanation for a phenomenon. Implicit theories of intelligence and personality influence the level of resilience students possess and their levels of success.

Blended Learning: Sometimes referred to as a hybrid model of instructional learning, it involves in-person learning and online education.

Adaptive Curriculum: Digital technology that provides immediate feedback to the student and adjusts the pace and difficulty of the questions based on responses.

Growth Mindset: Implicit theory that highlights that student academic achievement and social resilience is not fixed. In fact, those mindsets are malleable and can improve.

Universal Design for Learning (UDL): Scientifically based approach that uses the flexibility of technology to design educational experiences more responsive to learners’ differences. Universal design for learning strategies help remove barriers that may interfere with regular education or special education learning. The three core principles of UDL are (1) provide multiple means of engagement, (2) provide multiple means of representation, and (3) provide multiple means of action and expression.

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