Traditional learning methods expect all students to learn the same way. At a similar pace, with little to no consideration for the specific learning needs that an individual has. As we move away from an industrial society and into a digital age, people within education are realizing that this approach needs updating. In this CPD article, ‘What is personalized learning’ we will explore how personalized learning can be beneficial and ways to include personalized learning in the world of modern education.
What does personalized learning mean?
The personalized learning method first determines the context behind each student, in order to gain a deeper understanding of the different needs and circumstances of an individual. By doing this teachers can gain an insight into what is meaningful to that student and tailor this learning to meet any specific requirements that they may have. Typically, technology is used to try to facilitate personalized learning environments.
We store information based on meaning, and so when there is a personal correlation between the learner and the topic, they will be able to apply their personal experiences to the subject. This will give them a strategy that they can use to problem solve. Personalized learning celebrates what makes you unique as a learner and explores how these skills can make the learning journey more efficient.
Why is personalized learning important?
When looking at effective learning and teaching, it is always important that students do not just remember what they have learnt in the short term; they should instead understand and be able to apply this in the long term. To think analytically about what they have studied and to take their knowledge with them when they leave the learning environment.
The personalized approach recognizes that one size does not fit all when it comes to obtaining information. For example, a class of 30 people who are taught the same thing at the same time but having completely different levels of understanding of the topic by the end of class. This could result in some students falling behind, when others are now moving on to the next subject. Personalized learning aims to prevent this by changing the pace of learning to the student and allowing them to decide how they want to learn. It gives learners a say in their own educational journey.
Personalized learning aims to ensure that learning is adapted to each student, rather than the student trying to adapt to forms of learning that may not work for them. This increases their motivation to want to learn, learning becomes something that is meaningful and interesting to them. For students, it becomes something that is no longer is passive but instead something that they can engage with, enabling every student to gain the most out of learning.