personalised learning (full report)
This is just one picture of personalized learning — an approach to education that ties learning to an individual student’s strengths, weaknesses and interests; that often lets the student work at his or her own pace, and, where possible, allows students to direct their own lessons
In the 2013 survey commissioned for this Special Report, out of 120 K-20 education officials, 63 percent said creating a personalized learning environment was a top priority for their education institution.
For the purposes of this special report, the definition of personalized learning is: the tailoring of pedagogy, curriculum and learning environments to meet the needs and aspirations of individual learners, typically with the support of technology.
Rank the benefits of personalized learning, increased student engagement was by far the top benefit, chosen by 69 percent of respondents. Other advantages include greater student retention (39 percent), improved test scores (28 percent), higher grades (22 percent) and better attendance (22 percent).
TOP technologies fostering the shift to personalized instruction
- Mobile devices
- Digital contents including Adaptive software
Educational software is being transformed by the advent of adaptive learning technologies — programs that capture everything a student does, including scores, speed and accuracy, delays, lags, drop-offs and keystrokes. These formative assessments are collected by the program and then used to customize learning on the fly, giving students new tasks based on results, interests and learning style
- Video Conferencing, Lecture Capture and Screencasts
- Projectors, Interactive Whiteboards and Smart Tables
- Students explaining Something to other Students is very powerful; they Prefer to hear it from a Peer versus an adult and learn at a much deeper level When asked to present.” joanna antoniou, technology coordinator, lincoln middle School, n.J.
- Facebook pages for their Students to communicate .and txt messages
- Feedback Systems …
- Modules to Manage Student Data
- New forms of data analytics can help break down data silos, integrating social welfare data, health information and test scores, for instance. Contacts can be made on a selected, filtered basis, with email, snail mail or texts sent to just the affected students and their families.
- Campus Management Systems (LMS)
- At the post-secondary level, most institutions use LMSs that have built-in analytics to show how students are progressing. If assessments are included in the LMS, the instructor can gauge where students are and use this data in the classroom to group students together and detect patterns
- Data Analytics and Dashboard
- New Media Consortium’s 2013 Horizon Report on trends in higher education warns: “The biggest barrier to personalized learning is that scientific, data-driven approaches to effectively facilitate personalization have only recently begun to emerge; learning analytics, for example, is still in the very nascent stage of implementation and adoption within higher education.”27
- Indeed, data analytics software is critical to the implementation of personalized learning — providing instructors know how to use it. “The software piece gives us a little more hard data, so immediately you can see what the students are doing,” says Cleveland Elementary’s Cynthia White. “You can see how long the students are spending on the program and if they are engaged. You can tell when they signed in and out and what they did.” For busy teachers in a classroom, this is important information, since they can’t watch each child during an entire class session.
- It’s also key for teachers to know if a student is only staying in a favorite online corner of a program, completing activities he or she is comfortable with, says White. If this happens, teachers can set up restrictions so students are required to choose a variety of program activities.
- A user-friendly dashboard helps instructors interpret and act on the data they are receiving. One dashboard on the market today lets them see everything students are doing remotely across all applications, along with their data, which helps in student consultations and lesson planning. “Data is one of the biggest benefits of technology because you can instantly look and see where the gaps are. In the past it took a bit of work for the teacher to see what students were missing,” says John Logan, vice president of curriculum product innovation for Florida Virtual School. “Now you can see that on this benchmark, they haven’t quite got the mastery they need. I think data is going to be a huge part of learning in the future, both in brick-and mortar classrooms and virtual classroom