Why Personalized Learning Matters
In 2017, things are changing in the classroom. To be fair, it’s been changing for the last few years. The traditional classroom structure is no longer an option. Most educational institutions are moving away from that model and embracing a new mode of teaching which is student-centric. This is also known as personalized learning. Now, for some people, they’re unsure of what that means. A simple Google search defines it as a diverse variety of educational programs, learning experiences, instructional approaches, and academic-support strategies, tailored to each student.
Why It Matters
- Superior Student Learning Support – Imagine a large classroom with several students in it. For the sake of argument, let’s take a sample size of 1:60 or 1 teacher to every 60 students in every classroom in a K-12 school. Is it possible that every student will receive the attention that he or she deserves? This is where personalized learning comes in. The same can be argued for a small class size. It’s not possible for a teacher to meet the concerns of each and every student. By committing to a customized plan for every student, the chances of student success will continue to rise.
- Actionable Insights – The role of technology has also made useful contributions to the education system. Assessment for learning for students provides teachers the information to deem where the student stands in the class. Students who already know the subject material will not need the personalized learning that others require. The analytics provided by the technology guide the students. The students whose scores’ are at a certain level can continue at their own pace while the teachers are free to pay attention to those kids that need it. Another crucial competent is that at the end of the week, they can meet with the children and assess their learning goals. Students review the goals they set the previous week, discuss their progress toward those goals, evaluate whether the strategies they used helped them, and develop new goals for the next week.
- Individualized Learning Modules – This is the essence of personalized learning. In colleges across the United States, one aspect of this is taking hold. It’s Competency-Based Education or CBE for short. CBE allows students to progress by proving their competence. Students must demonstrate their mastery over the skills and knowledge, regardless of how long it takes. Once the student has demonstrated this knowledge in the particular course, they move to the next level. In essence, it focuses on the principal needs of the student. As before, teachers are able to construct learning materials to suit the student as much as possible. They can provide the student with the attention they need if the student is unable to progress.
- Empowering Students – There is one word to describe this and that is choice. Students have the choice and willingness to succeed. It takes the dreariness of the regular classroom out of the picture and allows them to take control of their education. Personalized learning in education allows students to master the right expertise and have real impact on the rest of their lives.
- Job-Centric – Personalized learning isn’t just a fad. It’s a necessity. For most colleges and universities, the metrics that they are graded on, are not how many graduates they are pumping out but rather how many of those graduates achieve gainful employment. In the United States, Colleges and universities now have to account for gainful employment metrics and track their institutional scorecard results. Base funding, particularly for public institutions, is increasingly tied to performance against these and similar metrics. Therefore, when the students succeed outside the college campus after graduation, so does the university.
Personalized learning is here to stay. Its potential to improve the lives of students across the world is unbound. Learning in all its forms will continue to adapt to the challenges that await it.