Personalized Learning

"The idea [of personalized learning] is to customize the learning experience for each student according to his or her unique skills, abilities, preferences, background, and experiences."
Herold (2021)

Should I really spend the time personalizing my learning experiences?

Short answer is YES. Why? Let's look at the data. Case studies have "found that implementing technology in the classroom to create personalized learning plans increases student achievement and improves test scores by an average of 30%" (Saint Mary's University, 2021).
Personalized learning is not a new concept, but many are implementing it for the first time. Personalized learning always involves these core four elements - "targeted instruction, data-driven decisions, flexible content, and student reflection and ownership" (Vargo, 2022).

A breakdown of the core four elements can help drive your design:
  1. Targeted Instruction - At its most actualized, targeted instruction means that students can articulate what instruction they are receiving and why, and students have some choice over the instruction they receive. Personalizing learning encourages students to work with one another, share ideas, create new solutions and projects, provide one another with feedback, and, in the process, learn more about themselves.
  2. Data-Driven Decisions - Teachers use data to identify the unique needs of all students and tailor the content they engage with. This will ensure that all students can successfully complete a sustained inquiry while being appropriately challenged. Teachers and schools monitor data and make decisions to ensure all students are getting the differentiated support necessary to be successful with tier one instruction. They also use this to determine if students should receive tier two and three intervention.
  3. Flexible Content - Students learn in different ways and to truly personalize the learning experience, there must be opportunities for students to progress towards mastery of their learning through flexible learning pathways and at different paces.
  4. Student Reflection and Ownership - Student reflection and goal setting are practices that can build a bridge for students between the content they are learning and why they are learning it. While these are two separate practices, they can, and should be interconnected in the classroom. Reflecting on what we know and how we learn builds self-awareness that can make goal-setting a truly meaningful experience.

But how do I implement it? Luckily, there's a framework for that!

Personalized Learning Implementation, by EdElements

Herold, B. (2021, January 15). What is personalized learning?Education Week. Retrieved January 13, 2023, from

Saint Mary's University. (2021, May 25). The benefits of personalized learning through technology. Saint Mary's University MN. Retrieved January 13, 2023, from,rather%20than%20illuminate%20their%20disabilities.

Vargo, J. (2022, April 18). Six examples of what personalized learning looks like. Education Elements - Your Personalized Learning. Retrieved January 13, 2023, from