Personalised learning

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In this topic we will look at how we can support learning through:
  • Mentoring and facilitation
  • Diagnostic assessment
  • Learning agreements


What is personalised learning?

Personalised learning is where some aspect of the learning is tailored for individual needs and preferences. In this example, the following might be customised to the individual learner.

  • What is learned (aspects of the curriculum such as learning outcomes or content).
  • How the learning will take place (pedagogy and technology). [OR add in - This also includes any technology that is used.]

At Otago Polytechnic, personalised learning generally incorporates agreement and negotiation of both these aspects.

Typically, the customisation of learning involves collaboration with the learner to identify needs and negotiation of a learning agreement which spells out the specific details of the personalised learning.

In a personalised learning context, the roles of teacher and learner both change:

  • The learner takes on a greater responsibility for learning than in a traditional educational context.
  • The teacher hands over some responsibility to the learner, while at the same time assuming a mentoring and facilitation role for supporting and scaffolding learning. It is important to understand what these different terms mean, and they are explored further in this module. Read more about student support at Otago Polytechnic.

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Explore these articles about personalized learning to discover the links to intrinsic motivation.

Aviram, A., Ronen, Y., Somekh, S., Winer, A., & Sarid, A. (2008). Self-regulated personalized learning (SRPL): Developing iclass’s pedagogical model. eLearning Papers, no. 9. (pdf available on Moodle in the Readings folder.)

McLoughlin, C. & Lee, M.J.W. (2009). Personalised learning spaces and self-regulated learning: Global examples of effective pedagogy. In Same places, different spaces. Proceedings ascilite Auckland 2009. Retrieved from (Search for the paper.)

Northern Illinois University. (n.d.). Instructional scaffolding to improve learning. Faculty Development and Instructional Design Center, Northern Illinois University, Illinois. (pdf available on Moodle in the Readings folder.)