Reflecting On Personalized Learning - What Research Suggests?

Reflecting On Personalized Learning - What Does Research Suggest?

The term personalized learning or personalization refers to a manifold variety of educational programs, learning experiences, instructional approaches and academic support strategies which if taken care of properly can help the distinct learning needs, interests, aspirations or cultural backgrounds of individual students.

Personalized learning refers to instruction where the pace of learning and the instructional approach are tailored to meet the needs of each learner. Please note here, that, learning objectives, instructional approaches and instructional content may vary based on learner’s needs. And with today’s technology at its best time, it makes personalized learning an achievable goal for the institutions.

In the present time, the reason why personalized learning is gaining traction in the education sector is because education stakeholders feel the best way to transform schools to better prepare each student for future success is by implementing personalized learning models. It is this model that can meet best address the unique needs of each student and help prepare students for a better future.

Hence, one can better understand why are there so many researchers keen on to discovering the various facets of Personalized Learning and how it is practiced by various institution and what big challenges need to be tackled in order for the institutions to implement this form of learning smoothly. We bring to you a list of five research on personalized learning conducted by various reputed organization both public and private and findings of which offer great insight to the topic in discussion.

Research # 1 - What’s Possible with Personalized Learning? Produced by iNACOL

Through this research, the researchers wish to inform schools, families and communities about the ‘potential of personalized learning and empower them with ways to support the shift to student centered learning.’

The highlight of this research study was to show that, while researchers found personalized learning being practiced with differing approaches, the characteristics are however common across most personalized learning classrooms.

Schools actually implement personalized learning by adopting many ways. To explain it, the research study brings in examples to reflect real school personalizing learning. In each of the school like Lindsay Unified Public schools, North Queens Community High School, Taylor County School District and many more to name all, there are classroom level differences in the way teachers teach and also in the ways the learners learn.

Read the complete Report of the Research, by clicking here.

Research # 2 - Insights on Personalized Learning Implementation and Effects – Produced by Rand Corporation and Funded by Bill &Melinda Gates Foundation

The report highlights on what does personalized learning generally look like and how does it differ in terms of practices in Schools situated nationally. Further it goes on to reflect the general challenges to implementing personalized learning.

Key findings of the research suggest that, more NGLC teachers falling under the survey had reported frequent receipt of high-quality student data and extensive use of the data to personalize instruction. Teachers in the two samples also reported similar rates of keeping up-to-date documentation highlighting student strengths, weaknesses and goals.

The report also highlighted, more NGLC students were reported using technology to track their learning progress. However, students in the two samples reported similar levels of discussion with teachers regarding their learning progress on learning goals.

Coming down to the challenges, it was reported that many NGLC schools struggled to use non-achievement data to inform instructional decisions and goal setting, in part due to challenges measuring those skills and integrating the results with other student data. Further data obtained from digital curriculum programs were not always well homogenized with other important school data systems.

For complete insight on the key findings mentioned by us in the findings summary, download the e-Copy of the Research by clicking here.

Research # 3 - Equity and Personalized Learning: A Research Review by the Council of Chief State School Officers

This research report not only highlights on the drawbacks as to why personalized learning cannot take place successfully for the underserved students but also discuss on some achievable ways in which those challenges can best be tackled.

Importantly, the challenges mentioned in the report highlights on the lack of policy maker’s knowledge and understanding about students’ needs, instructional rigor or a mismatch between expectations of high standards and the relegation of historically underserved students to classrooms with less rigor and technology access.

Further, the report also talks on the creation of personalized learning plans (PLPs) and how it differs from school to school but incorporates common characteristics like- individual student strengths and skills, skill gaps and academic aspirations to help track students’ progress towards both individual goals and classrooms or student based learning targets.

To get the complete details of the research, click here.

Research # 4 - Personalizing the Learning Experience: Research-Based Policies and Practices for district Leaders

Through personalized professional learning for future ready leaders’ project, the US Department of Education had responded on the need. Research findings show, in order to implement personalized learning, everything right from the set of research based policies and practices, videos of district leaders sharing their experiences with the colleagues can help kick start the efforts of the initiative.

Further, it goes on to say that, there are end number of proven practices, advice and first-hand experience that’s available to any district leaders who are gearing up to begin their own journey on the path to personalized learning. You may want to watch the videos demonstrating the examples of personalized learning and learn more on the research summary by, clicking here.

Research # 5 - Making Learning Personal for All- Research & the Promise of Personalized Learning published by

In the short research report, the highlighting point is- for personalized learning to be a success; it requires a more expansive use of learning Sciences research. Research gives a clear direction as to how technology can be infused to support learner variability for personalized learning practices by providing structures, strategies and scale.

Further a key reflection in the report is “delivering on the promise of evidence-based personalized learning for all requires a more research driven, technology -enabled approach to supporting learner variability in the classroom.”

Check out the full report, by clicking here.

Were the lists of Research summary mentioned above helpful for you?

Did we miss out any other important research report that reflects much valuable information on personalized learning - its benefits and challenges to implement it in schools and districts as per your knowledge?

Do write to us if we have, to help the discussion moving on and also to assist the decision makers implement personalized learning successfully in their institution.

About the Author
Author: Ananya DebroyWebsite:
Ananya is currently working as the Content Manager at EdTechReview. She has a keen interest in Ed Tech and the ways in which it is strengthening the education sector as a whole. She is an avid reader and loves to meet relevant people & unleash new updates on various innovations in the EdTech world as it indirectly helps her pen down well-researched blogs on the niche. Follow her @AnanyaDebRoy

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