If you’re an educator, you’ve probably come across this thing several times – once the bell of signaling the end of a class rings, some students are left with questions and doubts with some others are bored because of the repetitive nature of the study materials. And this perhaps is the biggest reason why introduction of a personalized learning experience is getting so much important these days. Put simply, personalized learning is all about shifting from the old-school teacher-centered method to a student-centered method. In this post, we’re going to discuss seven techniques that you can implement a personalized learning experience in your classroom.
But before delving deeper, let’s understand what a personalized learning experience is all about.
What’s personalized learning?
A personalized learning means creating a curriculum and environment that encompass the needs and abilities of each student. While the method, as well as, the speed of learning may vary from one student to another, the academic standards and end goals don’t differ. The emergence of personalized learning has made it easier for teachers to develop student-centered lessons that offer a multitude of benefits – from improved student engagement and streamlined differentiated learning to facilitation of design thinking.
Let’s have a look at seven effective techniques that would help you implement personalized learning in the classroom.
Key tips to implement personalized learning
Here’re some simple yet high effective methods that would help you create a relevant connection between the learner and the learning, leading to a truly personalized learning experience.
1. Use of EdTech
Leveraging the power of technology to engage and connect with students is an amazing way to offer personalized learning. You can use e-learning systems to dynamically manage and track the learning requirements of the students, from anywhere at anytime, without being restricted within the four walls of a conventional classroom. For instance, game-based learning systems let students learn at their own pace while having fun doing it. You can also use other kinds of common-used technologies to implement personalized learning. For example, Google Docs encourage students to collaborate easily while allowing educators to monitor the academic development of their students.
2. Project based learning
This learning method provides the students with more opportunities to practice in a specific way that addresses their needs. Project based learning is a method of promoting student-driven inquiry where they’re able to create their own important question and explore something which is of interest to them. It promotes creativity, problem-solving, critical thinking, and improves the learning potential for every student as they build their own learning path. You can also integrate other tools to this method to amplify the learning potential of your students and keep them connected with more relevant and specific information.
3. Giving students multiple opportunities
While standard test results are always important, providing students with other useful ways to demonstrate their understanding would help them realize their responsibility for their education. Continuous evaluation of students as they progress through course material would help you obtain a unique insight into the acquired knowledge of every student. As a result, if you find one of your students is struggling with a certain topic, you can think of having a 1:1 session to help him/her understand it. To make it even more personalized, you can give students an opportunity to demonstrate what they’ve learned by organizing a practical setting.
4. Goal setting
The method of setting some goals is one of the most effective methods of implementing personalized learning and getting the students on the right track. It’d help them get direction, gain focus, and can act as a big motivator. You can guide students to help them see where they’re now academically and where they should be by the next quarter. Have them develop their own goals and take ownership while ensuring the goals are completely realistic and not too difficult to attain. For instance, learning some math facts could be a goal for younger students whereas some writing goals might be appropriate for your older students. You should start with two or three goals and once they’re met, you can add a couple more.
5. Flexible classroom
Introduction of a flexible classroom is another useful method of implementing personalized learning. This method often brings in a good number of benefits – from reduced discipline issues and improved grades and attendance to building a more positive ambiance in the classroom. Having a flexible classroom that complement personalized learning would let students concentrate on the right tasks while encouraging collaboration and making it easier for educators to work with smaller groups that promote targeted instruction.
6. Learning apps
These days, there’re lots of educational apps available in the market that allow students work and learn at their own pace. Many of these apps even provide students with some initial assessments to make them prepared before they get to work. These apps not only help students advance when they’re ready but they supplement the curriculum as well. With the help of these apps, students not only learn things in an engaging way but it promotes a personalized learning experience too.
7. Independent projects
Another effective method of implementing personalized learning is to ask students develop and explore subjects they’re interested to learn about. This kind of freedom would make them more engaged and motivated in their learning. Ideally, you should introduce an interesting topic and from there, students’ natural curiosity could lead them to further discovery while allowing them to research, write, create, and collaborate.
A one-size-fits-all type of learning method doesn’t meet the needs of every student and that’s exactly where the importance of a personalized learning experience becomes evident. It may not be easy to make the transition from a old-school setting to personalized learning but it has become extremely important to help each student leverage the full potential of education. Ideally, you should start with small groups, collaborate with your fellow educators, and see how it progresses. With the help of the above-mentioned tips, you should be able to introduce an effective personalized learning in the classroom.