Personalized Learning

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The institute drives the transformation of education systems and accelerates the advancement of breakthrough policies and practices to ensure high-quality learning for all.

Access: Aurora Institute (formerly iNACOL)


Chugach School District:  A Personalized, Performance-Based System by Chris Sturgis of Competency Works (March 2016)  This paper is a case study of Chugach School District  (CSD) in Alaska that changed from a traditional K-12 education system to a personalized, performance-based system some 20 years ago that led to increased student achievement. Discover how CSD “created the infrastructure to support a performance-based system, expanding learning beyond the classroom, embracing the culture of the community and developing educator growth.”

Access: Chugach School District:  A Personalized, Performance-Based System

Chris Watkins, author of Learners in the Driver's Seat, shares an infographic, "The Continuum of Ownership."  The Continuum of Ownership demonstrates how learners move from compliance to autonomy as they become responsible and drive their learning. Discover the process learners go through from a teacher-center to a learner-driven environment to reach autonomy.

Access: Continuum of Ownership - Developing Autonomy

(September, 2015):  Education Reimagined has set a new transformative vision for education in the U.S. where every child will experience great learning. They envision a learner-centered system where children thrive, are deeply engaged in the their communities and who are prepared and excited for their future. Discover in this report the three domains of all learners: knowledge, skills and dispositions and the five elements that characterize the learning experiences as a model that will guide innovation in schools.

Access: Education Reimagined:  A Transformational Visionfor Education in the United States

This blog by Pernille Ripp provides information on the five tenets - student voice, student choice, student planning, student reflection, and student action.

Access: The Five Tenets of Personalized Learning 

This resource from Digital Promise Global shares the impact of diversity in our classrooms and the impact personalized learning can have on the ultimate outcome of well-educated kids.

Access: The Growing Diversity in Today's Classroom

These are the presentation slides of Diana Laufenberg, Pernille Ripp, and Allison Zmuda.

Access: The Heart of Personalized Learning

This course is designed to help today's educators better understand the practice of personalized learning.  Implementing this approach requires a considerable paradigm shift from the traditional "one-size-fits-all" approach to education. Personalized learning is specifically tailored to each student's strengths, needs, andinterests while ensuring the highest standards possible.

Access:  Intel - Introduction to Personalized Learning

These principles drive Iowa Big:  These principals became the backbone of Iowa BIG: 1) Use student passion to drive deep learning and deliver core academic credits; 2) Engage students in authentic community projects, problems, and opportunities, and 3) Connect them deeply to the people and resources of the Cedar Rapids Tech Corridor.

Access: Iowa Big

This white paper by Allison Zmuda and others provides the steps that have to be taken to transform education in their districts.

Access: A Look to the Future - Personalized Learning in Connecticut

Technology has the promise to personalize learning for a growing population of diverse learners across our country. This report describes how educators, family members. researchers, learning technology developers and entrepreneurs can work together on multiple fronts for personalized learning to reach its full potential.

Access: Making Learning Personal for All:  The Growing Diversity in Today's Classroom

iNACOL shares, "If we truly want to prepare every student for success, equity must be the primary goal for policies and educators, bringing all students to the highest achievement levels through coherent systems and policies that foster innovation for equity. Personalized, competency-based learning models should be organized to promote universal attainment of deeper learning outcomes and be very intentional about keeping all students on track."

Access: Meeting the Every Student Succeeds Act's Promise:  State Policy to Support Personalize Learning

Moving PD from Seat-Time to Demonstrated Competency Using Micro-Credentials.  Published by Getting Smart in Partnership with BloomBoard (February 2016)

If you are looking to learn about Personalized Professional Learning, this guide will provide you insights on how micro-credentials can solve problems around professional learning and what the benefits are of a competency-based system for educators.

Access: Moving PD from Seat-Time to Demonstrated Competency Using Micro-Credentials

There is a difference among personalization, differentiation, and individualization.  One is learner centered the others are teacher centered.

Access:Personalization v Differentiation v Individualization Chart (v3)

This website provides multiple resources as you transform learning for all learners.

Access: Personalize Learning

ISTE provides this guide for K-12 teachers.

Access: Personalized Learning - A Guide for Engaging Students with Technology

Check out this rubric addressing the learner - creative and critical thinkers, effective communicators, collaborators, entrepreneurs, and flexible and adaptable learners.

Access: Personalized Learning Learner Profile Rubric

Personalized learning refers to a broad set of strategies intended to make each student's educational experience responsive to his or her talents, interests, and needs. RAND's study of personalized learning for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation produced a series of publications from 2014 though 2017 that represents the largest and most rigorous body of research on personalized learning to date. Several related projects are underway.

Access:  Personalized Learning - Rand Corporation

Personalized learning is an educational approach that aims to customize learning for each student’s strengths, needs, skills, and interests.

Access:  Personalized Learning - What You Need to Know

This blog asks us  to change what we are currently doing to and for students to by and with students.

Access:  A Preposition Shift

This report from iNACOL is a valuable resource for state policymakers—whether they are seeking to create conditions in state policy to support personalized learning, moving forward with initiatives to develop personalized learning pilot programs, hosting task forces to explore policy issues and needs, or taking a comprehensive policy approach for supporting advanced personalized learning models.

Access:  Promising State Policies for Personalized Learning

This paper explores K-12 competency-based education policy and practice across six New England states: Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont.

Access:   Reaching the Tipping Point

To help education stakeholders respond to the changing external environment, this paper explores five foundational issues facing education.

Access:  Shaping the Future of Learning - A Strategy Guide

This blog by Pernille Ripp provides a great way to summarize choice for your students - and all tied to the learning expectations.

Access:  A Small Idea for More Choice in Our Curriculum

This blog by Pernille Ripp provides ideas for personalizing learning in the elementary grades.

Access:  Some Ideas for Personalizing Learning in the Younger Grades

Version 5 of this chart provides updated roles of teachers and learners.  A great tool for "my job - your job" as you initiate personalized learning in your school and classrooms.

Access:  Stages of Personalized Learning

Student agency refers to learning through activities that are meaningful and relevant to learners, driven by their interests, and often self-initiated with appropriate guidance from teachers. To put it simply, student agency gives students voice and often, choice, in how they learn.

Access:  Student Agency - What Is It?

Teachers, schools, districts, states, and technology developers endeavor to personalize learning experiences for students, but definitions of personalized learning (PL) vary and designs often span multiple components. Variability in definition and implementation complicate the study of PL and the ways that designs can leverage student characteristics to reliably achieve targeted learning outcomes. We document the diversity of definitions of PL that guide implementation in educational settings and review relevant educational theories that could inform design and implementation. We then report on a systematic review of empirical studies of personalized learning using PRISMA guidelines.

Access:  A Systematic Review of Research on Personalized Learning: Personalized by Whom, to What, How, and for What Purpose(s)?

This is a great site to see how it all fits as you build a culture for the students and their learning.

Access:  Ten Trends to Personalize Learning

This is a sampling of questions asked by my juniors in their final project for American History.

Access:  What If? History

"What's It Going to Mean to Have a Proficiency-Based Diploma?" by Chris Sturgis.  What will a high school diploma mean if it is based on proficiencies instead of grades? Chris explores how ESSA opens up the conversations about what we want for learners and how proficiencies will be used in place of grades. This article delves further in what proficiency-based diplomas mean for graduation and the types of issues that will arise with them.

Access:  What's It Going to Mean to Have a Proficiency-Based Diploma?

iNACOL helps answer these questions: 

  • What must students know and do to be able to thrive in the modern world?
  • What learning experiences are necessary to ensure students graduate with these skills and traits?
  • How must schools transform in order to create these new learning experiences?

Access:  What's Possible with Personalized Learning - An Overview of Personalized Learning for Schools, Families, and Communities


This page was last updated: 12/19/23