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Aurora Institute

Getting Started with Personalized Learning: Resources for Education Leaders, Teachers and Policymakers

Education Domain Blog

Authors: Natalie Slocum, Susan Gentz

Issues: State Policy, Create Enabling Conditions for Competency-Based Education, Issues in Practice, How to Get Started


educational resourcesAcross the country, states are supporting local efforts to redesign K-12 education around student learning with personalized learning and competency education. By shifting away from an industrial-era education model and toward personalized education, we can build a system that provides each student with powerful, transformative learning experiences that prepare them for a lifetime of success.

What Is Personalized Learning?

Personalized learning is tailoring learning for each student’s strengths, needs and interests–including enabling student voice and choice in what, how, when and where they learn–to provide flexibility and supports to ensure mastery of the highest standards possible. Students have flexible learning environments, embedded within their communities, using a variety of modes, resources and modalities to accelerate learning. Personalized learning is about equity–ensuring every student has the same opportunities to succeed with differentiated resources and instruction that meet them where they are.

In personalized learning, educators use powerful tools to personalize instruction and utilize real-time data for feedback to intervene exactly where each student needs it most, giving students more instruction and support when they are struggling.

Each year, iNACOL surveys thousands of educators, leaders and experts to inform and push our understanding of the field. These practitioners identified the following essential components of personalization:

  1. Student agency
  2. Differentiated instruction
  3. Immediate instructional interventions and supports for each student is on-demand, when needed
  4. Flexible pacing
  5. Individual student profiles (personalized learning plans)
  6. Deeper learning and problem solving to develop meaning
  7. Frequent feedback from instructors and peers
  8. Standards-based, world-class knowledge and skills
  9. Anywhere, anytime learning
  10. Performance-based assessments (project-based learning, portfolios, etc.)

Personalized Learning Resources 

As a knowledge-building hub for practitioners, iNACOL advances the field by curating and creating information that inspires and encourages the development of personalized, competency-based learning environments.

iNACOL is pleased to share the following resources that equip and empower educators, leaders and policymakers to catalyze and scale personalized learning models:

Personalized Learning Resources for Getting Started

Personalized Learning Resources for Teachers and Leaders

Personalized Learning Resources for Policy Leaders


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