The Institute has developed a change strategy to guide schools and districts as they implement personalized learning. Based on our honeycomb model, this strategy focuses on change in three areas and in three phases: learning and teaching; relationships and roles; and structures and policies.
Customized Learning Paths
Customized learning paths allow learners to co-design with educators their learning rather than simply comply with the directions and expectations of adults. This component is designed to help learners take ownership of their learning, find greater meaning and purpose and become increasingly independent in their learning skills.
Learner profiles are co-created by educators and learners and comprised of rich, current information regarding each learner. They typically include at least four dimensions: demographic data, academic status, learning-related skill set, and potential learning drivers.
Proficiency-based progress and supporting standards represent what learners are asked to master. Standards provide clear targets for learning and help to drive intermediate learning targets and expected outcomes. Learner progress toward the standards is based on growing mastery, not seat time.
Personal Learning Goals
The direction established by standards provides a context for each learner to set, plan, and achieve personal learning goals. By establishing and working toward goals that learners have had a voice in creating and that are aligned to standards, student achievement increases.
Conferring and Conferencing
In contrast to the traditional approach in which the educator presents a lesson, provides learners with opportunities to practice, and then moves on to assess the learning, this strategy asks educators to first find out what kind of instruction each learner needs, taking into account their individual readiness, strengths, needs, and interests.
This is the practice of providing real, significant, and authentic choices for learners about their learning, the learning environment, and the strategies and approaches that they will use.
Customized Responsive Instruction
This strategy asks educators to find out what kind of instruction each learner needs, taking into account their individual readiness, strengths, needs, and interests.
Cultural and Life Relevance
This strategy recognizes that today’s learners come from a variety of backgrounds and cultures and that learning and teaching conditions that recognize, accept, and integrate culture as a part of learning lead to better results for students.
Curiosity Driven Learning
Learners follow interests and natural learning progressions as they emerge.
Deeper Learning through Application
Over time, learners move toward more expert understanding and sophisticated ways of thinking about a concept or idea.
Standards Guided Learning
This strategy reinforces the role of standards in defining the direction and progress of key learning concepts and skills.
Assessment as Evidence of Learning
Assessment activities in the honeycomb model play a variety of roles.
Learning Readiness Based Groupings
Learners are flexibly grouped based on readiness, needs and interests.
Multiple Instructional Methods/Modes
Learners vary in their preferences and responsiveness to different methods and modes of instruction.
Closely associated with personal learning goals is the role of learner voice. When learners have opportunities to share their perspectives, participate in making decisions, set goals, and take ownership of their progress, their commitment to and confidence in learning grow.
Timely Actionable Feedback
A variety of research has reinforced the power of high-quality feedback to support and increase learning.
Co-designers of Learning
When we think of learners as resources for their learning, we do not have to stretch far to see the value of their co-designing learning experiences with us.
An overarching goal of personalized learning is to develop learners’ skills, knowledge, and understanding so that they can succeed in the world long after they’ve graduated.
Learner as Resource
Traditionally, educators prepare instruction based on the curriculum and associated lessons. Unfortunately, this approach is inconsistent with what we now know about learning.
Communities can play a more active and influential role in a personalized learning ecosystem than in the traditional system.
Learning Coaches work alongside learners to achieve shared goals.
Co-designers of Assessment
Shared assessment practices are established where learners play a role in understanding, planning, and demonstrating evidence of learning.
Family perspective, input and experience serve as crucial resources for understanding the learner and supporting success in and out of the classroom.
Learners have an active role in the learning process and develop agency by taking initiative and having influence over their learning.
Shared Commitment to Success
When educators and learners see students as key resources to their own learning and appreciate the interdependence between educator and learner roles, they develop a shared commitment to success.
Recognition of Anytime Anywhere Learning
In a personalized learning environment with clear, measurable goals, students are able to learn in a variety of places and under a wide range of circumstances.
Learning Aligned Technology
Without question, technology has important roles to play in a personalized learning ecosystem.
When we place learners at the center of our thinking and practice, we no longer have to restrict ourselves to static educator-learner ratios, and learners needn’t all be grouped in the same way.
Flexible Time and Pace
When educators commit to personalizing the learning experience, they also commit to being flexible about the time they allot for learning and allowing learners to progress at the pace that best matches their learning needs.
Proficiency-based Assessment System
Assessments are designed to allow learners to demonstrate proficiency when they are ready.
Learning Based Continuums
Learning-based continuums outline the progression of proficiency across a skill, concept, standard, or content.
Supportive Educator Systems
Educator evaluation systems are designed to support development, growth, and learning.
Educators practice together, coach each other, and work as an interdependent team to craft personalized learning experiences for ALL learners.
Integrated Data Ecosystem
A data-management system obviously represents an application of technology, and decisions regarding its use are best made once educators understand the types of data they need to capture and how and by whom it will be used.
Flexible Learning Spaces
Many education reforms have put this element at their core only to discover that it does little if anything to increase learning (think Open Classrooms).