Personalized Learning Pathway

Jun 21, 2018

Student centered learning is the crux of modern education. It doesn’t just tailor learning, keeping the differences among learners in mind, it also shifts the weight of students’ progress from the teacher, and divides it between the students and teachers alike. A student’s development is no longer based on the teacher delivering lectures and students receiving it irrespective of their own interest and understanding. Students now get to choose what they learn, how they learn, leading to the emergence of learning pathways.

What is Personalized Learning Pathway?

Learning pathway is the route that a learner adapts, through content, courses, programs and learning, when moving towards a learning goal, discovering new ideas and developing their skills. The end point may either be the end of an academic year, semester, or graduation, but the focus remains on the varied resources chalked out for learning. However, every student’s interest and capabilities differ, which is why it is essential to personalize a learning pathway.

In a personalized learning pathway, each student’s interests and understanding are kept in mind, before deciding a plan for their learning journey. Objectives are laid out for each student, with their participation, helping them draft a plan for their own education.

How is Learning Pathway Personalized?

Pathways that facilitate a student’s own pace, goals and interests, are more likely to be successful. When learning pathways are personalized, students feel more in control of their learning journey, hence more responsible too.

Learners would only be more invested in the journey from start to end, when they are active participants in drafting the pathway. Here’s a look at how personalized learning pathways are made.

1. Laying out objectives

With the combined efforts of both the teacher and student, a learning plan, and objectives for learning, is laid out. Clear-cut objectives help constitute a clear-cut plan. When laying out objectives in personalized learning path, students must also take up the ownership of creating timelines within which the objectives shall be met.

2. Resources

Keeping in mind their interest and understanding levels of a student, teachers may suggest the kind of content and learning resources, through which the student decides to learn. These resources may not be limited to classes taken, but further extend to online resources, discussions and presentations.

3. Flexibility

Personalized learning pathway encompasses flexible methods of learning, while also giving students the space and time to learn at their own pace. When learning is not bound by time or curriculum, students are more inclined to develop their learning pathways.

4. Assessment

Timely assessments to take stock of progress made, doesn’t just encourage students to continue the journey with zeal, it also helps making necessary changes if any, to the personalized pathway, ensuring effectiveness of the plan.

Features of a Good Personalized Learning Pathway
  1. Drafted with equal participation from the student.
  2. Objectives and goals are specific, measurable, time bound, and realistic.
  3. All aspects of a student’s well-being as a child is focused on.
  4. Is not written in stone, and can be changed with time depending on the need for development.
  5. Easily accessible.
  6. Doesn’t just focus on curriculum and year end, but is made with the intent of progress that lasts beyond the classroom and end of semester.
  7. Learning resources are flexible, accessible and affordable.
  8. Pushes student out of his comfort zone.
  9. Timely assessment.
  10. Clear and Concise.
Benefits of Personalized Learning Pathways
  1. Personalized learning pathways require students to be involved in their own learning journey. This encourages students to take charge of their learning, and be an active participant instead of a passive listener.
  2. Schools get to have a record of learner profiles, that will help them understand and cater to student needs further.
  3. It takes into account, a student’s strengths, weaknesses, interests and driving factors, making each student feel noticed and understood.
  4. Classrooms are not limited to walls within schools, since learning may occur through any resource or environment.
  5. Students get the liberty to pursue their interests.
  6. Traditional ideas of education, limitations to curriculum and learning choices change.
  7. Students don’t just develop an increased interest in their learning, but also learn to lead and compete.

As more and more schools adopt the equity approach in classrooms, there has been an ample rise of personalized learning pathways. With clear cut objectives and a defined pathway, students are bound to take charge and encouraged to excel.

- Jiji Tharayil