It is difficult to meet the needs of every individual student when they have different learning abilities. Not all students learn in the same way or at the same pace. Therefore, a degree of individualisation is required to provide a holistic learning experience for every child. In this blog we will look at the benefits of individualised learning and how it prepares young people for a lifelong appreciation of learning.
What is Individualised Learning
Individualised Learning asks teachers to adjust their practice to create a learner centre classroom environment through the following 3 elements of the learning process:
- Learning technology
- Pace of learning
Individualised learning is a journey where every student moves at their own pace and on their own dedicated road. It is then up to the teacher to make sure that all students end up at the same destination.
The Key Fundamentals of Individualised Learning
1. Research of Teaching Techniques
Before individualised learning reaches the classroom it is important that to understand what it is and the research that sits behind it. Using reputable sources in order to learn how other teachers have succeeded is essential in implementing changes in practice. Teachers at Royal International College will be at the forefront of research and best practice teaching.
2. Relevant Student Data
To introduce individualised learning into the classroom the teacher must understand the student data available to them. This data enables the teacher to understand the abilities and areas for improvement in a students daily school life.
Data allows the teacher to determine the effect of any new practice being set in the classroom. Data is a fundamental aspect of teaching and teachers at Royal International College will have access to student data at all times and will understand how to interpret this data.
3. Curriculum Knowledge
This may seem an obvious point, but this curriculum knowledge means that teachers understand the end game and what steps need to be taken in order to get there. Each student has their own individualised learning path during the completion of the curriculum.
4. Learning at Pace
Individualised Learning needs to take place at the pace of the learner. Students don’t all learn at the same pace or gather the information as quickly as others. Therefore learning takes place at the pace of the student and they can move onto other topics when ready.
5. Progress Mapping
A framework is important so that a teacher can measure a students progress towards a learning goal. Structure of Observed Learning Outcomes (SOLO) is a model that teachers use to map a pathway to support learners as they move into learning a new concept. This model shows how a student may demonstrate moving on from simple recall to being able to combine two or more ideas.
6. Students Own Goals Identified
This is one of the best ways for success in individualised learning. Only when students identify their own goals will they be invested in their learning. By setting goals, students become active participants in their own learning journey and are able to identify elements required for their own learning.
7. Using What is Available
Successful adopters of individualised learning know how to get creative with learning tools and adapt them to a students individual needs. In the modern classroom, there is more access to technology than ever before and this can be harnessed for this purpose. It is important for online platforms to also provide opportunities for individualised learning by enabling assessment differentiation and content customisation.
8. Make Conversational Feedback Continuous
Students will progress and you may discover further opportunities or identify new strengths that had not been previously shown. Therefore, continuous feedback is provided between student and teacher in order to identify future work. This conversational feedback must be timely and relevant.
9. Engage within the Community
Individualised learning should sit within a learning community, in part due to this being how people learn best. By engaging and collaboration with the learning community it provides further opportunities for the learner to share their knowledge.
The value of individualised learning is clear. The importance of ensuring that the implementation of this learning technique incorporates careful consideration of all 9 of the points raised in this blog!