Personalised Learning
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The aim of personalised learning is to create an individual unique learning experience for each student. Understanding the differences in your learners is the first step in personalising the learning experience. This forms the basis of creating an appropriately challenging experience that supports learning and development.

Personalised learning relates to a diverse range of approaches to teaching that centre on the learner and their individual learning needs. Focusing on methods for personalisation we explore how you can differentiate your resources and materials to encourage motivation and engagement amongst your learners and their peers.

What about Adaptive Learning?

Adaptive Learning is a technology-led approach that aims to personalise learning based on a variety of factors informed by the student. Educators have experimented with adaptive learning systems to assist with personalisation. In one such system Yarandi, et al (2012) modeled a learner profile - based on ability, learning preferences and aspirations - which informed logical sequenced programmes tailored to the individual student’s needs.

Choose your own path
Promote motivation and engagement
Develop ownership of learning
Help to self-regulate
Develop metacognitive skills

Learning Types and the Conversational Framework

Offering personalised design within your curriculum can be challenging. Laurillard (2012) defined a series of knowledge types within her Conversational Framework Model. These knowledge types can be used to align your design with a specific purpose.


Listening to a lecture, reading a book or journal or watching video content.


A student led activity to seek new information. The student carries out research of their own.


Engaging in a dialogue with educators and peers. A student mentally processes new ideas based on the perspective and experiences of others.


The student acts on knowledge and feedback to generate an action. The student has a task to complete and engages with course content to find a solution.


Different to discussion in that students create a shared output. The emphasis here is on the negotiation of an agreed output.


The creation and articulation of original thought. This is primarily geared toward the producing content for evaluation and assessment.

Consider the ABC (Arena, Blended, Connected) approach to curriculum design devised by UCL Digital Education (Young & Perovic, 2016). This approach engages educators in storyboarding a sequence of learning activities drawing on inspiration from these knowledge types and aligning them to the specific learning outcomes of your course. This process streamlines development against sound educational principles, providing a framework for well-designed courses aligned with the learner needs and learning outcomes.


Learning through acquisition is what learners are doing when they are listening to a lecture or podcast, reading from books or websites, and watching demos or videos.



Learning through investigation guides the learner to explore, compare and critique the texts, documents and resources that reflect the concepts and ideas being taught.


Learning through collaboration embraces mainly discussion, practice, and production. Building on investigations and acquisition it is about taking part in the process of knowledge building itself.


Learning through practice enables the learner to adapt their actions to the task goal, and use the feedback to improve their next action. Feedback may come from self-reflection, from peers, from the teacher, or from the activity itself, if it shows them how to improve the result of their action in relation to the goal.


Learning through discussion requires the learner to articulate their ideas and questions,
and to challenge and respond to the ideas and questions from the teacher,
and/or from their peers.


Learning through production is the way the teacher motivates the learner to consolidate what they have learned by articulating their current conceptual understanding and how they used it in practice.


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