• © Seb Schmoller under
    UK Creative Commons Licence. In case of difficulty, email me.
  • Validate

« UK Treasury's Gowers Review picks up on the Blackboard Patent | Main | Wireless Ghana - making internet access in rural communities a reality »

Comments

1.
1.1 Add to my individual cognitive map of the topic
1.2 Designing for and promoting collaboration for learning (rather than content delivery)
1.3 Parent? Information given to a child/grown up child based on knowledge of them all their lives.

2. Tortoise - at the OU we've been doing it for **** years. Just didn't have that label.

3. They would be rushing about shouting 'eureka'!

4. Prof Gilly Salmon, Leicester

1.1 It means that my experience as a learner is unique to me. I am not getting the same thing everybody gets.

1.2 As a practitioner it means that I am learning about my learners and adjusting my actions accordingly. This is relatively easy in a 1-2-1 relationship, a little more difficult in a collaborative group and really hard if the content is delivered on a self-study basis.

1.3 As an e-learning consultant, my main exposure to the concept is in the context of interactive, online self-study materials, where hardly any thought is given to ways in which materials could respond intelligently to user interaction (the whole intelligent tutoring idea seemed to die with AI in the 1980s). On the other hand, as long as materials are modular and easy to navigate, you could give up on second guessing the learner and just allow them to pick and choose as they wish.

2. As an e-learning term it's a fruit fly. As an important ingredient in a learning experience it's not going away.

3. It would not be easy to observe personalised learning. You'd have to be in the learner's shoes. More practically, you'd ask them.

4. Clive Shepherd

1.1.
To me it means offering me some guided choices in how/what/where I learn. This doesn't mean infinite choice. There needs to be a subject expert who will provide some content, structure, support, but I should be able to have a degree of control over how I interact with all of that. There will be constraints. For example if I did an English Literature A level (which I won't cos I've already got it), I wouldn't expect to choose whatever books I wanted to read, or even choose from the ones that were being examined, but I would like to be able to access some of the content and tutoring without attending a class.

1.2.
I guess providing that content, structure, support. So in most cases content would probably be not personalised, but it may be possible to negotiate with a learner who may choose what options will enable them to meet their learning aims. I would also expect that the tutor (me or my team) would provide personalised feedback. If practical, assessments may be personalised, that is learners may choose what they do, provided the assessment criteria are met.

1.3.
As a developer of learning, manager of tutors, then developing courses that can deliver the above, and ensuring that tutors have the skills and support to deliver in that way.

2.
Probably a fruitoise (or torfly). Personalised learning has been going on since before one caveperson said to another "As I observe you have lost all your teeth to dental decay, have you thought of using a flint to carve the meat, rather than trying to tear it up with your gums?" The idea will stay, but the phrase may disappear.

3.
If it was organised in such a way that they were all meeting the learning aims, but doing it in a way that was meaningful/relevant to them as individuals. Which could mean they were all doing the same thing at the moment I observed them. Or all doing completely different things. Or some doing one thing and some another. It isn't a useful question.

Julia Duggleby, Online Learning Manager, the Sheffield College

1.1 As a learner
The ability to choose a range of options that affect how I learn. Control is the main thing. I want control over things that matter to me. Control over things like font size or graphics 'skins' is not important, unless the defaults are crap. Personalisation of factors that help me control when, where and how I learn is important e.g. ability to decide that I want to do some reading now, that I'll be online for a period tomorrow evening and up for some discussion with fellow learners.

1.2. As a practitioner
It's about giving up some control. As a designer of learning experiences, you have to think what elements of the learning can be cut up, remixed, edited out without preventing the learner from reaching the objectives. If you take personalisation seriously, then you have to switch assumptions: instead of assuming that learners are dumb and need nursing each step of the way to achieve the objectives, you should assume that they are wise and that they will find away to achieve their objectives unless you make stuff hard to find or get in the way.

1.3 As a professional (though underpaid) cynic
It's another fluffy catch-all term that makes a good political and commercial soundbite (it's hard for your critics to be against personalised learning) and is suitably vague that you can present any old rope as an example of best practice in personalised learning.

2. Fruit-fly or tortoise?
The secret of a buzz term (cf. BPR, TQM, blended learning etc) is that there should be a foundation with some substance (the tortoise) and a superstructure that is much more flexible and can adapt to/merge with the current zeitgeist (the fruit fly).

In the long term, I'm sure learning will be more personalised. Whether the current range of techniques/approaches that are promoted under the Personalised Learning banner plays a significant role in that trend is open to question.

3. Evidence of personalised learning from observation
If they were definitely learning but I couldn't tell from observation alone whether they were learning or not, I'd say the personalisation was probably successful.

David Jennings, DJ Alchemi Ltd

1.1 As a learner I can chose what and how I want to study and who with.
1.2 As practioner I create self driven menus (we have had that for a long time), provide options for theory, practice, interaction, assessment, serialist and holistic study (based on the MBTI dichotomies); and don't worry when users do not "complete" courses (both old fashioned and outdated terms!).
2 As a term "personalisation" may well be a fruit fly but as a concept it has been around for a long time and will be an essential feature of effective learning / e-learning in the future.
3. Learners would be doing different things (blogging, reading, moving around, scribbling, drawing, on the phone). They would learn from material in different sequences and different sections, and miss out different bits. Their level of interaction with others would vary from zero to lots, the style of interaction would vary from purely factual to chatty. Some would enjoy the opportunity to argue and debate, others would not. Some would prefer one-to-one communication, others blog to the world.

4. Howard Hills.

1.1 As a learner I have a unique experience of a course. This will have been both tailored to my own needs and preferences as well as been shaped by my own decisions during the course. Obviously you don't need any computers to make this happen. Finally I'll be able to learn in places and at times that suit me.

1.2 As a practioner the term is a point of tension. Initially when it was first coined I don't think it meant very much at all but sounded good. Then David Miliband did a very good job of making it cover most of what the government was up to in terms of educational policy in January 2004 when he addressed the North of England Education Conference. A case of backfilling I think. But by then the term had generated a life of its own. I think it still is used a great deal by utopians to carry their own view of the promised land. I don't like the definition of personalised where the learner is a shopper. 8 year olds and 18 year olds for that matter will often choose badly when asked to. Educational professionals - teachers - have to get young people to do what they need to do rather than what they want a lot of the time. The difficult job of moving from dependence to autonomy can't just be overcome by giving learners autonomy right from the start. As for me I'd like it to mean a greater attention to the individual needs of learners. I don't see why students need to take national tests before they take GCSEs. At least I can't see any benefit to them. I also think it's crazy to expect young people to be ready for things all at the same time. Why should every child in the UK be ready to take their GCSE English in June the year of their 16th birthday? But this isn't anything new at all.

1.3 I'm also a parent. I want the individuality of my children respected. I don't want them to feel failures if they can't write a sentence when they are 6.

2. The term itself is a fruitfly but there's lots of very good ideas that you could stick to it that are more tortoise-like.

3. Based on my view of what personalised means they'd all be much happier - students and teachers.

The comments to this entry are closed.