What is personalized learning, and what does it look like in practice?
At LEAP Innovations, we’ve considered this question a great deal as we work with educators to innovate in their classrooms. What are the core components of a truly learner-centered approach, and how do these translate into strategies for creating this experience for learners?
Originally released in 2016, we developed the LEAP Learning Framework alongside teachers, school leaders, and other national experts in order to answer these questions, and to provide educators with a clear definition of personalized learning and the strategies to put it into practice.
A year later, we’re excited to release our second edition. What’s different? In this edition of the framework, we’ve include strategies for LEAP Learner Connected, which detail how learning can transcend the classroom in relevant and valued ways, connected to families, educators, communities and networks. To develop these strategies, we assembled a special working group of leading connected learning experts from across the country. You’ll find their names in the Acknowledgements section of this document.
Included with the framework is a growing sample of strategies for each core component, designed for school-based educators, to help them create personalized learning experiences for their students. Also new in this edition, across all four core components, are examples for each strategy, making the shift to personalized learning more tangible and actionable for educators.
We have also continued our work on the LEAP Personalized Learning Surveys – for teachers and for students – to help measure the degree of personalization in the classroom, and how this changes over time. Both surveys were developed with the highest standards in partnership with American Institutes for Research, an independent behavioral and social science research and evaluation organization. Both were piloted with Chicago teachers and students, and were further informed by expert-teacher focus groups, as well as interviews with students and teachers to check for understanding and look for biases. These surveys are available as a resource to personalized learning classrooms and schools across the country. Already, more than 12,500 student surveys and 2,000 teacher surveys have been completed across the country.
Using the data from these surveys, we have developed a set of national standards for personalized learning. These will help us further inform measurement of personalized learning, as well as capture and codify best practices for the field. By measuring teacher practice, student experience, and change over time using our survey and observation data, we’ll be able to better identify indicators of personalization in a classroom. Using these indicators, we’ll be able to create better causal connections between personalized learning practices and student outcomes, providing valuable data back to the field and the practitioners themselves on which practices can make the most difference.
Ultimately, we believe that personalized learning at scale can be the game-changer in helping all students reach their full potential. As we learn more, and the field of personalized learning continues to evolve, so will we. We welcome your feedback at firstname.lastname@example.org.