The study Informing Progress: Insights on Personalized Learning Implementation and Effects found evidence that a greater implementation of Personalized Learning (PL) may provide positive effects for students.
More schools are embracing personalization as it has become easier to implement due to technological advance and the affordability of devices.
The paper collected data from schools in the Next Generation Learning Challenges (NGLC)'s Breakthrough School Models program. The aim of the study was to describe practices these schools used to implement Personalized Learning and compare them with achievements.
Students gained around 3% points in mathematics, while in reading they obtained a similar result, but it was not statistically significant. Low-performing and high-performing students appeared to benefit the most. The researchers provide several recommendations for policymakers and schools:
- Incorporate flexibility into policies related to course progressions.
- Allow school staff to have some autonomy to design school schedules that support PL.
- Enable schools to hire staffs that are the best fit for the school.
- Ensure that accountability policies value growth and other metrics of student success.
- Revise grading policies to incorporate competency-based approaches, and clearly communicate these approaches to students, families, employers, and postsecondary education institutions.
- Look to early adopters of PL for examples of large-scale policy change.
- Provide teachers with the resources and time to pilot new instructional approaches and gather evidence of how well they work.
- Provide teachers with time and resources to collaborate on developing curriculum and on reviewing and scoring student work.
- Identify a school staff member (or two) who is comfortable with technology and has curriculum expertise to serve as a just-in-time resource for teachers.
- Provide resources and support for school staff to help them choose the most-appropriate digital or nondigital curriculum materials.
- Provide resources and support for school staff to integrate multiple data systems.