November 5, 2020

Best Practices for Crafting Personalized Learning Plans

GoGuardian Team
A student builds a remote controlled car

Creating personalized learning plans (PLP), also known as unique profiles, is highly valuable in the classroom. It is rewarding not only to the teacher but also to the students who are accomplishing their educational and personal goals. Applying these best practices and tailoring personalized learning plans will help you and your students achieve their short- and long-term objectives, as well as foster an engaging classroom environment.

What Is Personalized Learning?

Personalized learning is becoming more popular, but applying the concept in modern education is relatively new. In the 2016 National Technology Education Plan, the U.S Department of Education defined it as “instruction in which the pace of learning and the instructional approach are optimized for each learner’s needs.” Teachers determine the learning objectives, instructional content, and instructional approach based on their students’ needs. Objectives refer to what students are expected to learn, while the pace is the individual student’s speed of progress. The instructional approach is the mode of delivering content to the student. Currently, educational settings are applying personalized learning through diversified learning strategies and personalized curriculum.

What Is a Personalized Learning Plan?

A personalized learning plan is developed by students who set specific goals based on their personal interests, academic strengths, and career goals with the assistance of their teachers, counselors, or parents. The U.S Department of Education provides a brief to help educators better understand the concept of PLPs. Learning can be personalized when there is a relevant link between the learner and the task. This can be achieved using modules that correlate directly to classwork, learning environment, and students.

How to Craft Personalized Lesson Plans

If you want to create the most robust personalized lesson plan, you can apply the following proven strategies:

Offer Choices

When you give your students choices in how to tackle an assignment or approach a task, you’re teaching them personal responsibility, independent thinking, and, most importantly, time management. Providing a list of activities for the day is one example because it allows the students to pick tasks and perform them in the order they want to complete them. Engaging in round-table discussions is another way. This encourages students to vocalize their preferred content for the week or day. Giving learners the freedom to choose makes them feel valued, and they will easily connect with the content.

Use a Formative Assessment

An express assessment is one method to engage modern learners. It is broad and can be administered to students in many ways throughout the entire period of learning. These simple tools include discussion threads, formative feedback, opinion charts, peer-led quizzes, and sharing exercises. The goal-oriented assessments are actionable and aim to develop proactive thinking skills. Choose a maximum of two formative assessment tools for a few days, and be sure to monitor the results. You may also choose to let your students assess each other and shift some of the essential learning responsibility to them.

Map Learning Modalities

Lesson plans must be objective. Therefore, providing differentiated instruction helps each student follow the required learning plans. Considering your student’s individual needs and determining their ideal learning modalities is time-consuming but crucial. Be sure to maintain records of each learner’s preference during instructional planning at the beginning of learning to give you insight into each learner’s needs.

Incorporate Your Learner’s Interests

Considering and incorporating your student’s interests, hobbies, and passions into your instructional planning makes them feel more included. It is a helpful way for teachers to manage a classroom by getting their students engaged. Learn more about your students by spending time with them and creating a free environment in which they can express themselves with ease. Weave casual conversations into your instruction gradually.

Refine Notable Areas of Focus

Students can quickly identify learning gaps on their own by utilizing personal tracker information. In doing so, they can begin addressing them. With that provision in place, achievable goals can be attained through learners refining their specific focus areas. To help these students identify their learning process, ensure that they can vocalize essential steps of achieving success in the classroom.

Train Students to Track their Progress

When you train your students to track their class progress against set goals, you create a more simplified and attainable path. Students need to feel like they are in control of their academic performance. Make success a priority by bringing tracking tools into every classroom activity. Some of the things they can track include unit test scores, objective mastery percentages, or level of growth in reading.

Initiate Dialogue

Regularly engage your students in conversation to check in on their self-esteem. One-on-one sessions are quite effective when it comes to providing feedback. During this time, they can reflect on their aspirations, and you can share areas of encouragement. For example, ask them to share how they managed to achieve a particular grade or recent achievement. The questions you ask can empower your students in their academic and personal growth.

Share and Revise

Personalized learning plans are tools meant for daily use. Utilize these learnings to update parents and guardians about their student’s education, progress, and setbacks. It is important to revise PLPs because students’ goals and abilities change.

How has technology changed the perception of personalized learning in schools?

Personalized learning does not necessarily have to be supported by technology, but it can be incredibly helpful. There are shared responsibilities of high expectations between teachers and students. Modern education is thriving with technology, and students enjoy using it in the classroom. This is applicable for PLPs because students get the opportunity to connect to the content using their favorite tools and networks. It creates a sense of familiarity and comfortability. Teachers, on the other hand, can optimize technology by tailoring and delivering content. They can locate instructional resources quickly and establish a common ground with their students.

Tech This Out

In today’s digital age, tools such as GoGuardian are tailored for the modern classroom. There is an immense need for personalized learning plans to educate and engage our students, especially in a modern classroom. Incorporate these best PLP practices of higher education, and reap the benefits of achieving your short- and long-term goals.