Everything Personal: Making the Most of Personalized E-Learning
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The global pandemic that has been wreaking havoc across the world for more than two years became fatal for millions of people and dealt the majority of national economies a severe blow. However, the impact of COVID upon industries is far from exclusively negative. In most of them, it turned into a halter upon traditional practices but, at the same time, paved the way for offbeat approaches and working strategies.
The field of education was one of the domains whose methods and concepts have been largely overhauled under the influence of the plague. Both teachers and students are taking the “remote everything” mode in its stride robustly introducing state-of-the-art technologies into their daily routine. This educational know-how is extremely versatile encompassing a broad range of products – from standalone e-learning PWAs or native apps used by individual learners to entire online learning management systems utilized by schools and universities.
While at first, the instructional design of most e-learning solutions was honed to cater to the maximum number of customers, today the emphasis in e-learning development has shifted to the individual consumer of educational services, ushering the concept of personalized or customized e-learning.
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What Does Personalized E-Learning Mean?
To put it simply, personalized learning is the approach that prioritizes the interests, needs, and preferences of individual learners. Besides, it takes into account the personal strengths of each student as well as their learning styles and tries to meet them halfway in all organizational matters related to when and where they want to learn.
This learner-centered mode doesn’t only give “voice and choice” to students but radically alters the role and responsibilities of a teacher. Instead of being a mere lecturer, an educator turns rather into a facilitator who looks into the personality of each student and designs courses in a way that will bring him/her most educational value.
The new definition of a teacher also embraces their agile IT competence that will enable them to harness digital advancements to reach out to every student by customizing e-learning design. Enforcing the personalized approach with modern technologies promises numerous boons to all stakeholders of the educational process.
The Advantages of Personalized E-Learning
What do students get when they are involved in personalized e-learning initiatives?
- Highly targeted learning. There is a growing awareness among contemporary learners of what they want to know and where they are going to apply the acquired knowledge and skills. They don’t relish the idea of wasting their precious time on learning useless topics or competencies. Teachers can discover learners' educational purposes (as well as their proficiency level, experience, and professional needs) by conducting preliminary tests and map out teaching strategies correspondingly.
- Avid learner engagement. Being free to tailor learning routine to suit their personal goals and preferences, students will be highly motivated to participate in the courses and assignments they deem essential. Moreover, they are likely to take a proactive stance initiating discussions and suggesting activities they find useful.
- Flexible learning environment. Students engaged in personalized e-learning can determine the speed of studying, select the learning techniques they consider effective, and apply the acquired skills in tasks that would imitate real-life situations where they are going to use them in the future.
If you decide to turn personalized e-learning into your forte, you should know how to go about it.
Personalized E-Learning Examples
There are several domains of personalization you can focus on in your e-learning customization endeavors.
Personalization of Learners
Forget the “nothing personal” catchphrase. Instead, try to get as close to the learner as you can. Modern authoring e-learning technologies (the implementation of which will not influence much the cost of e-learning app or other solution you want to launch) offer many ways to do that – from discovering every student’s first name during the registration procedure to using it throughout the course you teach.
Personalization of Communications
Mentioning learners’ names while chatting, using informal addresses, and a friendly introduction of yourself as a teacher at the beginning of the course will establish the bond of intimacy between the educator and the students that contributes to your overall personalization strategy.
Personalization of Objectives
A person will take a course whose ultimate aim chimes with their individual goals. While developing courses you should picture your potential students’ purposes and tailor them to dovetail into each other.
Personalization of Environment
Learners should be given a free hand in customizing their learning space. Let them pick avatars, publish/edit personal data, select the course theme, or even decide on a voice (male or female) that will deliver audio content. In such a way, their learning environment will be comfortable to the utmost.
Personalization of Content
Each student has their own preferences as to the type of content that would facilitate the learning process most. For some people it is videos, for others – audio tracks, another category would consider pictures or texts to be the most effective tools. To suit each preference, you can offer a choice of “View”, “Listen”, “Read”, or “Print” in the assignment section. Even identical content types may be varied by the e-learning course creator depending on whether the learner is more used to social media, blogs, or YouTube channels.
Personalization of Learning Path
One of the main perks of custom design e-learning solutions is their non-linear character and self-imposed pace of studying. Learners can choose the sequence of modules and sections they would like to follow while mastering a topic or a subject, skipping what they already know and focusing on new information and skills. To let students follow their curiosity and inquisitiveness, e-learning products should rely on branched scenarios and user-friendly navigation architecture.
Personalization of Individual Proficiency
If a learner feels confident about some section, they should be given a choice to test their proficiency level in it and move on to the next stage in case the test result was satisfactory.
Personalization of Feedback
Avoid sending automated feedback messages. Each of them should be fine-tuned to commend certain aspects of individual progress and/or pinpoint problem areas. Remember that their main aim is to encourage people to learn from their mistakes and excel. That is why feedback should be delivered at the right time and place, it should be worded as a clear and relevant statement, not a vague one (or, even worse, a question), and it shouldn’t be exclusively positive or negative. After all, nobody is perfect or totally hopeless, so try to make your criticism balanced and constructive.
Being an IT-powered realm, e-learning has unique opportunities for the personalization of various summands of the educational process. As a seasoned company with many educational projects in our portfolio, Multi-Programming Solutions can customize an existing e-learning solution or develop one from scratch making a personalized approach its cornerstone.