We live in an era where personalized space is almost a necessity - be it in the workplace or home. So, it comes as no surprise when personalization turns into a buzzword in eLearning too. But, as is with any term, Personalized Learning too has been interpreted in different ways and adapted in accordance with convenience by many organizations.
According to Wikipedia, “Personalized learning, individualized instruction, personal learning environment and direct instruction all refer to efforts to tailor education to meet the different needs of students.”
It is proven that when the learners get one-on-one attention the learning is often better and holistic. This however, is a distant possibility in the modern workplace and so are the chances of creating separate learning modules for each learner- the kind of learning that is fully customized for each learner. We often confuse personalized learning with this.
Personalized learning is about understanding the learners better, creating curiosity, allowing them to choose how they learn, and providing them opportunity to utilize their skills.
Why is it Important?
Learning always seems more approachable if each learner can feel it has something special or something different for them. This is just what personalization aims to achieve. Here are some of the reasons why personalized learning is considered to be important in the modern workplace.
Engagement is at times linked with relevance, context and flexibility. Consider a group of learners who have better grasp on the basics and a group with no clue about it. If the eLearning you use here dawdles slowly from the basics and then gradually moves on to the more advanced levels, it will surely benefit all the employees, but the ones who are clear about the basics will definitely be bored, unless they are given the option of moving directly to the advanced level. This is a form of personalization that can ensure engagements.
Personalized learning is often self-driven as the learners have more control over what they learn. So, basically personalization can be just providing the courses and allowing the learners to choose which ones they wish to take. Putting the learners on the driving seat often brings out better learning outcomes.
It’s an observed fact that learners tend to retain the learning longer if it is self-driven and self-paced. Personalized learning is the key to creating learning that sticks, is retained and implemented in the longer course of time.
4. Time & Resources
Time is a critical element of modern workplace, and any workplace for that matter. Personalized learning doesn’t just involve course customization, it means adjusting the time, place etc. of learning too. When learners are free to utilize the time of choice for learning it in turn can also lead to increased productivity. Down-time utilization, best usage of resources etc. can also be counted as results of personalization.
Though there are various ways of perceiving personalized learning, the level of personalization depends mostly on the organization. There are various ways in which the existing eLearning can be delivered to give a personalized touch.
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