What kind of class would you enjoy attending, one with a one size fit all lecture or one where the learning materials are tailored to suit your personal needs? The best learning speaks to the student at an individual level. Most learners, especially those in institutions of higher learning, have unique needs as some may be adults with many responsibilities while others are teenagers straight from high school. You, therefore, need to personalize the learning experience to appeal to their different needs.
Personalization of the learning experience helps you move away from the traditional one size fits all instructional strategies. Today with new technologies you can customize the learning experience for each learner based on their needs. The following are some important ways you can personalize the learning experience for your learners:
Create an Environment that Supports Various Needs
When designing learning experiences make sure that you create an environment that supports various needs. This is known as differentiation. When creating your lessons use real life and relevant examples that capture the needs of different learners. This will help capture the attention of your learners and make them relate learning to different situations in their own life. You may also consider deliberately pairing students who have the same needs together for group assignments. You can also give different quizzes to different students based on their background and needs.
Start with Placement Tests
To understand your learner’s individual needs consider starting the course with some type of pre-evaluation or placement test. These tests will help you know which learners need to start at the beginning and which learners already have the basics down. This will help you know how to treat different learners so that you can personalize their experience. In every class, there are those parts of the course that are relevant to all learners and those that are relevant to a few learners.
Use continuous assessments to monitor the progress of your learners
Continuous assessments are an important part of a personalized learning experience. With these assessments, you will be able to gauge the progress of each learner and prepare additional materials for learners with different weaknesses. You may also give advice to your learners on areas they need to revisit so that they can understand the course better.
Harmonize your learners’ goals
Different learners have different goals. Find out the goals of each learner and harmonize them so that you can supplement your course with different materials to capture the goals of all the learners. This is important as it helps you know what your learners expect and how best you can respond to those goals. Also, it helps your learners connect their personal goals with the overall goals of the training. This will help the learners have a better view of the course materials and thus feel that their needs are catered for.
For Online Courses consider Building Branching Courses in the Main Course
Do you find it difficult to cater to special needs of different learners in your classroom or training session? This is one area where elearning makes things possible. With elearning you can implement branching courses so that learners in one class can all have a unique learning journey. This will not only make your training interactive but will also make it easy for you to meet various needs of different students without affecting the whole course. With branching courses, you can include content that is relevant for a few learners so that they can access it in addition to the main course content. You can also use branching courses to answer questions that are raised by different learners to benefit everyone.
These are the general tips you can use to personalize learners experience when creating different courses. There are a lot of other specific things you can do to enhance the individual experience of each learner in your specific subject. Pay attention to each learner that you teach and you will know what to do to help personalize their experience.