Personalized Learning, Defined

A quick Google search of “Personalized Learning” will surely result in so many definitions, that you’re left with more questions than answers. It makes sense…what personalized learning is should change based on the user. In the same way that we want to personalize the learning experience for our students, we should also strive to make the implementation of PL in our schools unique to our environments, to our culture. What works over there may not work over here. And that’s okay.

To establish Vista High School’s definition of PL, we first got feedback from VHS teachers, and then based on those ideas, we worked with renowned experts in the field of personalized learning to craft a definition that was true to the 4 attributes of personal learning, yet which reflected the unique character of Vista High School.

Personalized Learning at Vista High School

Personalized learning increasingly puts students at the center of the design of learning experiences where they leverage growing strengths, interests, passions, and ideas to engage in authentic problems and challenges that are aligned to standards and students’ personal goals.

The 4 attributes of PL mentioned above are a lens through which to think about creating learning environments that engage students more fully and help to create more contemporary classrooms.

The 4 Attributes of Personal Learning

  1. Voice
    • What students say matters, and must be taken into consideration.
  2. Co-Creation
    • Students must have a seat at the design table, helping to create their learning experience.
  3. Social Construction
    • Students need to be given the opportunity to make connections both within and beyond the classroom to people and experiences that enrich their movement through their learning challenges.
  4. Self-Discovery
    • Students and teachers come to understand themselves better as learners.

If you’d like to see more detailed information about our definition, as well as how we’re currently thinking about the role of teachers and students within the structure of this definition, please see this Google document.