Developing the Core Elements │Personalized Learning

Image of teacher and young student working closely on laptops

At AIR, we recognize that states, districts, and schools are at various stages of adopting personalized learning approaches. We encourage you to consider how to incorporate student-centered learning and student agency, competency-based education, and deeper learning into your personalized learning programs as essentials for success.

Student-Centered Learning and Student Agency

When teachers embrace a student-centered approach, classroom content, instructional practices, and assessments are driven by student’s strengths, needs, and interests. Student agency, or students' ability to manage their own learning, and instructional practices that foster student agency are inherent in student-centered learning. Both students and teachers need easy access to student data, through a learner profile, to foster student agency and take a student-centered approach.

Competency-Based Education

As a growing number of states and districts consider or implement personalized learning, it is critical to understand the connection to competency-based education (CBE). CBE supports personalized learning by removing time in the classroom as a measurement of learning and emphasizes student progression through academic work toward demonstrated mastery of defined competencies. CBE is often referred to as proficiency-based, or mastery learning, and can be associated with standards-based education, which defines the skills and knowledge students are expected to achieve.

Deeper Learning

Deeper learning approaches offer students the opportunity to engage in content-rich, challenging, applied, and collaborative experiences, as well as the chance to receive meaningful feedback, reflect, and take responsibility for their own learning. Through deeper learning opportunities, students can build the broad knowledge and transferable skills they will need to continuously learn, adapt, and thrive in the 21st century. Schools that adopt a personalized, student-centered approach also allow for greater student opportunities to engage in deeper learning.