As the quest for Personalized Learning gains traction among educators, and more and more products claim “personalized learning” or “adaptive learning” capabilities, a certain fuzziness has emerged around this term. In this post, we’ll define Personalized Learning and help dispel some of the common misconceptions and misunderstandings.

1. Personalized Learning Defined

This may seem like wordsmithing, but “personalized” is not the same as “adaptive.”

For example, you may buy your child a new pair of shoes that fits their size, style, and interests perfectly. However, a year later you will likely find that the child has changed in a variety of ways and now needs new shoes. The shoes were definitely personalized, but they can’t adapt as the child grows.

This is exactly how learning works! Personalized refers to a “targeted” content offering based on a student’s specific needs at a particular point in time. Every student who meets this criterion will receive the same experience. The content, however, cannot adapt to meet the less well-defined nuances of their individual needs. For example, it cannot determine how quickly the student is picking up new information or whether they have retained it over the long term. And that means it can’t adjust content on the fly to focus on areas where the student needs more help, nor can it advance the content to challenge the student.

2. The traditional method of delivering Personalized Learning

Traditionally, products claiming Personalized Learning capabilities simply offer several tools to help educators manually design and deliver differentiated learning and instruction that is paced to learning needs of each individual student. Other products go one step further and assess a student’s level of proficiency in a subject matter only at a single point in time (typically at the beginning or a few more times during a school year). Then, it will seek to develop a curriculum to fill the gaps of knowledge. In such cases, the learning objectives and content as well as the method and pace remain static. Both of these traditional methods fall short of delivering a truly personalized learning experience that continuously adapts to each student.

Example of one such product: It starts each student with an “adaptive” diagnostic on Day 1. Based on that assessment, the product creates a static “Personalized Pathway” for the student. This pathway attempts to fill the skill gaps that the student had on Day 1 but does not take into consideration the fact that the student is continuously learning and his/her needs are changing on a daily basis.

 3. How ScootPad delivers Continuous Personalized Learning using Adaptive Technology

ScootPad, however, provides continuous personalization. Our platform analyzes and assesses each student’s response in real-time taking into account their latest performance and will adjust the rigor (content difficulty), adjust the pace (when the student can move forward) and adjust the curriculum (the next or prerequisite concept to learn). In other words, ScootPad’s adaptive learning process is dynamic and thereby continuously adapting to each student’s needs and optimizing the path in real-time to achieve mastery in the desired concepts. ScootPad’s mastery-based innovative pedagogy will also ensure that each student is able to retain and recall previously gained knowledge over the long term.

To learn more about how ScootPad’s adaptive learning platform works in delivering a truly personalized learning experience for each student, we recommend you to review our technical white paper The Science Behind Our Mastery-Based Adaptive Learning Platform(click the link to read/download).

There is always more to learn so don’t hesitate to explore or reach out to our support team by clicking the orange Help button.

The ScootPad Team