The personalization of learning in higher ed has become a common theme, and can refer to a broad range of services, tools, and curricular models designed to create individualized learning paths for students. The EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative (ELI) describes it this way:
Personalized learning is intended to provide a unique, highly focused learning path for each student. If a student receives individual attention from an instructor, the lessons, feedback, and assessments will necessarily be tailored to that student’s strengths and weaknesses. Such attention does not scale in traditional educational environments, and proponents of personalized learning maintain that IT systems and tools, along with rich data sets and analytics programs, can provide individualized learning pathways to large numbers of students. ~7 Things You Should Know About Personalized Learning
Adaptive learning tools are one of these personalization technologies, making continual adjustments to learning paths based on student performance. It also provides information to help instructors better target their teaching to individual students.
The e-Literate series explores how the “personalized learning” term, seen as “heavily marketed but poorly defined,” is implemented at a variety of colleges and universities. The series, with each episode running 30 minutes, explores what this means in practice, what problems it is intended to solve, and how well is it working. The series mainly consists of interviews with students, faculty, and administrators at Middlebury College, Essex County College, and Arizona State University, examining the programs and policies these institutions have adopted to provide their own brand of personalized learning. This series of video case studies has just finished up with a set of videos on UC Davis.