Personalized Learning: A New Approach to Diverse Learning Needs
By Steve Ryan, M.A., CTU Faculty
We’re in a diverse world where individuals have numerous unique needs, and students are certainly no different. While many come straight out of high school, some students attend a university 15, or even 30 years after being away from school. By then, some are parents, and even grandparents. Many work full-time professional jobs, hold two and three jobs, or simply study full time. Now imagine all of these students, in various phases of life, and perhaps varying levels of education, all in the same class. Subsequently, you can imagine the different learning challenges and needs they may have. If we want to set students like these up for success, we must create unique plans for each.
The adaptive, or personalized learning model allows each student to learn individually, applying what they learn to their assignments, and even their current professions. There are exciting opportunities with this new customized approach; however, along with it comes the requisite challenge of learning the technology. If you’re the type to become frustrated with learning new things, especially technology, hang in there. The benefits are well worth your effort.
Ramp Up to Reward
Many students in this personalized learning environment find they have an easier time staying motivated to do the work, because they’re seeing results. It can take a little getting used to and asking lots of questions at first. Take the time to read and research through the learning center, and know that CTU faculty are gladly here to help at any time. As you progress through your degree program, you will see SmartPath integrated into some undergraduate classrooms throughout the curriculum.
In fact, more than ever, we’re here for students especially because of the diverse nature of their backgrounds and the diverse learning that is taking place. Plus the reward of being at the forefront and seeing this innovation in action is something we don’t want to miss.
Steve Ryan, M.A., has been teaching online classes for Colorado Technical University since 2009. He teaches critical thinking, writing and research classes and his experience includes being a journalist for the New York Post and a published writer and editor for various publications.
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Image credit: Flickr/Robert S. Donovan