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Here’s what personalized learning is and some eLearning ideas for 2021

Distance learning is now commonplace. While various types of remote learning such as synchronous and asynchronous learning have been around for ages, learning and development leaders should make sure that the methods used still suit the learners’ needs and learning objectives.

One of the methods that require more attention today is personalized learning.

What is personalized learning?

As the name suggests, personalized learning focuses on the individual’s learning. It centers on a person’s learning environment, ability, and learning style. It’s all about knowing how to create personalized learning experiences that allow the learner to comprehend the content better.

In personalized e-learning, students actively take part in deciding how to go about their learning path. It usually involves the following:

  • Defining their learning goal and describing their ideal learning process which fuel motivation, increases engagement, and promotes accountability
  • Performing self-assessment, which builds the student’s ability for self-reflection
  • Identifying the learning activities that they find most helpful (or, on the contrary, those that did not work for them)

In terms of designing the course, personalized learning may come in the form of:

  • Elements in the learning content, such as images, videos, audio, and text
  • Learning activities and interactive features, such as drag-and-drop, quizzes, and simulations
  • Feedback mechanism between facilitator and learner
  • Progress trackers, allowing learners to view how far along in the course they currently are

What are examples of personalized learning?

Here are some of the ways you can facilitate personalized learning:

  • One-on-one tutoring. This is especially helpful when there are two individuals involved – the learner and the teacher. One-on-one tutoring allows a deep understanding of the learner’s needs and learning style, eventually leading to a highly customized approach to teaching.
  • Mentoring. In the workplace, this happens when a more experienced staff trains and coaches a novice employee.
  • Customized online course. Online platforms like Coursera, edx, and LinkedIn Learning provide individual accounts per learner and allow them to track their own progress. You can provide this type of personalized learning to your learners by creating a Learning Management System (LMS).
  • Search engines. Sounds pretty basic, but search engines like Google also allow personalized learning when an individual looks up a keyword, receives a long list of potential answers through search results, and picks the link that looks to answer the question best. This is similar to YouTube when an individual types in a question on how to perform a certain task, for instance.

Why does this type of customized learning work: advantages of personalized learning?

Personalized learning can benefit learners because the learning process is not linear; all students do not learn in the exact same way. One learning path does not apply to everyone in the class. Learners have their own individual learning needs, style, and pace.

Here are some advantages of personalized learning:

Advantages of Personalized Learning in eLearning

Targeted and niched learning

Personalized learning empowers learners and allows them to decide how to learn. It is especially useful if a targeted and niched learning experience is required. It is a more intentional way to learn – a learner’s role, need, skill level, experience, style, and pace are all considered. These things can be determined through a pre-test where learners take a test before taking on the course. The results will provide insights on the level they can start on (basic, intermediate, advanced) and whether they possess a solid foundation required for the course.

Higher learner engagement

With personalized elearning, learners are able to provide input on how they prefer to learn. This way, they have a choice on what to learn, allowing higher motivation and engagement with the course contents. A key feature of personalized learning is learners being able to pick the lesson they think they need to take, skip the irrelevant ones, customize their learning environment, and use available tools in their own volition. They don’t have to sit in e-learning courses that are not suited to their individual needs. In fact, by taking part in deciding what and how to learn, they will find relevance in the subject matter and are likely to thrive in the lessons.

Flexibility in the learning environment

A key highlight of personalized learning is flexibility. A learner has a lot of room for his own learning path and pace. He can go slower or faster based on his needs and availability. There are no tight timelines or deadlines imposed by the teacher. They can pick their own methods or resources to achieve a learning goal. The teacher can assist in creating a structured, customized path for the learner to fill gaps or make the lessons a bit more challenging as the student’s knowledge progresses. With personalized learning, the learner can make a choice on the tasks they can perform to demonstrate that they understand a lesson. For example, they can apply the knowledge learned or skills built in the context of their own personal role and responsibilities in the workplace.


Personalized learning can be beneficial for learners in a variety of ways. It can be an empowering method of learning which allows them to have input into the way they learn.

If you are interested to learn more about personalized learning and how it can be applied in your learning environment, please feel free to contact us. Our team will be more than happy to answer your questions.