What is meant by personalised learning?
We put the question to some of the LiveTime team…
“Personalised learning for me is about having options of learning interventions and different methods to choose from, that link with my preferred learning style. For example: I personally learn best by conversation, storytelling, taking part in activities, while others would like the opportunity to read, research or listen to an expert and then ask questions around the topic.”
“It’s a tailored experience unique to the learner that delivers effective learning to satisfy the way they learn, what they what to learn and why they want to learn it!”
“I believe it should provide a tailored experience for every learner and discussed with them rather than imposed so starts with an in-depth understanding of the needs of the learner and their hopes. It should aim to provide appropriate challenges to support their learning and progress. The instructional approach should be relevant and designed for the needs of the learner working at a pace where they are most comfortable. I think personalised learning should identify goals that the learner can see are attainable for encouragement and motivation. Feedback mechanisms should be built in to maximise the benefits of achieving goals and learning.”
Each answer given is learner centric with the needs of the individual at the heart of the experience, covering everything from the individual’s interests and ambitions, their learning style and the approach taken to help them learn.
As a strategy personalised learning continues to evolve, particularly with the influence of technology. Technology provides a personalised approach to individual learning based on diagnostics and user behaviour. Thereafter, the technology recommends specific resources and/or a set, digital pathway to meet the learner’s needs. These clever data-driven digital solutions are intuitive enough to customise the e-content for the end-user.
It can sound quite complicated and ironically such e-learning solutions often remove the “personal” from personalised learning despite it honing a tailored learning approach!
Without this technology though the customised experience would be delivered face-to-face – in plenary or within small groups – with less insight to the learning taking place.
How do you drive personalised learning and keep the personal experience?
Virtual classrooms provide an engaging and personalised approach to workplace learning as part of a blended or stand-alone offering, that aligns with how people learn and consume information differently. A virtual classroom is a digital environment that allows for live, collaborative and interactive learning, managed by an online facilitator.
If you have used Adobe Connect, GoToMeeting, Skype for Business or Zoom for virtual meetings, you will have seen a fraction of what a virtual classroom can do. Couple this technology with a structured learning program and you can deliver a diverse, variety of personalised learning approaches through virtual instructor led training (VILT).
What are the key components of virtual classroom training that deliver personalised learning?
Virtual classrooms allow for plenary delivery and support breakout sessions to provide targeted learning. Like face-to-face training, participants can be segmented into separate virtual rooms – breakout sessions – for focused collaboration or to work in in pairs or small groups.
As well as learning in groups, participants can learn in a solo capacity. Virtual classrooms retain participants’ attention by keeping them online throughout but offer space for them to focus on their own learning at that point in time. They choose their subject areas, whether they want to read or research, for example, and decide their learning pace and when they come back to the group.
Virtual classrooms allow you to communicate with each individual one-to one. One-to-one interventions are helpful throughout a session – planned or unprompted – meaning an individual receives dedicated and targeted support when needed.
Participants can communicate as a group and on an individual basis with the facilitator to empower personalised learning to take place effectively. Virtual classrooms provide opportunity for communication via video feed, audio or Chat so everyone connects on a personal level. There is benefit to using all three of these communication methods during a session to engage and interact with participants.
The Chat facility offers engagement on a one-to-one basis with the facilitator and with each other. This offers support to those who aren’t as confident in using their microphones or webcams. It can provide interaction for group activities, debate and discussion in a managed environment. An individual can also communicate privately with the facilitator in Chat, allowing for even more personal interaction and sharing areas of sensitivity.
Tools to meet learning styles
Interactive features replicate the experience of face-to-face training and meet participants’ learning styles head-on. For example, interactive whiteboards simulate flipcharts with participants writing live on screen. Other learning activities can be conducted via screen sharing, videos, audio, polls, quizzes and interactive drag and drop exercises.
“Personalised learning is the catch-all for what you want to learn and when you want to learn it; there should be no need for approval.”
Live virtual classroom training sessions can be recorded and made available later. This allows participants who attended the session to revert, note-take and cement their learning. It also provides on-demand access for those who couldn’t attend the session, to catch-up at a time and pace that suits them.
Personalised learning needs to be tracked to ensure the pathway each participant is taking still meets their needs, goals and learning style. Virtual classrooms offer a similar set of measurement tools and reports as e-learning, allowing the facilitator and learner to analyse progress to date and flex future learning where needed.
Feedback can be delivered one-to-one, as a group and via video, audio and chat. The feedback can be given in real-time to ensure participants achieve their learning outcomes during the live session. A virtual classroom can also be structured on a one-to one basis as a scheduled feedback session to highlight good performance and identify areas for improvement, so the individual’s aspirations remain attainable.
Face-to-face training rooms, like working environments, can be personalised to promote a positive organisational culture for those attending. Virtual classrooms allow for customised online branding, tailored to the organisation delivering the training. Personalising the learning environment means participants’ learning experiences align with brand values.
Virtual classroom training – live in action
Bespoke virtual classrooms modernise workplace training and contribute to personalised learning strategies that meet individuals’ needs. Virtual instructor-led training also retains the personal touch that e-learning can often lack.