About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 3274-3280
Publication year: 2018
ISBN: 978-84-697-9480-7
ISSN: 2340-1079
doi: 10.21125/inted.2018.0063

Conference name: 12th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 5-7 March, 2018
Location: Valencia, Spain


S. Stephens, A. Lokey-Vega

Kennesaw State University (UNITED STATES)
Traditional education is commonly defined and identified as that which is teacher-centric, and passively received by the student. Instruction has a clearly defined single pathway for all students, using a common pace, within an inflexible assessment system that sorts students for predefined societal roles.

We perceive Personalized Learning to be an educational paradigm shift not simply a new initiative or instructional strategy. As a paradigm shift, this implies a change to the values on which the education system is built and therefore the roles of all stakeholders in the system must also change. Personalized Learning is an ideal for which we will strive. The ‘definition’ of the term will evolve as research and practice in the field develops. This process requires flexibility, comfort with uncertainty, and the ability to take risk.

Personalized learning is a commitment to serve all students in a meaningful manner, and support them to reach each of their individual potential through the embrace and employment of that which makes each person unique including but not limited to their race, gender, ethnicity, culture, age, learning challenges, talents, sexuality, interests, abilities, and voice. Whereas a traditional learning environment operates on the thought of supporting deficits, a Personalized Learning environment intends to capitalize on those individualities as assets and gives power back to the learner to drive their learning on a unique path that serves that learner best.

As we developed a new set of standards for Personalized Learning, three essential roles emerged: the Learner, and two Educators. In the traditional classroom, educators serve both roles of designer and facilitator. In a personalized learning classroom, when only one educator is available, the responsibilities of both roles will still fall to one person. As we developed these roles, we considered teacher burnout and workload as a major factor in the success or failure of a personalized learning environment. However, when the roles can be divided among two people, optimal outcomes are possible. Educator (D) is charged with the development and design of the instructional content, the other, Educator (F) is primarily focused on co-planning, guiding, and facilitating learning experiences.

This set of standards would not be complete without a description of learner responsibilities. In a personalized learning environment, the learner has significant contributions to make in the planning and execution of their learning. Rather than Personalized Learning being seen as ‘concierge’ schooling, our model calls for the weight of responsibility to be felt by the one most impacted...the learner. The traditional understanding of classroom management being the primary responsibility of the teacher is not sustainable in a personalized learning environment. Educators should not be expected to manage this type of learning for 30 plus individuals a day, while also monitoring and managing student behavior. Learners must practice executive function in this environment to be successful, and these skills must be explicitly taught.

While many associate Personalized Learning with technology initiatives, these standards don’t explicitly focus on technology. However, technology has enabled these learning environments to form due to the advancement of the Internet, educational technologies, and information systems which are necessary to scale Personalized Learning.
author = {Stephens, S. and Lokey-Vega, A.},
series = {12th International Technology, Education and Development Conference},
booktitle = {INTED2018 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-697-9480-7},
issn = {2340-1079},
doi = {10.21125/inted.2018.0063},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/inted.2018.0063},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Valencia, Spain},
month = {5-7 March, 2018},
year = {2018},
pages = {3274-3280}}
AU - S. Stephens AU - A. Lokey-Vega
SN - 978-84-697-9480-7/2340-1079
DO - 10.21125/inted.2018.0063
PY - 2018
Y1 - 5-7 March, 2018
CI - Valencia, Spain
JO - 12th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
JA - INTED2018 Proceedings
SP - 3274
EP - 3280
ER -
S. Stephens, A. Lokey-Vega (2018) P-12 PERSONALIZED LEARNING: A NEW PARADIGM, INTED2018 Proceedings, pp. 3274-3280.