The Benefits of Personalised Learning

Discover how personalised educational approaches can enhance engagement and improve academic performance for Australian school students.

Joey Moshinsky
Co-Founder of Tutero

Engaging school students is a core challenge facing educators and parents. Natural fluctuations in engagement are inevitable; however, recently teachers have been observing more pronounced cases of disengagement, and greater learning disparities in classrooms.

This issue becomes more pronounced when there's a mismatch between the curriculum and student’s existing knowledge. Or when a student does not resonate with the teacher’s teaching style. As teachers cannot adapt the curriculum and their teaching approach for every student in a classroom, often there will be misalignment creating disengagement.

These incompatibilities lead to significant disengagement among students. According to a 2017 Grattan Institute report, about 40% of students in an average classroom are unproductive and disengaged, disrupting the learning environment and hindering successful implementation of teaching and learning programs.

The challenges of the one-size-fits-all approach in classrooms are prompting discussions on personalised learning. This article serves as a parents guide to understand these ongoing global conversations in schools and education departments.

Australian student sitting in the classroom at school
An Australian school student disengaged in the classroom

What is personalised learning?

Personalised learning is an educational approach that tailors the teaching process to suit each student's unique strengths, needs, and interests. By adapting learning plans to suit these individual characteristics, this approach aims to foster higher engagement and educational attainment.

In practice, teachers and tutors initiate the personalised learning process with a diagnostic evaluation of a student's existing knowledge, supplemented by a conversation about their personal interests and hobbies. Based on the test results, educators will set goals for each student and design a teaching program tailored to their individual learning preferences.

When does personalised learning occur?

To facilitate the implementation personalised learning, individualised instruction is often required. This enables educators to make use of unique teaching strategies that accomodate to a student's unique needs and preferences.

Such individualised teaching is common in private tutoring sessions or aided by a teaching assistant in a classroom setting. These personalised sessions can leverage various resources, technologies, or pedagogical approaches, enhancing the learning process.

What is a personalised learning pathway?

A personalised learning pathway is a sequence of skills that students will learn, beginning at the skills that students already understand and ending at the curriculum expectation for the students given age level. These custom learning plans for students specify strategies that align with the unique needs and preferences of each student.

Learning pathways should also allow for continuous assessment and adjustments to ensure that teachers can adapt their approach to ensure that it is best supporting students.

Pacing teaching according to a students ability

Pacing teaching according to a student's ability is a cornerstone of personalised education. This approach involves the consistent collection of data on student understanding to enable adjustments in teaching and learning processes. These adjustments ensure that educators establish a flexible learning pace, accelerating or slowing down as needed to match the student's capability.

Image of a teacher creating a custom learning plan for one of their students
An Australian teacher creating a custom learning plan for one of their students

What are the benefits of personalised learning?

Personalised learning can positively impact every party involved in the education process - teachers, parents, and students. It has the potential to enhance engagement, comprehension, and retention for students, whilst providing teachers with a more effective teaching approach, and parents reassurance that their child's unique learning needs are being met.

1. Enhanced Academic Performance

Enhanced academic performance is a key benefit of personalised learning approaches. Because teachers can identify and fill knowledge gaps, students' learning progression is less likely to be blocked, ensuring more consistent advancement and a deeper understanding of the curriculum. Moreover, students can learn in styles that suit their preferences, leading to more efficient lessons and better memory recall of content.

2. Improved Student Engagement & Motivation

Higher levels of student engagement & motivation is another key benefit of personalised learning. Not only does this approach foster student wellbeing by instilling confidence and making learning more enjoyable and relevant, but it also encourages the development of soft skills such as self-discipline and perseverance, enhancing the overall learning experience.

3. Better Visibility Over Learning Progress

Through consistent assessments and illustrations of practice, teachers and parents gain a clear understanding of a student's progress and can identify the student's strengths and weaknesses. This transparency facilitates more informed support for the student's learning journey.

Many teachers use tools such as the Tutero teaching assistant to visualise data from their classroom

Personalised learning has the potential to enhance engagement, comprehension, and retention for students, whilst providing teachers with a more effective teaching approach.

Personalised learning has the potential to enhance engagement, comprehension, and retention for students, whilst providing teachers with a more effective teaching approach.

What are the challenges of personalised learning?

While personalised learning brings many benefits, there are challenges in implementing this pedagogical approach at scale. Teachers, schools, and policymakers often face restrictions that hinder their ability to fully experience the potential benefits of personalised learning approaches.

1. Implementation and Scalability

Firstly, implementing personalised learning at scale presents several structural challenges. Adapting education systems to cater to the needs of individual students requires significant resources, time, and effort. It also demands a shift in traditional teaching methods and curricula, necessitating comprehensive planning and execution.

2. Difficult to Stream Classrooms into Learning Groups

An example of this challenge in a school setting is the difficulties that arise when attempting to stream classrooms into learning groups. Organising students into groups based on their abilities can result in some students viewing themselves as less capable than their peers, leading to self-fulfilling prophecies of underachievement. As a result, the approach of streaming often brings debate within the broader education community. Another present challenge is that learning management systems, often the central piece of software used by teachers, cannot accurately predict a student's competency for a certain topic, making the actual implementation of streaming extremely difficult.

3. Exacerbates Education Inequity

Lastly, personalised learning can inadvertently exacerbate education equity. If only students who have access to expensive services such as charter schools or tutoring can experience the benefits of a personalised approach, it creates a divergence in education quality, perpetuating social inequalities throughout the economy.

Case Studies of Personalised Learning

Data-Driven Online Tutoring

Since the period of online learning during COVID, data-driven online tutoring has emerged as a promising approach to provide personalised learning to students. The online tutoring that we offer at Tutero is the perfect example of this approach to personalised learning.

By harnessing student data collected through diagnostic tests, our online tutors tailor instruction around individual needs to ensure students meet the academic standards outlined in the Australian curriculum. Our method also encourages critical thinking amongst students as they are often asked to explain the logic behind their approach to answering a question.

Data is collected as students learn, and an app for parents and teachers provides visibility to analytics on strengths, weaknesses and progress made. This allows everyone to have detailed visibility over the outcomes of the tutoring lessons.

Personalised Learning in Schools

Personalised learning approaches have gained traction in schools. It allows teachers to customise curriculum, pacing, and instructional methods based on the individual strengths, interests, and learning styles of their students.

Australia is currently investigating how personalised learning can be integrated into schools. The 2012 Gonski report emphasised the importance of "personalised learning strategies" in improving school outcomes. In fact, in 2021, New South Wales announced that it would trial "untimed syllabuses," allowing students to move through school at their own pace.

A teacher delivering a personalised Year 12 class in Melbourne, Victoria

Personalised Learning for Disadvantaged Students

In the pursuit of equity, personalised learning has proven to be a valuable approach for disadvantaged students, including those with disabilities. Volunteer tutoring programs have emerged to provide additional support and resources to these students, bridging the gaps in educational opportunities. Online variations of these tutoring programs have bridged geographical gaps, as they can now reach remote communities such as students in the Torres Strait Islands.

How can technology enable personalised learning?

Improvements in educational technology can create an ideal learning landscape, where each student can access an adaptive learning program that personalises their education. While some may consider this a long-term goal, companies such as Tutero are making rapid progress towards this future.

Lesson Planning Software

The core technology that will underpin personalised learning at scale is lesson planning software that evaluates existing knowledge of one or many students. The data collected is then used to create a personalised learning program that can be administered at an individual level or through collaborative classroom practice.

Tutero's AI-powered teaching assistant provides educators with resources and learning activities that help students engage better with the content they need to learn. If every teacher at a school were to use this product, the school's approach to teaching would become more personalised overall.

AI Tutors for Every Student

Another technological advancement that will usher in a wave of personalised learning, is the development of an AI tutor for every student. This will allow school teachers to set adaptive programs for their student’s that help them quickly work towards their learning goals. The AI tutor will also be able to provide external links to valuable resources and enable nationally consistent collection of data related to student learning and progression.

How can students access personalised education?

Access to personalised learning currently depends on the type of school students attend or whether they receive tutoring from a service that customises learning plans using data. Parents are encouraged to consult and collaborate with teachers to understand if their children are struggling in the traditional classroom education model and could benefit from personalised instruction for additional learning.

If parents want to provide access to personalised learning, they should consider engaging one of Tutero's online tutors to deliver tailored lessons that are customised to the student's learning profile.

The key takeaway from this article is that there are various approaches to personalised learning. Parents should work with their child's teachers and school to develop an action plan to determine if their students could benefit from this teaching method.

Engaging school students is a core challenge facing educators and parents. Natural fluctuations in engagement are inevitable; however, recently teachers have been observing more pronounced cases of disengagement, and greater learning disparities in classrooms.

This issue becomes more pronounced when there's a mismatch between the curriculum and student’s existing knowledge. Or when a student does not resonate with the teacher’s teaching style. As teachers cannot adapt the curriculum and their teaching approach for every student in a classroom, often there will be misalignment creating disengagement.

These incompatibilities lead to significant disengagement among students. According to a 2017 Grattan Institute report, about 40% of students in an average classroom are unproductive and disengaged, disrupting the learning environment and hindering successful implementation of teaching and learning programs.

The challenges of the one-size-fits-all approach in classrooms are prompting discussions on personalised learning. This article serves as a parents guide to understand these ongoing global conversations in schools and education departments.

Australian student sitting in the classroom at school
An Australian school student disengaged in the classroom

What is personalised learning?

Personalised learning is an educational approach that tailors the teaching process to suit each student's unique strengths, needs, and interests. By adapting learning plans to suit these individual characteristics, this approach aims to foster higher engagement and educational attainment.

In practice, teachers and tutors initiate the personalised learning process with a diagnostic evaluation of a student's existing knowledge, supplemented by a conversation about their personal interests and hobbies. Based on the test results, educators will set goals for each student and design a teaching program tailored to their individual learning preferences.

When does personalised learning occur?

To facilitate the implementation personalised learning, individualised instruction is often required. This enables educators to make use of unique teaching strategies that accomodate to a student's unique needs and preferences.

Such individualised teaching is common in private tutoring sessions or aided by a teaching assistant in a classroom setting. These personalised sessions can leverage various resources, technologies, or pedagogical approaches, enhancing the learning process.

What is a personalised learning pathway?

A personalised learning pathway is a sequence of skills that students will learn, beginning at the skills that students already understand and ending at the curriculum expectation for the students given age level. These custom learning plans for students specify strategies that align with the unique needs and preferences of each student.

Learning pathways should also allow for continuous assessment and adjustments to ensure that teachers can adapt their approach to ensure that it is best supporting students.

Pacing teaching according to a students ability

Pacing teaching according to a student's ability is a cornerstone of personalised education. This approach involves the consistent collection of data on student understanding to enable adjustments in teaching and learning processes. These adjustments ensure that educators establish a flexible learning pace, accelerating or slowing down as needed to match the student's capability.

Image of a teacher creating a custom learning plan for one of their students
An Australian teacher creating a custom learning plan for one of their students

What are the benefits of personalised learning?

Personalised learning can positively impact every party involved in the education process - teachers, parents, and students. It has the potential to enhance engagement, comprehension, and retention for students, whilst providing teachers with a more effective teaching approach, and parents reassurance that their child's unique learning needs are being met.

1. Enhanced Academic Performance

Enhanced academic performance is a key benefit of personalised learning approaches. Because teachers can identify and fill knowledge gaps, students' learning progression is less likely to be blocked, ensuring more consistent advancement and a deeper understanding of the curriculum. Moreover, students can learn in styles that suit their preferences, leading to more efficient lessons and better memory recall of content.

2. Improved Student Engagement & Motivation

Higher levels of student engagement & motivation is another key benefit of personalised learning. Not only does this approach foster student wellbeing by instilling confidence and making learning more enjoyable and relevant, but it also encourages the development of soft skills such as self-discipline and perseverance, enhancing the overall learning experience.

3. Better Visibility Over Learning Progress

Through consistent assessments and illustrations of practice, teachers and parents gain a clear understanding of a student's progress and can identify the student's strengths and weaknesses. This transparency facilitates more informed support for the student's learning journey.

Many teachers use tools such as the Tutero teaching assistant to visualise data from their classroom

FAQ

What age groups are covered by online maths tutoring?
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Online maths tutoring at Tutero is catering to students of all year levels. We offer programs tailored to the unique learning curves of each age group.

Are there specific programs for students preparing for particular exams like NAPLAN or ATAR?
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We also have expert NAPLAN and ATAR subject tutors, ensuring students are well-equipped for these pivotal assessments.

How often should my child have tutoring sessions to see significant improvement?
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We recommend at least two to three session per week for consistent progress. However, this can vary based on your child's needs and goals.

What safety measures are in place to ensure online tutoring sessions are secure and protected?
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Our platform uses advanced security protocols to ensure the safety and privacy of all our online sessions.

Can I sit in on the tutoring sessions to observe and support my child?
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Parents are welcome to observe sessions. We believe in a collaborative approach to education.

How do I measure the progress my child is making with online tutoring?
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We provide regular progress reports and assessments to track your child’s academic development.

What happens if my child isn't clicking with their assigned tutor? Can we request a change?
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Yes, we prioritise the student-tutor relationship and can arrange a change if the need arises.

Are there any additional resources or tools available to support students learning maths, besides tutoring sessions?
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Yes, we offer a range of resources and materials, including interactive exercises and practice worksheets.

What are the challenges of personalised learning?

While personalised learning brings many benefits, there are challenges in implementing this pedagogical approach at scale. Teachers, schools, and policymakers often face restrictions that hinder their ability to fully experience the potential benefits of personalised learning approaches.

1. Implementation and Scalability

Firstly, implementing personalised learning at scale presents several structural challenges. Adapting education systems to cater to the needs of individual students requires significant resources, time, and effort. It also demands a shift in traditional teaching methods and curricula, necessitating comprehensive planning and execution.

2. Difficult to Stream Classrooms into Learning Groups

An example of this challenge in a school setting is the difficulties that arise when attempting to stream classrooms into learning groups. Organising students into groups based on their abilities can result in some students viewing themselves as less capable than their peers, leading to self-fulfilling prophecies of underachievement. As a result, the approach of streaming often brings debate within the broader education community. Another present challenge is that learning management systems, often the central piece of software used by teachers, cannot accurately predict a student's competency for a certain topic, making the actual implementation of streaming extremely difficult.

3. Exacerbates Education Inequity

Lastly, personalised learning can inadvertently exacerbate education equity. If only students who have access to expensive services such as charter schools or tutoring can experience the benefits of a personalised approach, it creates a divergence in education quality, perpetuating social inequalities throughout the economy.

Case Studies of Personalised Learning

Data-Driven Online Tutoring

Since the period of online learning during COVID, data-driven online tutoring has emerged as a promising approach to provide personalised learning to students. The online tutoring that we offer at Tutero is the perfect example of this approach to personalised learning.

By harnessing student data collected through diagnostic tests, our online tutors tailor instruction around individual needs to ensure students meet the academic standards outlined in the Australian curriculum. Our method also encourages critical thinking amongst students as they are often asked to explain the logic behind their approach to answering a question.

Data is collected as students learn, and an app for parents and teachers provides visibility to analytics on strengths, weaknesses and progress made. This allows everyone to have detailed visibility over the outcomes of the tutoring lessons.

Personalised Learning in Schools

Personalised learning approaches have gained traction in schools. It allows teachers to customise curriculum, pacing, and instructional methods based on the individual strengths, interests, and learning styles of their students.

Australia is currently investigating how personalised learning can be integrated into schools. The 2012 Gonski report emphasised the importance of "personalised learning strategies" in improving school outcomes. In fact, in 2021, New South Wales announced that it would trial "untimed syllabuses," allowing students to move through school at their own pace.

A teacher delivering a personalised Year 12 class in Melbourne, Victoria

Personalised Learning for Disadvantaged Students

In the pursuit of equity, personalised learning has proven to be a valuable approach for disadvantaged students, including those with disabilities. Volunteer tutoring programs have emerged to provide additional support and resources to these students, bridging the gaps in educational opportunities. Online variations of these tutoring programs have bridged geographical gaps, as they can now reach remote communities such as students in the Torres Strait Islands.

How can technology enable personalised learning?

Improvements in educational technology can create an ideal learning landscape, where each student can access an adaptive learning program that personalises their education. While some may consider this a long-term goal, companies such as Tutero are making rapid progress towards this future.

Lesson Planning Software

The core technology that will underpin personalised learning at scale is lesson planning software that evaluates existing knowledge of one or many students. The data collected is then used to create a personalised learning program that can be administered at an individual level or through collaborative classroom practice.

Tutero's AI-powered teaching assistant provides educators with resources and learning activities that help students engage better with the content they need to learn. If every teacher at a school were to use this product, the school's approach to teaching would become more personalised overall.

AI Tutors for Every Student

Another technological advancement that will usher in a wave of personalised learning, is the development of an AI tutor for every student. This will allow school teachers to set adaptive programs for their student’s that help them quickly work towards their learning goals. The AI tutor will also be able to provide external links to valuable resources and enable nationally consistent collection of data related to student learning and progression.

How can students access personalised education?

Access to personalised learning currently depends on the type of school students attend or whether they receive tutoring from a service that customises learning plans using data. Parents are encouraged to consult and collaborate with teachers to understand if their children are struggling in the traditional classroom education model and could benefit from personalised instruction for additional learning.

If parents want to provide access to personalised learning, they should consider engaging one of Tutero's online tutors to deliver tailored lessons that are customised to the student's learning profile.

The key takeaway from this article is that there are various approaches to personalised learning. Parents should work with their child's teachers and school to develop an action plan to determine if their students could benefit from this teaching method.

Personalised learning has the potential to enhance engagement, comprehension, and retention for students, whilst providing teachers with a more effective teaching approach.

Personalised learning has the potential to enhance engagement, comprehension, and retention for students, whilst providing teachers with a more effective teaching approach.

Engaging school students is a core challenge facing educators and parents. Natural fluctuations in engagement are inevitable; however, recently teachers have been observing more pronounced cases of disengagement, and greater learning disparities in classrooms.

This issue becomes more pronounced when there's a mismatch between the curriculum and student’s existing knowledge. Or when a student does not resonate with the teacher’s teaching style. As teachers cannot adapt the curriculum and their teaching approach for every student in a classroom, often there will be misalignment creating disengagement.

These incompatibilities lead to significant disengagement among students. According to a 2017 Grattan Institute report, about 40% of students in an average classroom are unproductive and disengaged, disrupting the learning environment and hindering successful implementation of teaching and learning programs.

The challenges of the one-size-fits-all approach in classrooms are prompting discussions on personalised learning. This article serves as a parents guide to understand these ongoing global conversations in schools and education departments.

Australian student sitting in the classroom at school
An Australian school student disengaged in the classroom

What is personalised learning?

Personalised learning is an educational approach that tailors the teaching process to suit each student's unique strengths, needs, and interests. By adapting learning plans to suit these individual characteristics, this approach aims to foster higher engagement and educational attainment.

In practice, teachers and tutors initiate the personalised learning process with a diagnostic evaluation of a student's existing knowledge, supplemented by a conversation about their personal interests and hobbies. Based on the test results, educators will set goals for each student and design a teaching program tailored to their individual learning preferences.

When does personalised learning occur?

To facilitate the implementation personalised learning, individualised instruction is often required. This enables educators to make use of unique teaching strategies that accomodate to a student's unique needs and preferences.

Such individualised teaching is common in private tutoring sessions or aided by a teaching assistant in a classroom setting. These personalised sessions can leverage various resources, technologies, or pedagogical approaches, enhancing the learning process.

What is a personalised learning pathway?

A personalised learning pathway is a sequence of skills that students will learn, beginning at the skills that students already understand and ending at the curriculum expectation for the students given age level. These custom learning plans for students specify strategies that align with the unique needs and preferences of each student.

Learning pathways should also allow for continuous assessment and adjustments to ensure that teachers can adapt their approach to ensure that it is best supporting students.

Pacing teaching according to a students ability

Pacing teaching according to a student's ability is a cornerstone of personalised education. This approach involves the consistent collection of data on student understanding to enable adjustments in teaching and learning processes. These adjustments ensure that educators establish a flexible learning pace, accelerating or slowing down as needed to match the student's capability.

Image of a teacher creating a custom learning plan for one of their students
An Australian teacher creating a custom learning plan for one of their students

What are the benefits of personalised learning?

Personalised learning can positively impact every party involved in the education process - teachers, parents, and students. It has the potential to enhance engagement, comprehension, and retention for students, whilst providing teachers with a more effective teaching approach, and parents reassurance that their child's unique learning needs are being met.

1. Enhanced Academic Performance

Enhanced academic performance is a key benefit of personalised learning approaches. Because teachers can identify and fill knowledge gaps, students' learning progression is less likely to be blocked, ensuring more consistent advancement and a deeper understanding of the curriculum. Moreover, students can learn in styles that suit their preferences, leading to more efficient lessons and better memory recall of content.

2. Improved Student Engagement & Motivation

Higher levels of student engagement & motivation is another key benefit of personalised learning. Not only does this approach foster student wellbeing by instilling confidence and making learning more enjoyable and relevant, but it also encourages the development of soft skills such as self-discipline and perseverance, enhancing the overall learning experience.

3. Better Visibility Over Learning Progress

Through consistent assessments and illustrations of practice, teachers and parents gain a clear understanding of a student's progress and can identify the student's strengths and weaknesses. This transparency facilitates more informed support for the student's learning journey.

Many teachers use tools such as the Tutero teaching assistant to visualise data from their classroom

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Personalised learning has the potential to enhance engagement, comprehension, and retention for students, whilst providing teachers with a more effective teaching approach.

What are the challenges of personalised learning?

While personalised learning brings many benefits, there are challenges in implementing this pedagogical approach at scale. Teachers, schools, and policymakers often face restrictions that hinder their ability to fully experience the potential benefits of personalised learning approaches.

1. Implementation and Scalability

Firstly, implementing personalised learning at scale presents several structural challenges. Adapting education systems to cater to the needs of individual students requires significant resources, time, and effort. It also demands a shift in traditional teaching methods and curricula, necessitating comprehensive planning and execution.

2. Difficult to Stream Classrooms into Learning Groups

An example of this challenge in a school setting is the difficulties that arise when attempting to stream classrooms into learning groups. Organising students into groups based on their abilities can result in some students viewing themselves as less capable than their peers, leading to self-fulfilling prophecies of underachievement. As a result, the approach of streaming often brings debate within the broader education community. Another present challenge is that learning management systems, often the central piece of software used by teachers, cannot accurately predict a student's competency for a certain topic, making the actual implementation of streaming extremely difficult.

3. Exacerbates Education Inequity

Lastly, personalised learning can inadvertently exacerbate education equity. If only students who have access to expensive services such as charter schools or tutoring can experience the benefits of a personalised approach, it creates a divergence in education quality, perpetuating social inequalities throughout the economy.

Case Studies of Personalised Learning

Data-Driven Online Tutoring

Since the period of online learning during COVID, data-driven online tutoring has emerged as a promising approach to provide personalised learning to students. The online tutoring that we offer at Tutero is the perfect example of this approach to personalised learning.

By harnessing student data collected through diagnostic tests, our online tutors tailor instruction around individual needs to ensure students meet the academic standards outlined in the Australian curriculum. Our method also encourages critical thinking amongst students as they are often asked to explain the logic behind their approach to answering a question.

Data is collected as students learn, and an app for parents and teachers provides visibility to analytics on strengths, weaknesses and progress made. This allows everyone to have detailed visibility over the outcomes of the tutoring lessons.

Personalised Learning in Schools

Personalised learning approaches have gained traction in schools. It allows teachers to customise curriculum, pacing, and instructional methods based on the individual strengths, interests, and learning styles of their students.

Australia is currently investigating how personalised learning can be integrated into schools. The 2012 Gonski report emphasised the importance of "personalised learning strategies" in improving school outcomes. In fact, in 2021, New South Wales announced that it would trial "untimed syllabuses," allowing students to move through school at their own pace.

A teacher delivering a personalised Year 12 class in Melbourne, Victoria

Personalised Learning for Disadvantaged Students

In the pursuit of equity, personalised learning has proven to be a valuable approach for disadvantaged students, including those with disabilities. Volunteer tutoring programs have emerged to provide additional support and resources to these students, bridging the gaps in educational opportunities. Online variations of these tutoring programs have bridged geographical gaps, as they can now reach remote communities such as students in the Torres Strait Islands.

How can technology enable personalised learning?

Improvements in educational technology can create an ideal learning landscape, where each student can access an adaptive learning program that personalises their education. While some may consider this a long-term goal, companies such as Tutero are making rapid progress towards this future.

Lesson Planning Software

The core technology that will underpin personalised learning at scale is lesson planning software that evaluates existing knowledge of one or many students. The data collected is then used to create a personalised learning program that can be administered at an individual level or through collaborative classroom practice.

Tutero's AI-powered teaching assistant provides educators with resources and learning activities that help students engage better with the content they need to learn. If every teacher at a school were to use this product, the school's approach to teaching would become more personalised overall.

AI Tutors for Every Student

Another technological advancement that will usher in a wave of personalised learning, is the development of an AI tutor for every student. This will allow school teachers to set adaptive programs for their student’s that help them quickly work towards their learning goals. The AI tutor will also be able to provide external links to valuable resources and enable nationally consistent collection of data related to student learning and progression.

How can students access personalised education?

Access to personalised learning currently depends on the type of school students attend or whether they receive tutoring from a service that customises learning plans using data. Parents are encouraged to consult and collaborate with teachers to understand if their children are struggling in the traditional classroom education model and could benefit from personalised instruction for additional learning.

If parents want to provide access to personalised learning, they should consider engaging one of Tutero's online tutors to deliver tailored lessons that are customised to the student's learning profile.

The key takeaway from this article is that there are various approaches to personalised learning. Parents should work with their child's teachers and school to develop an action plan to determine if their students could benefit from this teaching method.

Parents should work with their child's teachers and school to develop an action plan to determine if their students could benefit from personalised learning.

Engaging school students is a core challenge facing educators and parents. Natural fluctuations in engagement are inevitable; however, recently teachers have been observing more pronounced cases of disengagement, and greater learning disparities in classrooms.

This issue becomes more pronounced when there's a mismatch between the curriculum and student’s existing knowledge. Or when a student does not resonate with the teacher’s teaching style. As teachers cannot adapt the curriculum and their teaching approach for every student in a classroom, often there will be misalignment creating disengagement.

These incompatibilities lead to significant disengagement among students. According to a 2017 Grattan Institute report, about 40% of students in an average classroom are unproductive and disengaged, disrupting the learning environment and hindering successful implementation of teaching and learning programs.

The challenges of the one-size-fits-all approach in classrooms are prompting discussions on personalised learning. This article serves as a parents guide to understand these ongoing global conversations in schools and education departments.

Australian student sitting in the classroom at school
An Australian school student disengaged in the classroom

What is personalised learning?

Personalised learning is an educational approach that tailors the teaching process to suit each student's unique strengths, needs, and interests. By adapting learning plans to suit these individual characteristics, this approach aims to foster higher engagement and educational attainment.

In practice, teachers and tutors initiate the personalised learning process with a diagnostic evaluation of a student's existing knowledge, supplemented by a conversation about their personal interests and hobbies. Based on the test results, educators will set goals for each student and design a teaching program tailored to their individual learning preferences.

When does personalised learning occur?

To facilitate the implementation personalised learning, individualised instruction is often required. This enables educators to make use of unique teaching strategies that accomodate to a student's unique needs and preferences.

Such individualised teaching is common in private tutoring sessions or aided by a teaching assistant in a classroom setting. These personalised sessions can leverage various resources, technologies, or pedagogical approaches, enhancing the learning process.

What is a personalised learning pathway?

A personalised learning pathway is a sequence of skills that students will learn, beginning at the skills that students already understand and ending at the curriculum expectation for the students given age level. These custom learning plans for students specify strategies that align with the unique needs and preferences of each student.

Learning pathways should also allow for continuous assessment and adjustments to ensure that teachers can adapt their approach to ensure that it is best supporting students.

Pacing teaching according to a students ability

Pacing teaching according to a student's ability is a cornerstone of personalised education. This approach involves the consistent collection of data on student understanding to enable adjustments in teaching and learning processes. These adjustments ensure that educators establish a flexible learning pace, accelerating or slowing down as needed to match the student's capability.

Image of a teacher creating a custom learning plan for one of their students
An Australian teacher creating a custom learning plan for one of their students

What are the benefits of personalised learning?

Personalised learning can positively impact every party involved in the education process - teachers, parents, and students. It has the potential to enhance engagement, comprehension, and retention for students, whilst providing teachers with a more effective teaching approach, and parents reassurance that their child's unique learning needs are being met.

1. Enhanced Academic Performance

Enhanced academic performance is a key benefit of personalised learning approaches. Because teachers can identify and fill knowledge gaps, students' learning progression is less likely to be blocked, ensuring more consistent advancement and a deeper understanding of the curriculum. Moreover, students can learn in styles that suit their preferences, leading to more efficient lessons and better memory recall of content.

2. Improved Student Engagement & Motivation

Higher levels of student engagement & motivation is another key benefit of personalised learning. Not only does this approach foster student wellbeing by instilling confidence and making learning more enjoyable and relevant, but it also encourages the development of soft skills such as self-discipline and perseverance, enhancing the overall learning experience.

3. Better Visibility Over Learning Progress

Through consistent assessments and illustrations of practice, teachers and parents gain a clear understanding of a student's progress and can identify the student's strengths and weaknesses. This transparency facilitates more informed support for the student's learning journey.

Many teachers use tools such as the Tutero teaching assistant to visualise data from their classroom

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Personalised learning has the potential to enhance engagement, comprehension, and retention for students, whilst providing teachers with a more effective teaching approach.

What are the challenges of personalised learning?

While personalised learning brings many benefits, there are challenges in implementing this pedagogical approach at scale. Teachers, schools, and policymakers often face restrictions that hinder their ability to fully experience the potential benefits of personalised learning approaches.

1. Implementation and Scalability

Firstly, implementing personalised learning at scale presents several structural challenges. Adapting education systems to cater to the needs of individual students requires significant resources, time, and effort. It also demands a shift in traditional teaching methods and curricula, necessitating comprehensive planning and execution.

2. Difficult to Stream Classrooms into Learning Groups

An example of this challenge in a school setting is the difficulties that arise when attempting to stream classrooms into learning groups. Organising students into groups based on their abilities can result in some students viewing themselves as less capable than their peers, leading to self-fulfilling prophecies of underachievement. As a result, the approach of streaming often brings debate within the broader education community. Another present challenge is that learning management systems, often the central piece of software used by teachers, cannot accurately predict a student's competency for a certain topic, making the actual implementation of streaming extremely difficult.

3. Exacerbates Education Inequity

Lastly, personalised learning can inadvertently exacerbate education equity. If only students who have access to expensive services such as charter schools or tutoring can experience the benefits of a personalised approach, it creates a divergence in education quality, perpetuating social inequalities throughout the economy.

Case Studies of Personalised Learning

Data-Driven Online Tutoring

Since the period of online learning during COVID, data-driven online tutoring has emerged as a promising approach to provide personalised learning to students. The online tutoring that we offer at Tutero is the perfect example of this approach to personalised learning.

By harnessing student data collected through diagnostic tests, our online tutors tailor instruction around individual needs to ensure students meet the academic standards outlined in the Australian curriculum. Our method also encourages critical thinking amongst students as they are often asked to explain the logic behind their approach to answering a question.

Data is collected as students learn, and an app for parents and teachers provides visibility to analytics on strengths, weaknesses and progress made. This allows everyone to have detailed visibility over the outcomes of the tutoring lessons.

Personalised Learning in Schools

Personalised learning approaches have gained traction in schools. It allows teachers to customise curriculum, pacing, and instructional methods based on the individual strengths, interests, and learning styles of their students.

Australia is currently investigating how personalised learning can be integrated into schools. The 2012 Gonski report emphasised the importance of "personalised learning strategies" in improving school outcomes. In fact, in 2021, New South Wales announced that it would trial "untimed syllabuses," allowing students to move through school at their own pace.

A teacher delivering a personalised Year 12 class in Melbourne, Victoria

Personalised Learning for Disadvantaged Students

In the pursuit of equity, personalised learning has proven to be a valuable approach for disadvantaged students, including those with disabilities. Volunteer tutoring programs have emerged to provide additional support and resources to these students, bridging the gaps in educational opportunities. Online variations of these tutoring programs have bridged geographical gaps, as they can now reach remote communities such as students in the Torres Strait Islands.

How can technology enable personalised learning?

Improvements in educational technology can create an ideal learning landscape, where each student can access an adaptive learning program that personalises their education. While some may consider this a long-term goal, companies such as Tutero are making rapid progress towards this future.

Lesson Planning Software

The core technology that will underpin personalised learning at scale is lesson planning software that evaluates existing knowledge of one or many students. The data collected is then used to create a personalised learning program that can be administered at an individual level or through collaborative classroom practice.

Tutero's AI-powered teaching assistant provides educators with resources and learning activities that help students engage better with the content they need to learn. If every teacher at a school were to use this product, the school's approach to teaching would become more personalised overall.

AI Tutors for Every Student

Another technological advancement that will usher in a wave of personalised learning, is the development of an AI tutor for every student. This will allow school teachers to set adaptive programs for their student’s that help them quickly work towards their learning goals. The AI tutor will also be able to provide external links to valuable resources and enable nationally consistent collection of data related to student learning and progression.

How can students access personalised education?

Access to personalised learning currently depends on the type of school students attend or whether they receive tutoring from a service that customises learning plans using data. Parents are encouraged to consult and collaborate with teachers to understand if their children are struggling in the traditional classroom education model and could benefit from personalised instruction for additional learning.

If parents want to provide access to personalised learning, they should consider engaging one of Tutero's online tutors to deliver tailored lessons that are customised to the student's learning profile.

The key takeaway from this article is that there are various approaches to personalised learning. Parents should work with their child's teachers and school to develop an action plan to determine if their students could benefit from this teaching method.

Parents should work with their child's teachers and school to develop an action plan to determine if their students could benefit from personalised learning.

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