What’s Your Type? How to personalize online learning according to learner types
Concurrent Session 8
This session will focus on the four research-identified types of learners. Participants will be presented with the characteristics of each learner and what learning environments and activities are most successful to them, and how instructors can use this knowledge to create a more personalized learning process for their online students.
Now more than ever, online learning plays a central role in higher education. Since the hurried adaptation of face-to-face classes to online during the COVID-19 pandemic, everyone can now say they have experience with online teaching. While there are many positives of online learning- the ability to do it anywhere and at any time, plus the capacity to learn at your own pace, for example- one major downside to it can be the greater responsibility the student must take for his or her own learning. In a face-to-face classroom, the student often learns to rely on the instructor “for their motivation, direction, goal setting, progress monitoring, self-assessment, and achievement” (Martinez, 2000, p. 2). The online student then is made to do all this on their own, though many find that they are not able to do so.
To achieve this, we need to turn online learning more into a ‘choose your own adventure’ where our students are able to learn based on their learner type. According to the Learning Orientation Model, there are four types of learners based on emotional and intentional intrinsic motivational aspects, self-directed strategic planning and committed learning effort, and learning autonomy (Martinez, 2001, p. 28). These factors then heavily influence our cognitive learning preferences, strategies, and skills. The four types are 1) Transforming learners; 2) Performing learners; 3) Conforming learners; 4) Resistant learners. (Source: Martinez, M. (2001). Key Design Considerations for Personalized Learning on the Web. Educational Technology & Society, 4(1), 26-40. http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.90.7508&rep=rep1&type=pdf)
Realizing that you come across all four types of learners in your online class, how can you effectively support each type? Central to this is to structure your class so that each learner type’s needs are addressed. To do so, you must construct your online class so that each student can find ways to identify their approaches for success, match their attributes to increase motivation and intentions to learn, and then provide learning activities that will lead to this. Thus, personalizing each students’ learning experience.
In this proposed session, participants will be presented with the research on each type of learner, characteristics of each learner and what learning environments and activities are most successful to them, and how instructors can use this knowledge to create a more personalized learning process for their online students. An example class assignment will be shown and how it was adapted for each type of learner.
By the end of the session, participants will be able to:
- Identify the four types of learners.
- Identify ways to conform their learning activities to lead to successfully personalize each learner types’ experience.
- Learn from an example where this approach was successfully implemented.
Martinez, M. (2000). What is Personalized Learning? The eLearning Developers’ Journal. Retrieved April 10, 2020, from https://www.elearningguild.com/pdf/2/050702dss-h.pdf.
Martinez, M. (2001). Key Design Considerations for Personalized Learning on the Web. Educational Technology & Society, 4(1), 26-40. http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.90.7508&rep=rep1&type=pdf