Students' Choice: Personalized Learning in Online Courses

Brief Abstract

One-size-fits-all models for online instruction do not meet the needs of diverse learners. This session invites the examination of a responsive instructional design approach that customizes each student’s learning path, addressing individual strengths, needs, and interests. Participants will “walk through” and discuss a template for the development of an online course facilitating personalized learning. The methodology presented in this session applies a constructivist approach to learning that is learner-centered. The template to be presented is an amalgam of a number of online higher education courses taught by the presenter, along with those she participated in as a doctoral candidate at NJCU. In addition, the presenter has served as an Instructional Designer for an online college for the past five years.While the session is designed to present a model of overall personalization of an online college course, participants will also be encouraged to consider the methodology as transferable in part – as a unit within a course, or as enhancements within existing practice. Participants will be given the opportunity to reflect and react on the issues that emerge from implementation of this model, including the those of subject matter, class size, and course requirements. The presenter has designed a course based on the personalized learning template that is scheduled for summer 2017.


Deborah Nagler is a veteran educator, administrator, teacher trainer and lecturer. Nagler teaches online Educational Technology courses for graduate students at New Jersey City University and Gratz College. She also works as an Instructional Designer for an online graduate program of Hebrew Union College in NYC. Nagler’s courses reflect her interest in Universal Design for Learning and desire to create student-centered, multi-modal courses that are effective and engaging. In addition, Nagler serves as an educational technology consultant for public schools in New York and New Jersey. The focus of her doctoral research at NJCU is Maker Education and women’s participation in community Makerspaces.

Extended Abstract