Individuals, not Groups: Instructional Design as a Key Factor of Success in Personalized Learning

Concurrent Session 3
Streamed Session Blended

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Session Materials

Brief Abstract

Have you thought of implementing personalized learning, but you do not know where to begin? Or have you already put it into action and want to keep improving student experience?  Join us and explore a complete instructional design model for personalized learning that benefits students, professors, and your institution. 


Master in Marketing and a Bachelor's degree in business administration by the University Luigi Bocconi in Milan, Italy. She is a professor of administration and foreign languages in Tec de Monterrey, Mexico. She is an academic coordinator in the department of Digital Education at a national level. She is an expert in the use and incorporation of technology in hybrid courses (blended learning), especially in collaborative virtual reality and personalized and adaptive learning.

Extended Abstract

Students are pressing for a teaching method that is flexible, personalized, and focused on today’s needs. They seek for a teaching method that adapts to their needs as individuals, they do not want a one-size-fits-all approach, they want to be differentiated among the rest of their group. Because of this, the concept of personalized learning has spread fast thanks, on the one hand, to technological advances that have enabled the use of digital content in education, and on the other hand, to institutions that have been willing to move away from traditional teaching. This has let students develop the competencies required for today’s world, while at the same time our institution has become more efficient in the use of resources while assuring education with high quality standards.     

Through this presentation, we would like to share a comprehensive didactic model for personalized learning developed for hybrid courses with weekly live class sessions via a videoconference tool. The model includes in-class and out-of-class activities which require of both technological elements and human expertise. This model is based on five pillars:

(1) Designing an initial diagnosis to determine the knowledge level of each student on the topic of the course. This diagnosis is applied as a test at the beginning of the term.  

(2) Creating technology-enabled content focused on covering the lowest levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy aimed at getting acquainted with each topic. With this, students can individually build their learning route before each class session based on their level of understanding of each topic. These contents are comprised of a variety of digital resources seeking to tailor them to the different learning styles and allowing students to choose which resource best fits their needs. These resources are available at any time and students can access them as many times as needed. For each topic, students can check their level of understanding through a quiz. This quiz provides immediate feedback and is available through the LMS being used. If a student considers that they already master the topic, they can go straight to the quiz without reviewing the content provided.    

(3) Interpreting the learning analytics before each live class session. Prior to each class, professors download the learning analytics to see the individual progress of each student, which will enable them to provide a timely and personalized guidance for those students who need it. Professor will also be able to adjust their class program for each session according to the general level of comprehension of the group.

(4) Designing class content following a flipped classroom approach and using active learning strategies, where students need to go over certain contents before class. Class activities are designed based on the higher levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy. Professors can adapt class sessions based on the different scenarios provided; each scenario follows a different didactic sequence and activities that professors can use based on the results of the learning analytics of the group and of individual students.

(5) Attending weekly collegiate groupwork between professors and the course coordinator that allows for a space to share best practices in teaching and solving problems, if needed.

In our experience, this model has proven to be useful when implementing personalized learning, which in turn favors an effective development of competencies by considering an active participation of students and tailoring the learning process to their individual needs. Multiple benefits arise from this model:

  • Students benefit from the flexibility and portability of their learning. That is, they can decide when, where, and how to study thanks to the accessibility of all the learning content through the course’s LMS and to the different formats available to review each topic as many times as needed. Students become responsible of their learning process, and they personalize it based on their knowledge level, learning habits, and learning styles.     
  • Professors benefit by decreasing the variance on the level of comprehension of the group, improving academic results, and having tools to take pre-emptive and personalized action in a much more effective way on topics that have not been fully understood. They also benefit from being able to create personalized class dynamics, dedicating class time to what will bring the most value to the group. With this model, professors can more easily become guides for students by orienting and supporting them in a much more specific way than with a traditional learning model. Also, the collegiate work allows professors to solve problems in a faster and more innovative way, as well as having a better teaching experience by learning from what their peers are doing.    
  • Institutions benefit by enabling the adaptability of different curricular structures, creating content that can be reused for different groups or courses, and providing a higher effectiveness in the learning process of students.

Join us and explore a complete instructional design model for personalized learning that benefits students, professors, and your institution.

Level of Participation:

The session begins with an introductory activity to point out the importance of implementing a personalized learning model. We will then explain the comprehensive didactic model, which will be followed by a practical demonstration of the experience of students and professors. The session will end with the results and findings, useful tips, and a reflection on the potential reach of this strategy in the future of education.

 Session Goals:

Participants will learn that a successful implementation of a personalized learning strategy needs to take into account elements during class session, but also out-of-class activities;  that a technological tool on its own, no matter how exhaustive it is, is not enough to guarantee success if the expertise of the human factor is not taken into account and is not part of the initiative; to end, they will obtain useful tips and recommendations.