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Personalising learning: Isn’t there a worksheet for that?

Started by Tessa Gray 13 Feb 2014 10:40am () Replies (7)

What do you think? Smile

Scenario 1:

Sometimes worksheets (amongst other activities) are integrated into literacy, maths, topic studies and homework - to help to consolidate/practice new learning for individuals at school and at home. This often results in tracing, copying, circling, colouring, cutting and pasting.

Scenario 2:

Enabling e-Learning 1:1 Netbooks - Allowing excellence in the classroom

In this video, Tyler (yr 6) shares his challenges for learning with Dyspraxia. The teacher shares how Tyler (with the aide of a laptop) can share his thoughts on the computer, meaning, he doesn’t have to be 'caught up' with the challenges of handwriting on paper. Now this learner stands out because his writing is amazing, rather than messy.

  • So what's the difference between individualised learning in Scenario 1 and personalised learning for Tyler in Scenario 2?
  • What thinking sits behind this difference?

Scenario 3: 

Improving written and oral language through multimedia

In this video, junior students and the teacher share how a mixture of blended learning (website, iPad, video, QR codes) have enabled them to have improved confidence, written work, oral skills as well as ICTs capability. One student says, “The two best things about making videos is having fun and being with a buddy because we could ask each other questions.” 

  • What steps would be needed to support teachers in Scenario 1 to trial blended approaches to improve literacy outcomes like Scenario 3?
  • What would be the role of school leaders to support these teachers?

Finally, what's one 'piece of gold' (advice/reading/reflections/alternatives) you would offer teachers in Scenario 1, or is this not an issue at all?


More from Enabling e-Learning



  • Jody Garland (View all users posts) 04 Mar 2014 1:03pm ()

    What a great idea for dicussion. I had the pleasure of being Tyler's teacher and participated in the Scenario 2 video. For me, there was and is no other option. Students need to have flexibilty and technology provides us with the opportunity to give these students the flexibility that they need. I also needed to look carefully at my learning intentions. If the purpose of the lesson is to learn how to summarise using key words, then it does not matter whether the summary is presented orally in a video or audio recording or written down. I had to look carefully at my planning and the purpose of the lesson. I look forward to hearing some other experiences and ideas!

  • Tessa Gray (View all users posts) 06 Mar 2014 10:54am ()

    Thanks for sharing your perspective here Jody. Your points about having a clear idea about learner needs, is an important starting point, when planning to use e-tools in learning sequences. The positive results with Tyler (attitude and achievement) speak for themselves Smile.

    I’m about to investigate a process, where teachers can plan to address specific learning intentions with alternative tasks, such as co-constructed group work, exploratory activities, hypothetical scenarios (that may/may not include e-tools), to enable students to:

    • Have motivation and ownership for the learning task (meaningful, active learning)
    • Work collaboratively with each other (Social, Constructivism)
    • Build on metacognitive and higher forms of learning (Cognitivism, taxonomies of learning)
    • Receive formative feedback about development and progress (Behaviourist, Developmental theories of learning)

    Adapted from Learning Theory.

    While there’s a place for some worksheets, when used effectively (and these may well address the learning needs above), there’s also an argument for diversity. Learning is not fixed, it can change from instructional to experimental from scaffolded to co-constructed, depending on the task. Students often tell us how they like to learn.

    Your story Jody, indicates a matching effective use of technologies with learner needs and styles. Having more access to technologies (desktop and mobile) doesn’t always guarantee a shift in authentic learning, so knowing the potential an app or piece of software might bring to a task, to help introduce a concept, consolidate or build learning - is vital.

    Word families

    Take this example. Word families can be explored in a worksheet, they can also be interacted with in an electronic format. This approach could then enable more than one learner to engage in the task, encouraging social learning to take place. Personalising learning isn’t always about individual tasks, it can be a lot more complex than that. Supporting future-oriented learning and teaching — a New Zealand perspective.

    One way to help scaffold new thinking around learning goals, methods, materials and assessments, is to look at the concepts of Universal Design for Learning (UDL).


    Thank you to the UDL team for this clip. 

    Want to know more?


    Select universal technologies and design for personalisation, a UDL approach

  • Tessa Gray (View all users posts) 02 May 2014 10:43am ()

    In the thread, Part one: Personalising learning | a historical perspective, we're alerted to idea that paradigms from the past can influence our current teacher practice – sometimes unconsciously.

    Understanding what knowledge is/isn’t and recognising how learning is different for each individual, is layered. Maybe even too complex for a diagram like this one?


    Then again, this could be a good place to springboard further conversations with your colleagues about, What’s in and what’s out in education?

    What do you think?

    Thank you Marnel van der Spuy for this Twitter alert.

  • Tessa Gray (View all users posts) 14 Aug 2014 10:46am ()

    Personalising learning is a term that challenges what we've previously thought about 'knowledge', 'learning processes' and how we go about teaching these. So, what exactly is Personalising learning in the 21st Century context and how have e-learning tools and pedagogies influenced this? 

    imageCome and join Mary-Anne Murphy (LwDT Facilitator) and Rachel Bolstad (NZCER, co-author of Supporting future-oriented learning and teaching — a New Zealand perspective) in our LIVE WEBINAR as we discuss new understandings around Personalising learning, and explore how shifting the 'Locus of Control' can transpire into classroom practice. 

    This is a fantastic opportunity to talk with those, who help inspire, challenge and model new thinking in this area. Feel free to invite your whole staff along too. REGISTER NOWhttp://bit.ly/VkJZ9t.

  • Tessa Gray (View all users posts) 18 Aug 2015 12:50pm ()

    Here's a recipe for success >>>

    TAKE: Great teachers... 

    ADD: Clear learning goals + feedback and feedforward + modern learning pedagogies and spaces + universal design for learning + collaborative practices + technologies = PERSONALISED LEARNING

    Stonefields - Personalising and tailoring

  • Tessa Gray (View all users posts) 29 Oct 2015 1:09pm ()

    Worksheets, love em or hate em! Depending on the learner needs, contexts and processes... some prepared worksheets have their place.

    Here's a compelling argument when you couldn't quite put your finger on why they weren't working for you...To worksheet or not to worksheet?

    What do you think? Worth a healthy debate?


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