Thursday, September 18, 2014

Differentiated vs. Individualized vs. Personalized

Do you know the difference between each of these terms and practices? We thought we did until we started having conversations around the country and researching a variety of well-known sources such as the ed.gov, The Center for Digital Education, and Barbara Bray.  

This article from ISTE highlights the confusion many feel. Below is one way to define and apply these practices using Classworks. 

How are you defining and applying them in your class? 

Differentiation
Definition: Instruction is delivered flexibly with variations in content, process, product, and environment based on the learning preferences and/or readiness of different learners. Learning goals are the same for all students, but the method or approach of instruction varies.

Example: Students are grouped based on learning styles so teachers can introduce or practice skills in a more responsive manner.  

Application Idea: Allow students to listen to an Integrated Reading passage on their own, or work in pairs to read the passage aloud. 

Individualization
Definition: Instruction that is paced to the learning needs of different learners.

Example: Students might take longer to progress through a given topic, skip topics that cover information they already know, or repeat topics they need more help on.

Application Idea: Diagnose, prescribe, and implement a customized assignment using the Universal Screener or Summative Benchmark  assessments to easily create an Individualized Learning Path. 

Personalization
Definition: Instruction is student driven. It is paced to learning needs, tailored to the specific interests of different learners, and to their learning preferences. All of this chosen by the student.

Example: Students are active participants in the learning process and show mastery by demonstrating learning in a method of their choice. 

Application Idea: Have students set a goal specific to a subject area they feel they need to improve in. Assign relevant Classworks units to that student based on that goal. 

Have other application ideas? Tell us how you’re using Classworks to differentiate, individualize, and personalize instruction for your students!