What makes learning personal ?

… So to continue on my previous blogpost I would like to continue some reflection on what makes learning personal.

In principle this is very simple to answer when we start from broader angle: Things becomes personal when you use them or when you create them. But even in the case that you get a personalized educational offer or use an adapted educational product the effect that humans experience this as something personal grows over time.

In a joint article in 2009 about “Personalisation of Learning inVirtual Learning Environments” with Dominique Verpoorten, Christian Glahn, Milos Kravcik and Stefaan Ternier we have analysed and reflected on the components of “how learning becomes personal”. In the article we looked into some conceptual links between controllability of a learning situation by the learner, autonomy of the learner to make his/her own decisions and therefore build ownership of his/her own learning process and also outcome. In the research there is a relevant link also between the factos of autonomy, self-regulation, and motivation of learners.

There is little research on how this happens with media in distance education, nevertheless in adaptive and personalized hypermedia there is some research in this direction and key components in the personalisation process are the locus of control (teacher, media or system, and learner) or transparency of the adaptation processes. The article in 2009 describes components as Ownership, Participation, Diversity, Regulation, and Reflection.



One of my current research projects is together with Guido van Dijk on using SCRUM methodology for supporting agile learning. For me this is a very interesting project also considering the notion of personalisation. By using SCRUM in the classroom in the Niekee/Agora school student can choose their own learning objectives, they develop their own plan for solving their learning question and create a solution to their question together with others. Theyr use a SCRUM software form the TargetProcess to do this. In the first phase of the research we have now defined several important theoretical backgrounds and also developed a first mapping of the SCRUM process onto the learning process.

For me this project really represents the new definition and shift of meaning of personalisation as described above. I started my research into doing adaptive hypertext and adaptive learning environments and developed a classification model for adaptive methods. Nowadays I see peersonalisation as this huge space of opportunities from which you choose and the choice makes it personal.

Having choices and making use of them makes learning and everything else personal.




Some references:
Specht, M., & Oppermann, R. (1998). ACE – Adaptive Courseware Environment. New Review Of Hypermedia And Multimedia, 4, 1–26.
Verpoorten, D., Glahn, C., Kravcik, M., Ternier, S., & Specht, M.

Verpoorten, D., Glahn, C., Kravcik, M., Ternier, S., & Specht, M. (2009). Personalisation of Learning in Virtual Learning Environments. In U. Cress, V. Dimitrova & M. Specht (Eds.), Learning in the Synergy of Multiple Disciplines. Proceedings of the Fourth European Conference on Technology-Enhanced Learning (EC-TEL 2009) (pp. 52-66). September, 29 – October, 2, 2009, Nice, France. Lecture Notes in Computer Science Vol. 5794. Berlin: Springer-Verlag. http://dspace.ou.nl/handle/1820/2023