Learning Sciences Research Necessary to Drive Personalized Learning For All - Digital Promise

Learning Sciences Research Necessary to Drive Personalized Learning For All

February 17, 2017 | By

The second installment in Digital Promise Global’s Making Learning Personal For All series, “Research and The Promise of Personalized Learning” explores advances in the learning sciences that underscore key Learner Factors that must be considered in order to better support students based on their unique learning needs.

The report highlights the areas of inquiry already underway in four categories of factors that influence learner variability: cognitive skills; content area skills; social & emotional skills; and background, environment, & experiences.


Current research shows that while each of these categories individually affects learning, no single factor acts independently. The report promotes the need to understand how these factors affect learning in various combinations to advance personalization approaches, materials and products that can be effective for students in all situations.

To address this need, the paper also outlines the work Digital Promise Global is leading to develop the Learner Variability Project that builds on the emerging research on both the variability of the learner population and technology enhanced innovation.

To learn more, get your copy of the report.


  • Chris Doeller says:

    What happens when the “research” says that a student learns best with hands on and technical programs, (you know, shop classes) which are currently passe? I bet its a repeat of the old forcing the left handed student to write with their right hand all over again. Education reform and reformers have a clear vision of where they want education to go. Sadly the majority of them have no pedagogical experience and the needs of the students often do not fit their vision of nirvana. Another era of square peg-round hole.

  • I think this report mixes up a really important aspect of Personalized Learning, and that is engaging with learners. All the research in the world isn’t going to help you out if, as an educator, you’re not able or willing to sit with individual learners and elicit from them some details of their learning lives that are clues to determining how to optimize personal learning experiences. I’ve been a practising PL educator since 1992, and this is more important in helping leverage learning than a basket of PhDs in learning sciences. Now, to your credit, lower down in your report you assert, Understanding Learners Creates Pathways to Success, so you do grok this in some way – and I, too, value Tood Rose’s insights on the banality of ‘Averaging’ – but I consider the way you’ve presented as a bit of a discrepancy. Knowing and engaging learners trumps learning sciences research, IMO and experience. – Michael Maser; author, ‘Learn Your Way’ (2011); http://www.michaelmaser.net

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