Unit 1 – Powerful Foundational Concepts for Customized Learning

Four foundational concepts or documents are instrumental to personalized learning. We will cover the first two Unit 1. Examine all the links for Learner Agency and Visible Learning:

  1. Learner Agency: Examine closely the Learner Agency Concept paper |  LA Reflection Tool | LA Resources
  2. Visible Learning: Explore Hattie’s Visible Learning Influences Chart | Visible Learning Tool | Hattie Ranking

[These concepts will be continued later in Unit 3:

      1. Personalized Look-Fors: Read Instructional Look Fors | Other Lindsay/Summit Documents
      2. Mindsets: Read the article Mindsets and Equitable Education]


Learner Agency

We have seen many instances of schools trying to personalize/customize learning. Often teachers/facilitators change structures in the classroom, and the students struggle. They fall behind and don’t move forward with their learning. What went wrong?

Students ingrained in a “spoon-fed” environment will not instantly embrace personalized learning. There are skills and mindsets necessary for success, and these must be explicitly taught. Dr. Jim Parry of TIE developed the concept paper describing these important skills.

In a collaborative teaching environment, teachers can determine how to “divvy-up” the skills to ensure over the course of time all students are exposed to all elements of Learner Agency.

Some schools look to Learner Agency as the focal point for parent/student/teacher conferences. Rather than focus on schoolwork and grades, focus instead on learners’ ability to  manage their own learning. This document could be a useful guide on conversations about student progress over time.

Two tools useful for integrating Learner Agency:   LA Reflection Tool and the LA Resources.

Hatties Research (Visible Learning)


Optional Reading:

Organizing instruction and study to improve student learning