A customised study plan is based on the premise that no two students learn the same way or at the same pace. So rather than forcing students through a one-size-fits-all learning model, a custom study plan provides students with a personalised approach that takes into account their personal learning needs, strengths, aspirations, and preexisting knowledge.
The personalised learning approach recognises that students learn best when their education system is targeted and tailored to them. It also recognises that for students to succeed in school and beyond, they must be engaged and invested in their learning. In a system that implements a custom study plan, students feel obliged to participate in designing their personal education path as they mature, while taking on the responsibility of their own learning success.
Changing the Education Paradigm
For personalised learning to take effect, teachers must be willing to shift from practice-based teaching to knowledge-based teaching. The former is often referred to as the “factory” or “industry” level because it seeks to standardise inputs in order to achieve standardised outputs from which students are assigned careers.
But looking at today’s workforce, where high school graduates without higher education are not guaranteed of a sustainable income, standardised inputs cannot be relied upon to deliver the necessary skills, knowledge, and dispositions for career success. Instead, students need a support system that’s tailored to their personal needs, strengths, and interests so they can acquire those skills/dispositions that are critical for future stability.
Essentially, tutors need to do away with the constraints of curricular materials and pacing guides and adopt knowledge-based teaching that capitalises on their creativity, problem solving, and critical thinking needs to effectively address the needs of each student.
Benefits of a personalised learning environment
Students can easily identify their best learning style by examining the classes or assignments they excel at, or the concepts they find challenging to understand unless approached using a different method. Some students have more than one preferred learning style. In such cases, the customised study plan can integrate the different learning styles to boost confidence and reduce study time.
There are also some students who respond better when they feel that studying is fun, or the approach allows for creative freedom. Students and teachers should work together to identify the approaches that work best for them, and devise ways to incorporate them in their study plan to boost morale.
Knowing the end goal helps students, teachers, and parents work cohesively in their different roles while targeting a singular objective. For instance, knowing the end goal is key to selecting the best combination of classes or interdisciplinary projects that align with the students’ interests and career objectives.
Final Note: Increased ability to reach mastery
Generally, customised study plans allow students to honestly evaluate their current abilities, contemplate their future goals, and actively participate in formulating a favourable learning environment that will help them reach their goals.
The student’s responsibility is to understand progress towards mastery, and to use available resources to reach mastery. Teachers and parents, on the other hand, facilitate this process by guiding students to the right resources and continually monitoring and responding to students’ data to keep them on track.