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How can we cater for individual preferences and needs?

PERSONALIZATION: How can we cater for individual preferences and needs?

Added value:

With the right digital tools;
• Learning can be differentiated more easily, for example, taking into consideration the student’s subject area.
• Students with diverse goals, backgrounds and skills can tailor their learning. Tailored learning can be more meaningful, which can lead to greater engagement and achievement [1].
• Learners can choose the pace of learning. When the pace of learning is adjusted for each learner, all learners have the necessary time to achieve the learning objectives [1], [2].
• Learners can be given more choice. Being given more choice, they take ownership of their learning and develop learning strategies and self-regulated learning habits that are necessary for lifelong learning [2].
• Learners are able to tap into the online networks and resources relevant for their professional lives [3].
• Information can be presented in diverse, flexible ways for different learners [4].
• Teachers and learners can identify or modify existing resources more easily [1].
• Learners can receive more frequent and immediate feedback in real time (formative, integrative assessment) [1], [4].
• Learning gaps that impede progress can be identified and addressed more quickly, special needs diagnosed, and progress accelerated [1], [4].
• Teachers can focus their attention on students who are struggling or who are progressing more rapidly than their peers [1], [2].
• Students can present their learning results in diverse ways and document their learning [4].
• Knowledge gained outside formal education can be more easily acknowledged [1], [4].


• Digital infrastructure and network capacity have to be sufficient [4].
• Investments in design and development are needed: digital material creation is expensive, and quality assurance is needed.
• Teacher training in digital environments is necessary to ensure expertise [4].
• Pedagogical support, study guidance, and increased coordination effort are essential for keeping track of asynchronous activities.
• Students may not assume responsibility; a teacher is required to guide the learning process.


[1] T. Vander Ark and Getting Smart (2015, Nov. 6).The Shift to Digital Learning: 10 Benefits [Online]. Available:
[2] MIT Open Learning. Value of Digital Learning [Online]. Available:
[3] K. Kumpulainen and A. Mikkola, ”Oppiminen ja koulutus digitaalisella aikakaudella,” in M. Kuuskorpi Ed. Digitaalinen oppiminen ja oppimisympäristöt. Tampere, Juvenes Print, 2015, pp. 9–45.
[4] I. Laakkonen, “Doing what we teach: promoting digital literacies for professional development through personal learning environments and participation,” in J. Jalkanen, E. Jokinen and P. Taalas (Eds.), Voices of pedagogical development – Expanding, enhancing and exploring higher education language learning, Dublin, Research Publishing, 2015, pp. 171–195.