Evaluating personalization

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Philip Kerr,
Adaptive Learning in ELT,
Jul 20, 2017


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This post looks at “the constellation of meanings that are associated with the term (‘personalization’), suggest a way of evaluating just how ‘ personalized’ an instructional method might be, and look at recent research into ‘ personalized learning’ .” It follows a previous post illustrating how the term has been rendered meaningless by marketers. Unfortunately, writes the author, “but perhaps not surprisingly, none of the elements that we associate with ‘ personalization’ will lead to clear, demonstrable learning gains.” But  what counts as a gain? This is what is missing in the research. “The Gates Foundation were probably asking the wrong question. The conceptual elasticity of the term ‘ personalization’ makes its operationalization in any empirical study highly problematic.”

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