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Study: Educators Back Personalized Learning

More than 9 out of 10 education officials agree personalized pacing for students could help raise achievement levels, according to a recent poll by Blackboard. The same ratio also say teachers need additional professional development to use individualized instruction effectively. Six out of 10 say their district wants to deliver virtual courses, while nearly half say students are not able to take all the courses they want or need because of conflicting schedules or lack of available staff. The survey of 1,500 respondents in November included nearly 700 teachers and a mix of education officials, from superintendents and principals to curriculum directors and specialists.

Asked about bolstering parent communication, 8 of 10 respondents say expanding access to student information, assignments, and results would accomplish this goal. Looking deeper at the personalized learning question, the poll shows that while all respondents favored the benefit of these plans, just 4 percent of curriculum specialists did not "agree" or "strongly agree" with these plans. Specialists also led the call for virtual courses, with two of three favoring these. In the same category, just more than half of teachers said their districts wanted to offer virtual classes.

Source: Blackboard Survey on 21st Century Learning, 2010

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    Expect the Most — Provide the Best

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    by Robert L. Green

    The author draws on research and his own extensive work experience in urban districts across the states to present a convincing case for the pivotal role of high expectations in student achievement. All students are most likely to succeed when administrators, teachers, mentors, and parents communicate that they expect stellar results and then provide the instructional support that’s needed to guarantee academic success. 128 pages.

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