Designing personalised instruction: A research and design framework

Kucirkova, Natalia; Gerard, Libby and Linn, Marcia C. (2021). Designing personalised instruction: A research and design framework. British Journal of Educational Technology, 52(5) pp. 1839–1861.



Advances in technology have increased the opportunities for designers to personalise instruction based on student actions. We conducted semi-structured interviews with an international sample of educational professionals including researchers, teachers and designers, and reviewed interdisciplinary literature on personalisation to propose a framework for personalisation research and design. Thematic analysis of the interviews revealed that professionals value each type of personalisation opportunity (eg, customising for age-appropriate content, supports for student choice, automated guidance based on learner responses) and identify challenges (eg, trade-offs between adaptive and standardised instruction). Three research/design dilemmas emerged: individualisation and equity; group customisation and individual benefit; and adaptation and validity of measurement. We discuss these dilemmas in relation to three categories of personalisation: customisation by designers or teachers to support a specific audience (grade level, course, community); individualisation to support user choice (of book to read, project topic); and adaptation of instructional activities based on automated analysis of logged user performance (performance metrics, natural language processing, cumulative indicators). We suggest some guiding questions for a generative agenda for future research on personalised instruction.

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