Personalized Learning Model

I'm going to focus this semester on one of our professional learning courses, the Classroom Growth Partnership. In this course, teachers partner with a Virtual Instructional Coach and focus on improving one specific area of their teaching practice, following the Action-Research Model.

To participate in the Classroom Growth Partnership professional learning course, applicants must apply to participate in the partnership. Then, we go through all of the applicants and pick those that would most benefit from the program - based on their willingness to improve their practice and their choice for improvement. As we this is only the second time we've hosted this partnership, we like to limit the cohort to one or two similar focus areas.

Then, the cohort meets with their partner coach to plan their PEERS goal and plan a "method of attack" - how they are going to change their practice to meet their goal.

The bulk of the semester is spent on implementation - teachers implement their chosen strategy/ies and collect measurable data to determine if the strategy helped them meet their goal or if they need to adjust to meet the goal.

At the end, each teacher presents their data and results.

types of automated pedagogies

For this course, the content is entirely in the Canvas LMS and is focused primarily on explaining how to write an effective PEERS goal, the steps in the Action-Research Cycle, how to choose which data to collect, and how to analyze their data (see video above).

Adapted from Lokey-Vega and Stephens (2019)

Percent ALT on Automated pedagogies

For this course, the content is entirely in the Canvas LMS and is focused primarily on explaining how to write an effective PEERS goal, the steps in the Action-Research Cycle, how to choose which data to collect, and how to analyze their data (see video above). However, this is a relatively small part of the course, I'd guess around 30%. Regardless of the area of focus chosen by the instructor, the percentage of ALT spent within the Canvas LMS working through the automated content of the course remains fairly consistent.

types of Student-centered pedagogies

The rest of the course is student-centered: we meet as a group, the participants collaborate in online discussion boards, meet synchronously at least twice with their coach, and implement their chosen strategy, producing an artifact describing their chosen instructional strategy and demonstrating their progress towards their PEERS goal.

Percent ALT on Student-centered pedagogies

I would put the student-centered portion of the course at around 70%.

power and agency

The power in this course is almost entirely on the students. They choose what instructional area they'd like to work on, their PEERS goal, how they will achieve their PEERS goal, collect and analyze the data, and present their results. The coach is present to provide a sounding board and help guide the student, encouraging them to meet their goal(s). This method works for us because the students in this course are adult professionals that were selected for the opportunity.

I have set concrete due dates for the discussion assignments, synchronous meetings, and final project artifact (Live Gallery Walk Presentation). However, items do not need to be completed exactly on the due date - for example, the mid- and end-cycle meetings with their coach can happen within a week or so of the due date. We simply set a "must be completed by" date. If assignments aren't turned in on time, we do have late penalties. This keeps the teachers accountable, encourages progress through the course, and ensures that they have adequate time throughout the semester to implement their chosen instructional strategy. While necessary, they are a limitation because learners do not have complete agency over when they complete their assignments.

The agents in this course are the cohort participants, their coach, and myself, who oversees all of the partnerships in the cohort.

other defining features

This course is unique among professional learning courses at Georgia Virtual in that we have a small number participants that must apply to attend. Additionally, each participant has a Virtual Instructional Coach partner that acts as a guide through the course. We also have due dates for individual assignments in the course (rationale explained above), whereas most of our professional learning courses simply have a "must finish by" date for the entire course.

We are entirely online, so we do not have a physical classroom setup. The video above is a "tour" of our primary classroom. We also meet twice as a group in a Jigsaw classroom, which is a synchronous learning platform. This Jigsaw classroom could be considered a second classroom. Finally, our last classroom is the Microsoft Teams meeting space used by the participant and Virtual Instructional Coach for their partnership meetings.

I am curious to learn how we can "scale up" this personalized model of instruction with the rest of our faculty and ways to better personalize this course for our participants. Just as the participants in the course need to continually refine their chosen strategy to meet their PEERS goal, I'm excited to see how we can adjust and improve to provide our teachers with professional learning that is most beneficial to each individual instructor.

Works Cited

Lokey-Vega, A., & Stephens, S. (2019). A Batch of One: A Conceptual Framework for the Personalized Learning Movement. Journal of Online Learning Research, 5(3), 311–330.