The Effects of Personalized Learning on Achieving Meaningful Learning Outcomes

Document Type : Original Article


1 Educational Technology. Psychology and Educational Sciences Department, Allameh Tabataba’i University, Tehran, Iran

2 Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran


Background: The modern world demands an effective educational approach to meet its requirements. In this study, the modern taxonomy of significant learning was applied to investigate the impact of personalized learning on achieving learning objectives. Methods: The study utilized an experimental pretest-posttest control group design. Thirty undergraduate educational sciences students from Allameh Tabataba’i University participated in our study. They enrolled in the media education course in the spring semester of 2019-2020, and were randomly assigned to experimental and control groups. The learning topic was “media message analysis,” and lesson objectives were defined based on the taxonomy of significant learning required for modern world. Personalized learning was implemented in an online environment for the experimental group. By choosing authentic assignments, we provided the students with learning paths based on their cognitive styles and gave them a sense of control over their own learning. Students in the control group received an online “one-size-fits-all” education. The engagement questionnaire was used to evaluate integration, human dimension, and categories of significant learning taxonomy; to measure students’ ability to control their learning, an online self-regulated learning questionnaire was employed. A researcher-made exam was designed to measure content mastery in fundamental knowledge and application categories. All three measurement tools were applied at baseline and two weeks after the intervention. The independent t-test was used to compare the two groups in each related category. Results: The results revealed that a personalized learning approach could lead to significant improvement in content mastery, cognitive, agentic, and emotional engagement, as well as self-regulated learning in the experimental group (P=0.007, 0.02, 0.048, 0.048, <0.001, respectively). Conclusion: Teachers can help students achieve different categories of significant learning taxonomy through applying personalized learning to their courses. Therefore, implementing a personalized learning environment is recommended for higher education.


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