The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has engaged RAND to carry out an ongoing study of foundation-funded schools that are employing promising approaches to personalized learning. This research is part of a public commitment the foundation has made to spread effective practices across districts and charter networks, develop innovative roles for teachers, and support implementation of college-ready standards. This is the second report in a series focused on the achievement data, school design characteristics, and teacher and student perceptions of schools implementing personalized learning

The concept of personalized learning has been around for some time, but the adoption of personalized learning approaches has increased significantly in recent years due in part to rapid advances in technology platforms and digital content. Although there is not yet one shared definition of personalized learning, leading practitioners in the field generally look for the following: (1) systems and approaches that accelerate and deepen student learning by tailoring instruction to each student’s individual needs, skills, and interests; (2) a variety of rich learning experiences that collectively prepare students for success in the college and career of their choice; and (3) teachers’ integral role in student learning: designing and managing the learning environment, leading instruction, and providing students with expert guidance and support to help them take increasing ownership of their learning.

Pane, J., Steiner, E., Baird, M., & Hamilton, L. (2015). Continued Progress: Promising Evidence on Personalized Learning. RAND Corporation. Retrieved from