How to PL Chapter Review

Chapter Overview and What to Expect in Each Chapter

Chapter 1: Build a Common Language

In Chapter 1, you will take away an understanding of the differences between personalization, differentiation, and individualization; how relationships matter in building a culture of learning; and how a vision and shared beliefs support building the common language of personalized learning. Activities will center around the Personalization v. Differentiation v. Individualization (PDI) chart, adding your voice to the common language around personalized learning, brainstorming shared beliefs, and including prompts to consider when creating vision.

Chapter 2: How Learners Learn Best

Chapter 2 provides an overview of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) and how you use the UDL lens to understand how learners learn best. This chapter will provide an understanding of UDL as the lens to personalize learning, a foundation of the UDL Principles and Guidelines, how Access, Engage, and Express can be used to apply the UDL principles in practice, and how to develop expert learners.

Chapter 3: Develop Learner Agency

In Chapter 3, we’ll discuss how to develop agency so that learners become independent, self-directed, and self-motivated. Learner agency involves seven elements: voice, choice, engagement, motivation, ownership, purpose, and self-efficacy. Each element includes its own continuum that learners and teachers can refer to as they move to agency. We include charts and graphics for each continuum and show how learners move along each continuum from teacher-centered to learner-centered to learner-driven.

Chapter 4: Discover the Learner in Every Child

Chapter 4 introduces three helpful tools: the Learner Profile, Personal Learning Backpack, and Personal Learning Plan. The Learner Profile, which includes Who I Am as a Learner, helps learners understand how they learn best. The Personal Learning Backpack includes a template and guide to collect resources and strategies to support how the learner learns. The Personal Learning Plan builds on the Profile and Backpack to help the learner identify strengths and challenges the learner has and then set goals and action steps to develop the skills to overcome these challenges and enhance her or his strengths. Learners will be able to identify how they will meet and monitor their learning goals.

Chapter 5: Personalize Learning for a Whole Class

Chapter 5 provides instructions, templates and strategies for the teacher to anticipate four learners at the ends of the learning spectrum to develop a Class Learning Snapshot. Teachers can then use the template for the Class Learning Toolkit, which includes the tools, apps, resources, and instructional methods to engage the maximum number of learners in the class. This becomes a tool for teachers to universally design instruction, which will be covered in Chapter 7.

Chapter 6: Lesson Design With All Learners in Mind

Chapter 6 helps reduce barriers to the curriculum by maximizing the learning for all learners using the UDL lens of Access, Engage, and Express. We offer examples of strategies teachers can use to encourage voice and choice in lessons and activities in a Stage One Personalized Learning Environment. This chapter includes an understanding of the UDL Lesson Review Process by applying it to one’s own lesson, knowing how to create a vocabulary activity with visuals, and designing a lesson with all learners in mind.

Chapter 7: Delve Into Deeper Learning

Chapter 7 will show how to help learners exercise their agency to go deeper into their learning. We’ll cover strategies to encourage learners to develop driving questions around a theme or concept, know the difference between projects and project-based learning (PBL), determine key understandings and standards, and create PBL activities that include a pitch, reflection, and description of how learners demonstrate evidence of learning as they learn.

Chapter 8: Learner Agency Across the Stages

The Stages of Personalized Learning Environments (PLE) was developed to provide a process for teachers who want to create learner-centered and eventually learner-driven environments. Stage One PLE is teacher-centered. Stage Two PLE is learner-centered. Stage Three PLE is learner-driven. We recently revised the Stages of PLE to version 5 and combined the seven elements of learner agency listed in Chapter 3 as a crosswalk so teachers can understand what personalized learning looks like at each stage.

Chapter 9: Create a Culture of Learning

Personalized learning environments cannot thrive without the right school culture. This chapter will include how to build a culture that cares about everyone, to understand the relationships between personal needs and school practice, to talk about personalizing learning with your learners and colleagues, and to develop a learning environment in your classroom that invites voice, choice, and engagement. The culminating activities include Connect the Dots and creating a 60-second speech on the rationale to personalize learning.


We designed this book to provide examples, models, practical strategies, and activities for personalizing learning for teachers, administrators, parents, and learners of all ages. We hope you enjoy this book as your guide to help you along your journey.