PDI Chart, v3

Personalization vs. Differentiation vs Individualization (PDI) Chart, v3 (2014)

In January 2012, Barbara Bray and I developed the first PDI Chart. This is Version 3 of the PDI chart with revisions and a facelift based on feedback from educators around the world. We use this chart as a tool for your stakeholders to discuss the differences between these terms and to provide a clearer picture about the terms as they develop a shared vision to personalize learning.


The PDI Chart, version 3 is now available in 9 different European languages plus the Australian/UK version.




The PDI Chart, v3 is now available as a poster in a variety of sizes and papers!


PDI Chart, v3 Poster
by MakeLearningPersonal




Personalization vs. Differentiation vs. Individualization Chart, v3 by Barbara Bray and Kathleen McClaskey

The PDI chart was created for a reason: to clarify the differences between these terms. In 2010, the National Ed Tech Plan defined all three of these terms as they are related to instruction. We needed to emphasize the differences as they relate to the learner: Personalization is learner-centered. The other two, Differentiation and Individualization are teacher-centered. Personalization or Personalized Learning means the learner owns and drives their learning. When the learner takes responsibility for their learning, the roles of the teacher and learner change. We welcome you to share the PDI chart and use it for action research, professional learning, and to go deeper and clarify the terms so learning is deeper, relevant, and engaging.

We updated the chart again to version 3 from your feedback. From discussions in courses and workshops, participants helped us realize that we were not clear in the chart about assessment. We needed to focus on Assessment AS, FOR, and OF Learning.

  • Personalization involves Assessment AS learning, FOR learning, and a minimal OF learning. This is where teachers develop capacity so learners become independent learners who set goals, monitor progress, and reflect on learning. Assessments are based on mastery.
  • Differentiation involves Assessment FOR learning and OF learning. This is assessment that involves time-based testing where teachers provide feedback to advance learning.
  • Individualization involves Assessment OF learning. This is where summative assessment is grade-based and involves testing to confirm what learners know and do not know.

If you would like to make multiple copies of this chart or use it in a publication, please ask me permission via my email at khmclaskey@gmail.com.

Please spread the word about this chart that is used by millions of educators worldwide. Share the ways you are using this chart in the comments below and in social media. Please make reference to both authors of this chart by using these Twitter handles: @khmmc @bbray27. The Twitter hashtags are #makelearningpersonal.

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