The Institute for Personalized Learning, a division of CESA #1, is committed to developing strategies and approaches that center the learner in all instructional experiences. By personalizing learning in this way, we are able to rethink instruction as something we do with, rather than, to learners.

The Institute defines personalized learning as an approach to learning and instruction that is designed around individual learner readiness, strengths, needs, and interests. Learners are active participants in setting goals, planning learning paths, tracking progress, and determining how learning will be demonstrated. At any point in time, learning objectives, content, method, and pacing are likely to vary from learner to learner.

The Institute has developed the Honeycomb Model, a change strategy to guide schools and districts as they implement personalized learning. This strategy starts with three foundational components of a personalized learning ecosystem and then builds out to focus on change in three areas and in three phases: learning and teaching, relationships and roles, and structures and policies.

This approach supports the belief that growing an educator’s capacity to personalize learning will grow the learner’s capacity to learn. To accomplish this, we must support educators to develop competence in learner-centered teaching practices that encourage student self-awareness about their needs as independent learners. As Paige K., a middle school student and Institute Personalized Learning Ambassador, puts it, “Simply stated, I believe that all students should have a say in what their education looks like.”

The Institute accomplishes this by working with educators to define a vision for why they believe personalized learning experiences are good for all learners, then to articulate what this will look like by utilizing the Honeycomb Model, and how those personalized practices will be implemented.

Personalized learning is about developing the learning capacity of all individuals. As schools and districts continue to rethink personalized learning in practice, similarly rethinking their educators’ professional development experiences will be necessary.

In partnership with Digital Promise, the Institute for Personalized Learning has developed a set of micro-credentials to supplement professional development that supports understanding and implementation of personalized learning practices.

The Personalized Learning micro-credential set is grouped into four stacks, beginning with a foundational understanding of personalized learning and the Honeycomb Model, and then moving on to specific elements of the model. Take a look at some stacks from the Personalized Learning set with their associated micro-credentials below:

Personalized Learning: Foundations

Understanding a Learner-Centered Experience

Using the Honeycomb as a Change Strategy

Personalized Learning: Learning and Teaching 

Learner Voice Infused

Personal Learning Goals

The elements in the model are not intended to be practiced in isolation, however. As practitioners work through each micro-credential, we encourage them to look at all elements in the Honeycomb and make intentional connections between them that would strengthen their personalized learning implementation.

The Institute is committed to developing additional micro-credentials for the remaining Honeycomb elements that will continue to build practitioners’ capacity to grow empowered, autonomous, and inspired learners.

Learn more about the Personalized Learning micro-credential stacks here.


About Christina Sprader

Christina Sprader is Associate Director at the Institute for Personalized Learning.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *