Personalized Learning


Personalized learning refers to a broad set of strategies intended to make each student's educational experience responsive to his or her talents, interests, and needs. RAND's study of personalized learning for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation produced a series of publications from 2014 though 2017 that represents the largest and most rigorous body of research on personalized learning to date. Several related projects are underway.

  • Tutor helping a student with work


    Designing Innovative High Schools

    Sep 21, 2017

    Opportunity by Design (ObD) uses innovative design principles like personalized instruction to help prepare students for postsecondary success. RAND's interim report on ObD lays out how these principles are implemented in schools, their strengths, and early challenges.

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    Personalized Learning: Lessons from Implementation

    Jul 11, 2017

    Personalized learning focuses on meeting students' individual needs while incorporating their interests and preferences. What does this look like in schools that have implemented personalized learning schoolwide?

Explore Personalized Learning

  • A teacher helps a high school student work on a laptop


    Helping Pittsburgh Stay on the Cutting Edge of Education Innovation

    Local organizations, educators, and leaders are creating remarkable learning experiences for Pittsburgh's young people, and other cities around the country are striving to replicate their innovations.

    May 8, 2016

  • A teacher and student in a classroom looking at a laptop


    Technology Is Only Part of Personalized Learning

    The concept of personalized learning has gained favor in recent years, partly because new technology applications help to facilitate it. But those who characterize this instructional approach as “students just using computers or other devices” are greatly oversimplifying it.

    Mar 4, 2016

  • A teacher working with young students in a classroom


    Promising Evidence on Personalized Learning

    Students at schools that offer personalized ways to learn (e.g., competency-based progression, flexible learning environments) made significant gains in mathematics and reading. Also, the lowest-performing students made substantial gains relative to their peers.

    Nov 10, 2015

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    Continued Progress: Promising Evidence on Personalized Learning: Executive Summary

    This Executive Summary recaps the findings in Continued Progress: Promising Evidence on Personalized Learning, a report that explores the personalized learning models adopted in U.S. schools.

    Nov 10, 2015

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    Continued Progress: Promising Evidence on Personalized Learning: Survey Results Addendum

    This companion report to Continued Progress: Promising Evidence on Personalized Learning documents results from surveys administered to teachers and students in personalized learning schools in the spring of the 2014-15 school year.

    Nov 10, 2015

  • Teacher helping a high school student on a computer


    Recommendations for ESEA Reauthorization That Support Innovation

    As lawmakers consider the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, it is critical that in meeting their objectives they do not create unnecessary obstacles to the productive innovations being explored at schools, such as personalized learning.

    Jan 27, 2015

  • Content

    Lindsay Daugherty

    Senior Policy Researcher
    Education Ph.D. in policy analysis, Pardee RAND Graduate School; M.A. in applied economics, University of Michigan; B.A. in economics, University of California, Berkeley

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    John F. Pane

    Senior Scientist
    Education Ph.D. in computer science, Carnegie Mellon University; M.S. in computer science, Carnegie Mellon University; B.S. in electrical and computer engineering and mathematics, Carnegie Mellon University

  • Content

    Elizabeth D. Steiner

    Associate Policy Researcher; Affiliate Faculty, Pardee RAND Graduate School
    Education M.S.P.P.M. in public policy administration and analysis, Carnegie Mellon University; B.A. in psychology, Vassar College

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