Personalized learning seeks to improve student learning outcomes by tailoring the instructional environment to address the needs and skills of individual learners. Through best teaching and student support practices working in concert with sophisticated digitally transformative technologies that produce large quantities of learning-related data, personalized learning environments can improve retention and graduation rates at scale. New and established commercial technology providers are expanding their offerings to create learner profiles, personalized learning paths, early warning systems, and targeted interventions to keep students on track in the classroom and across their postsecondary experience.
Founded in 2013, the PLC emerged from an APLU project funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and it currently operates under the aegis of APLU as a separate dues-funded activity. Today, the PLC works to enhance and support traditional teaching and learning in higher education through its efforts geared specifically toward increasing digital transformation. Membership in the PLC positions universities to capture enormous economies of scale inherent in technology and improve learning for students while containing costs.
Two initiatives are administered by the PLC, the Accelerating Adoption of Adaptive Courseware (AAAC) initiative and the Adaptive Courseware for Early Success (ACES) initiative.
The Accelerating Adoption of Adaptive Courseware initiative is a 3.5-year project that started in July 2016. Following a competitive RFP process, the PLC invested in eight institutions and provided them with extensive support to transform their education and business models to improve credentialing productivity and execute institution-scale adaptive courseware implementations.
The Adaptive Courseware for Early Success initiative (ACES) initiative started in 2018 as a partner with Every Learner Everywhere, a diverse network of 12 organizations that seeks to expand the use of adaptive learning in foundational courses. ACES supports six participating institutions. The initiative centers around the use of adaptive courseware to improve student success outcomes to eliminate the equity gap for low-income students, students of color, and first-generation students.
There are two categories of membership in the PLC, “Sustaining” and “Basic.” Sustaining members are active participants in PLC governance and determining the agenda of the PLC. Both Sustaining and Basic members have access to all PLC initiatives along with opportunities for cooperation, exchanges, and group negotiation.
If your institution is interested in participating in the Consortium, please have your chief academic officer contact Karen Vignare, Executive Director of the Personalized Learning Consortium, to register institutional interest.
Information about the PLC’s guiding principles and how it makes strategic decisions is available for download here.