As personalized learning gains momentum across the United States, the need for implementation research has never been greater. As part of the solution, the University of Wisconsin’s Wisconsin Evaluation Collaborative, conducted a rigorous study of the LEAP approach to personalized learning -- Personalized Learning in Practice: Evaluation of Breakthrough Schools in Chicago. The study explores the earliest outcomes of deep, full-school shifts toward personalized learning, as well as insights revealed by the process.
Key highlights from the report findings concluded the following: 1) Teacher collaboration, including across schools, was central to adopting a personalized learning model. Implementation benefitted when schools prioritized time and space for teachers to regularly plan, implement and reflect together on their personalized learning initiatives. 2) Personalized learning practices are not implemented in isolation, but are best understood in relationship to one another in what is described as “practice clusters.” This evaluation suggests schools may want to consider which practices tend to work well together, purposefully plan to implement clusters to help embed personalized learning, and assess the actual implementation of clusters through relevant survey questions.