Book Study Guide

We wanted to give you some places to start for your discussions around Make Learning Personal!

Check out Ute Elementary's Staff Book Study of Make Learning Personal

Book Study Guide for First Three Chapters


The purpose of this chapter is to define personalized learning and help the reader understand that there has to be a common language around the terms for teachers, learners, and all key stakeholders in the school community when they decide to personalize learning.

Discussion Questions
  1. Read the Personalization vs. Differentiation vs. Individualization chart (Table 1.1) on page 9 and 10. How do you see these three terms in your learning environment? 
  2. Why is the learner the missing piece in most schools and/or classrooms? 
  3. Review Table 1.6 to answer how learners support their learning and each other. What are the essential skills for twenty-first century learners? 
  4. Read the research from Brown University and refer to Fig. 1.2. Discuss what school practices exist currently in your school that can support your learners’ personal needs. As an extended activity, consider observing one learner and their interactions during the course of a day much like Bart was observed. What did you discover and what, if anything, concerned you? 
  5. Using Table 1.9 (Proving or Improving Orientation) on p. 23, what is the difference if the focus in the classroom is on performance instead of learning? Discuss what it means to have a Learning Orientation Classroom. 
  6. Discuss as a group, what is the common language of personalized learning? To further the discussion, ask why you believe that using a common language around personalized learning may be important. 


The purpose of this chapter is to define learners and how they learn best. This section provides the research behind the neuroscience of learning and how Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is for all learners.

Discussion Questions
  1. On p. 37, the subheading states that personalized learning is not new. Review the learning theorists and approaches. Which theorist supports your understanding of personalized learning and why? 
  2. Why is flow important for personalizing learning? When have you or your learners experienced flow in a classroom? 
  3. What is the difference between growth and fixed mindset? How do learners develop a fixed mindset? What can you do to encourage a growth mindset with your learners? Discuss as a group how you would respond to learners on a consistent basis to encourage a growth mindset. 
  4. Review the information on Learning Styles (LS) and Multiple Intelligences (MI) on pages 46-49. Research at least one article on LS or MI and discuss why they are not effective in defining how learners learn and in deciding on instructional methods. 
  5. Read about Universal Design for Learning (UDL) on pages 54-57. How can the UDL guidelines provide a lens for teachers to understand how learners learn best? How can a learner use the UDL lens to help them understand how they learn best? 



The purpose of this chapter introduces the Stages of Personalized Learning Environments as a process educators take over time. The Wow is about how the roles change through the stages with scenarios, examples, and stories from educators around the world.

Discussion Questions
  1. On p. 74, there are questions that teachers shared about their concerns to personalize learning. What questions or concerns do you have about personalized learning at this time in the book? Why do you feel it is better to have a process that starts with dipping your toes in personalized learning?
  2. Review Table 3.1 Stages of Personalized Learning Environments and each of the stages. Where do you believe you are in the stages?
  3. Pages 74 to 90 show how teacher and learner roles change in Stage One along with examples and stories. How do you see the roles changing in Stage One? If you are in Stage One, can you share a specific example of how your role has changed? How do learners have more opportunities a voice in what they learn and express what they know? Which story stood out for you as a model to help you on your journey?
  4. Pages 90 to 101 share how roles change in Stage Two. How do you see lessons changing in this stage? Which story stood out for you? If you are not in Stage Two yet, what strategies could you adopt or adapt for your class?
  5. Pages 102 to 108 moves to Stage Three learner-directed. Which story stood out for you? How do you see transforming one of your lessons using some of the strategies shared in this Stage. 
  6. Can you recall and share a Wow moment as a teacher observing your learners?