Individual differences and personalized learning: a review and appraisal


Personalized learning allows students to pursue individual learning goals at their own pace. Such a benefit is achieved by understanding each individual’s needs. Hence, it is important to implement personalized learning to accommodate students’ individual differences. Due to such importance, research into this issue has increased over the past decade. Accordingly, this paper presents a state-of-the art review of the current research that investigates relationships between individual differences and personalized learning. The main results from past research include that: (1) learning style is a major individual difference considered in works on personalized learning; (2) current works shift to address multiple individual differences, instead of a single difference; (3) learner models are widely applied to deal with multiple individual differences in the development of personalized learning; (4) learning styles, prior knowledge, preferences and ability levels are frequently considered together, and (5) it is a current trend to consider emotion recognition in the context of personalized learning. In addition to reviewing existing empirical studies, this paper also does an appraisal to identify directions for future research.

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The authors would like to thank the Ministry of Science and Technology of the Republic of China, Taiwan, for financial support (MOST 108-2511-H-008-011-MY3 and MOST 108-2629-H-008-001-MY3).

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Chen, S.Y., Wang, JH. Individual differences and personalized learning: a review and appraisal. Univ Access Inf Soc (2020).

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