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Personalization Framework | Designing Environments

Mass Customization

Personalization is adapting or sequencing solutions to fit individual differences, expectations, and needs. In contrast, mass customization is adapting to fit common characteristics identified for groups   of learners , for example transforming learners. Mass customization is actually the first step in building an individual learning relationship. It may not always be practical to support one learner at a time or to build in total personalization capabilities specific to one learner. It may be preferable to start with a mass customized solution that identifies a few common critical success attributes that are key for improved performance. Good objectives, analysis, and personalization framework guide these choices.

Recognizing key aggregate characteristics organized by a personalization framework makes the individual personalization process easier to implement with consistent, measurable results. A well-tested framework, based on sound scientific and design foundations, can help identify the capabilities, resources, issues, and content that are relevant, useful, and attractive to the targeted group of learners. Using measurement criteria implemented over iterative cycles of improvement, solutions can become increasingly personalized over time. A well-tested framework also helps designers tailor products and services to satisfy the wide variety of learning requirements (business, learning, educational, and personal goals).

The greatest benefit of mass customization done well is technology's ability to make complex instruction easier by alternatively presenting content for a particular learner--what the learner wants to see in the appropriate manner and at the appropriate time. Even using the same learning environment, alternative interfaces can appear more complex, exploratory, and unstructured for one learner than a simpler environment presented to another learner. For example, the transforming learner's mass customized environment would APPEAR differently then the conforming learner's mass customized environment.

A wonderful benefit of personalization and personalization is that each time you personalize, you learn a little more about a learner's unique set of needs and can foster satisfying learning experiences.


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Updated June 2013 by Margaret Martinez & The Training Place.
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