What is Individualized Instruction?

Individualized instruction is a teaching method that tailors instruction to the learner’s needs and learning style. This is accomplished altering the rate of instruction, the learning method used, and the content to be learned. Using high-quality instructional materials and reducing lecture time, this is frequently accomplished in the context of a larger group. Individualized instruction is not the same as one-on-one instruction; it simply involves tailoring the process to the needs of each individual learner in the group.

Varying the pace of instruction is one way individualized instruction tries to meet the needs of the learner. More knowledge is retained and less time is wasted when learners are allowed to progress through content at their own pace. Individuals who grasp a concept quickly can move on, while those who require more time to comprehend can take as much time as they need without feeling obligated to keep up with the group’s pace. This can also mean that students are at different levels in different subjects, progressing quickly in subjects that require less effort and slowly in subjects that require more effort.

Individualized instruction can also be used to personalize instruction through the use of carefully selected instructional materials. Different materials may be used people with different learning styles to study the same content. Visual learners should use a more traditional textbook or materials with a video component, while those who learn best listening should use materials with a strong audio component. Computer-based instruction can help with this because it frequently employs a multimedia approach that works well with a variety of learning styles. Audio learners may benefit from features that allow them to hear as well as see text, and visual learners may benefit from the incorporation of videos.

When individualized instruction is used, the quality of the instructional materials becomes extremely important. The materials must be of exceptional quality, fully explaining the subject matter to be learned. Because the learner doesn’t have to rely on lecture explanations as much, he or she can move at his or her own pace more easily. It also frees up much of the instructor’s time from lectures, allowing him or her to focus on monitoring student progress and assisting those who require assistance.

Individualized instruction can also meet individual learner needs allowing content to be varied to some extent based on the learner’s interests and strengths. Individuals can pursue additional learning within the subject based on their interests once the basic required content has been learned. Learners who excel in certain areas can devote additional time to them and have them integrated into other subjects where possible.