Theme 1: Empower Learners

2 2: Customize — Let them make it their own

Gee describes the learning principle of CUSTOMIZATION, or allowing students to solve problems in different ways to find the ways that work best for them. On the flip side, customization also allows students to try out new ways of problem solving that might not otherwise be comfortable to them, in a low-stakes environment.

CUSTOMIZATION strategies in teaching

  • Allow and encourage students to discover and explore different ways that they are already connected to course content.
  • Encourage students to develop specific connections to course content that align with their skills and interests.
  • Employ techniques of Universal Design for Learning with multiple means of Engagement, Representation, and Expression & Action to more fully engage students with different needs and interests.
  • Add a few strategies that might work in your course, and see others’ ideas here.

CUSTOMIZATION strategies in Canvas

  • Increase personalities by having students use a profile pic and biographical information so they can better represent themselves and their interests to you and their classmates. This will also help you adjust the way you present content to better meet their needs as individuals.
  • Show students how to give the course a nickname and change the card color (e.g. customize account [profile, settings, notifications])
  • Provide multiple forms of learning content (e.g. readings, videos, games, pre-recorded lectures), so students can learn in ways that match their interests and needs.
  • Provide multiple options for final projects (e.g., papers, presentations, digital stories, websites) so students can express what they learned in ways that reinforce and develop their unique connections with the course content.
  • Add a few strategies that might work in your course, and see others’ ideas here.


Knowledge Check


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