7 Ways To Integrate Personalized Learning Into L&D Programs

7 Ways To Integrate Personalized Learning Into L&D Programs
Summary: Once supported by technology, the long-term potential of personalized learning is enormous. In this article we will see how you can integrate this learning approach into your Learning and Development programs.

How To Integrate Personalized Learning Into L&D Programs

Personalized learning has a strong foundation of use through history. Following are some of the things that can be done today in order to develop the right personalized learning strategy for the future.

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eBook Release
Free eBook: Tapping Into The Power Of Personalized Learning
This free eBook by Docebo demonstrates how to use personalized learning in a strategic way.

1. Invest In The Tech Today

Yes, there are many things outside of the technology realm we can do immediately to support personalized learning, but we know technology will help bring these kinds of programs to the next level when they are fully realized – and that’s not far off. Getting buy-in for a new Learning Management System is not easy. We all know those that hold the purse strings in an organization need some convincing to foster support.

However, if you don’t have the foundation of a Learning Management System today, that is something you are going to want to establish as you seek the technology to support a personalized learning program tomorrow. And even if personalized learning is an eventual nice-to-have component of your Learning and Development program, having the essentials of an eLearning solution will not hurt your progress in establishing an effective L&D program overall.

2. Establish A Competency Framework (If You Haven’t Already)

A competency framework, which defines the skills, knowledge, and attributes learners need within an organization, is an essential –yet often overlooked– component of a complete Learning and Development program. It often consists of 4 attributes, namely:

  1. Business skills.
  2. Leadership skills.
  3. People skills.
  4. Technical skills.

Each of these elements has a variety of subcomponents. For example, business skills might include understanding process management and regulatory contexts; leadership skills could include team building and performance management; people skills might include negotiation and mediation; and technical skills often cover financial reporting and business planning. These aspects go beyond personalized learning, but they are fundamental to it. As a matter of fact, they are essential to building a great learning and development program overall.

However, it is highly preferable that they are established and mandated within a personalized learning strategy before the fact as opposed to after. After all, these elements help leaders in Learning and Development establish the very purpose (as well as the performance metrics) of their Learning and Development programs in the first place. In other words, a L&D strategy without an embedded competency framework is no L&D strategy at all.

3. Build Management Buy-In Early

You don’t need to jump right into getting a personalized learning solution signed off by your directors immediately, but it pays to plant the seeds right now. As you communicate with those you, as Learning and Development leaders, will be dealing with when you seek to get buy-in for a personalized learning solution, it is advisable to communicate the potential and eventual benefits personalized learning through technology will deliver. It is known that best-in-class eLearning solution providers will have mature personalized learning offering within the next couple of years. Start building interest now to make the budget talk less of an issue when you do have to have it.

4. Don’t be A Early Adopter – Study It Smartly

It’s tempting to jump on the bandwagon of a new tech solution the moment it seems viable. But let’s understand that a true, comprehensive personalized learning solution delivered through technology and progressive AI has not yet been realized. At this point it is sensible to wait until a few players have entered the field with capable, functional personalized learning components before evaluating which one can provide your organization –and your learners– with value.

5. Tag The Content

Whatever kind of Learning Management System you have now –be it rudimentary, with an assortment of PowerPoint presentations, documents, and quizzes; or more advanced, with a centralized content repository of all eLearning-related assets– it is essential to tag content properly. This will make the process of advancing to a personalized learning technology solution so much easier. What do we mean “tag content properly”? You must jump into the metadata of all of your learning content assets and ensure their content metadata reflects what the content is actually about and who it is geared towards. This will help you bin content –or, indeed, help the AI component of your solution separate and analyze content– once you have implemented a robust personalized learning solution in the future. Plus, even from a Learning Management System platform approach today, it doesn’t hurt to have content organized through tags.

6. Onboard The Technology

Yes, we onboard employees, but how about onboarding technology? When your personalized solution is implemented, it will take time, and it will need to adopt and adapt to your processes of learning, your learning content, and the people that absorb your learning materials. Treat the new technology solution as a new employee and implement and onboard it correctly before you let it loose within your organization.

7. Do What You Can With Personalized Learning Now

So you want to attract and retain great talent. We mentioned earlier that there’s nothing worse than an organization that has all of the mechanisms set up to listen to a new hire’s ambitions, goals, aspirations, desired learning pathways, and sensitivities, only to turn them over to stock learning manuals and materials the moment they start their onboarding. It hurts even more when we don’t document or follow up with their ideal learning paths. Forget personalized learning a moment and personalize learning now. Realize the talent you attracted came on board for a reason and treat them as a prize and an asset that deserves a customized, tailored learning journey, even if you don’t have the tech in place to provide as robust a plan as you’d like.

8. Create A Personalized Learning Strategy

This is essentially a culmination of all of the above points, but understand that it is essential to create a complete personalized learning strategy in order to implement it effectively. Treat your personalized learning strategy as a component of your overall eLearning and Learning Management System strategy. Broadly, it can include:

  • Approach.
  • Technology.
  • Deployment.
  • Content.
  • Integration.
  • Desired results (and KPIs).
  • Continuous improvement plan.

But there is no defined approach and, just as you tailor learning plans to the learner under a personalized learning program, you must customize a personalized learning program for your organization.


Personalized learning has been around for ages in some form or another, from a personal pedagogue teaching a student in a one-to-one relationship, to the technology-enabled, social learning-oriented current state we face. It is still realized to some extent in corporate learning environments; however the potential of personalized learning in the very near future, as technology evolves, is considerable. The problem with personalized learning now is that there is a gulf between expectations of what it can deliver and how much it can actually deliver currently.

However, there are steps any organization can take now in order to get employees off on the right foot from the day they start at a new organization, and to ensure their continued success and prosperous development as they continue on their tailored learning journey. Not every learner learns the same way, or at the same pace. This is foundational to the personalized learning approach, and while the technology to support it is only now starting to come to light, any organization will benefit from implementing the fundamentals of personalized learning now and developing a personalized learning strategy that covers all elements of people, process, and technology.

To know more about personalized learning, download the free eBook Tapping Into The Power Of Personalized Learning.