Learning is more important and valuable than ever: people are encouraged to realise their potential throughout their lives, and their prior learning valued and recognised. According to policy papers across the globe, this is important for all citizens, including underrepresented groups and non-traditional learners. It is also important for higher education because ‘the learning society’, world wide, requires participation from greater numbers of individuals educated to a higher level. It is vital, then, to dynamize ‘the learning ground’ by providing and enhancing learning opportunities and learning responsibilities for all people, regardless of their background.
In doing this, the learning by the people themselves is dynamized as is the functionality of higher education institutes, like universities, which will be required to widen in scope to be able to respond to all learning needs. These learning needs not only focus on qualifications and certification but also on valuing learning in itself as a driver for personal development and empowerment. This brings about a demand for personalizing learning since all learning in the context of the present ‘learning society’ always starts with the learner.
This handbook ‘Building Personalized Learning’ is the first book in a series on personalizing learning that is produced for this project. The book aims to create a common theoretical background of concepts related to personalizing learning and, by doing so, articulate the fundamental features of personalized learning in higher education.