Tutorial 6   Personalise the Journey

IN THIS TUTORIAL YOU USE THE STORYBOARD TO create scaffolding to cater for different students with different emerging needs

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The mechanisms below in the Guru, Matrix and Passion cards create different experiences for different students. But how will you know which experience is right for which students? Use the Checkpoint card to create a strategy to seek insight into the evolving needs of students. A Checkpoint can informal, such as a "hands up" or a one on one conversation, or formal, such as a test, or review of student work. 

Rubric generator & searchable database here.

You can also use the Checkpoint card to plan mechanisms that keep track of which students are in which places, or have attended which sessions, or completed which activities. One efficient way of doing this is through self-report: students stamp a card, or fill in a cell on a Google spreadsheet. 

This Google Spreadsheet acts as a dashboard showing who has done what and links to their progress blogs. The art of personalisation includes the logistic challenge of keeping track of multiple paths efficiently and centrally.

This Google Spreadsheet acts as a dashboard showing who has done what and links to their progress blogs. The art of personalisation includes the logistic challenge of keeping track of multiple paths efficiently and centrally.

You can also create Checkpoint strategies to seek all kinds of different information: what are students passionate about? What sort of a mood are they in today? Would they rather work by themselves or in a group? Which teacher's explanations do they prefer? You can investigate such questions using the People board and Person card, but people change from day to day. A Checkpoint strategy can gather live, up to date information.

Often when creating personalised learning structures, teachers fear that some students might "fall through the cracks". A Checkpoint strategy can create certain key moments, or deadlines, where you can "take the pulse" of every student on a central list or dashboard.

Note the different forms of teacher expert input in these timelapse videos, especially the co-existence of formalised Guru sessions with "just in time" help and 1 on 1 coaching.

The Guru card represents expertise. Use it to plan routines or one-off sessions where different forms of expertise are matched to different learners depending on need. 


  1. One teacher can offer different expert sessions at different times. Use the Habitat board to create a physical space where students can "opt in" to these Guru sessions. Or, allow students to "opt out" of an Guru session as soon as they feel they understand (perhaps via a Checkpoint!) 
  2. Two teachers, even if in separate spaces, can offer different sessions, and students move to the session they need. In the timelapse video there are 6 teachers offering all kinds of formal and informal Guru input. 
  3. Have various guest experts, or Skype experts in from around the world, or use parents or students as Gurus.
  4. Make flipped learning videos available to students. (See the Habitat board - virtual space)

Offering different Guru sessions is not just about different levels of difficulty. It could also involve modality (inside/outside, lecture-based/movement-based/social/hands-on), personality (a student likes one teacher's explanatory style better, or just gets along better), or chronology (one student needs the expertise in the morning, another isn't ready for it until the afternoon). 

Use the Matrix card to plan a published menu of different learning experiences that students can choose from. This menu could be in a poster, a handout, or published on a web page or Learning Management System. 

Note, for a Matrix structure to work, students obviously have to be in the habit of consulting the menu and self-starting from there. See Tutorial 8 - Define Valued Behaviours  and consider how you might establish and maintain such a habit (for instance during an Entry Event or with Checkpoints?). 

Typically a Matrix would run during a specific phase of a unit or lesson, and would be supported with well considered Guru sessions, Checkpoints, and other shared experiences.

An web based Matrix can include flipped learning videos or other multi-media. See the Habitat board to create these. Read below for examples:

e.g. Bloom's / Gardner's Matrix

Templates - overview here. and Stimulus Card template here.

Ideas - activity ideas here and here, apps here and here.  

Examples - view a sample Bloom's / Gardner's Matrix here & Stimulus Cards here. Another sample matrix is available here. Access a full Matrix Resource Pack here.

e.g. Non Bloom's / Gardner's

Primary spelling matrix here & French activity matrix here 

e.g. a online portal

see examples on the NBCS Habitat examples page.


Use Passion card to plan a more open-ended structure that is not pre-curated by the teacher on the students' behalf.

Notice how, for the Guru and Matrix cards, the teacher is creating content or experiences ahead of time for the student?

In contrast, the Passion card allows students to take their learning in new and unscripted directions. This can be a bigger challenge to support and resource, but also creates almost limitless horizons for students to act creatively and like entrepreneurs.

Although the Passion card has an "x-factor" feel to it, you can still scaffold a process or a timeline. You might use an inquiry process with a series of Checkpoints, or follow a Design Thinking or Project-Based Learning process.

The Eco-Warriors example on the NBCS Storyboard example page contains a fair degree of Passion