Personal Relevance

Learners connect the particular content or tasks they are focused on in the moment to their individual interests or short- and long-term goals.


Book with a brain in it

Are active participants in learning activities

Evidence of Learner Behaviors

  • Sustain authentic engagement during a lesson experience because of connections being made (either by classmates or the learning facilitator) to learners' personal interests or experiences

  • Articulate how a task they are working on was part of a "voice and choice" experience that helped them find personal meaning in the learning

Questions to Ask Learners

  • Why was this lesson so engaging or interesting to you?

  • How has this current task or learning been personally interesting to you?

Brain with connection wires coming from it

Self-reflect about the connections between learning and their personal interests, goals, and experiences

Evidence of Learner Behaviors

  • Describe how a current learning activity is “anchored” to a concept that has personal interest or connection

  • Share the process used in the learning environment to ensure learners can connect learning to personal experiences and goals

Questions to Ask Learners

  • How is this current task part of a personal goal?

  • How do you make connections between your learning and your personal life?


Learners actively participate in learning activities when they support autonomy (i.e., support learners’ ability to pursue interests and goals), and participation in such activities leads to personal change and growth.


When learning opportunities are designed to support agency in learners, their participation increases. Well-developed learning opportunities that account for learner agency and individuality lead to deep personal growth for learners.

Educator Actions

Learning facilitators help learners connect the particular content or tasks they are focused on in the moment to their individual interests or short- and long-term goals.

CSTPs: 1.1, 4.1, 6.2

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Design learning tasks with voice and choice in mind, offering learners ways to create connections between a text they are reading or a product they are creating with an aspect of their personal interests or lives.

Level 4 opportunities are a great extension opportunity for learners to create personal relevance in their learning!


  • Provide learners with meaningful choices in how they learn content or demonstrate mastery that allow learners to tap into individual interests (P)

  • Prompt learners to make connections between new learning activities and objectives and their own personal interests, goals, and aspirations (P/F)

  • Provide learners with opportunities to assess and reflect on how learning certain past skills, habits, or knowledge helped them to progress toward their goals (P/F)

  • Discuss connections between content or task and learners' interests and goals during 1:1 check-ins (P/F)

  • Review data on learners’ preferences for learning to modify activities appropriately for individuals and groups (P)

  • Provide concise group or individual explanations as to why learners are learning new content or skills, including where and when the learners will use what they learn (P/F)

P = planned F = facilitated spontaneously