Having students create a learner profile for themselves is a great way to have them develop a better and fuller understanding of who they are as learners. In creating their profiles, students can reflect on what motivates and challenges them when learning. This develops their independence and places them in a better position to self-advocate for the tools, learning materials and presentation options that can optimize their learning experiences.
According to Kathy Howery at the University of Alberta, a learner profile should include:
The purpose of creating learner profiles is not to label students and relegate them to categories. It is also not to emphasize any disabilities. Learner profiles should be created collaboratively with students and parents to help inform educators design instructional activities and materials to provide the necessary options their students need in order to effectively access the classroom curriculum.
Learner profiles can be expanded to portfolios that grow with the student and continue with them as students move from grade to grade. With a well developed profile, transitions into new learning environments will be much smoother because the receiving educators will have something they can refer to when planning for new classes.
In this video, teachers share some strategies they use to get to know their students each year. They also highlight how each year is different and how critical they feel it is to develop relationships with their students so they all can experience success in their classrooms.