Philip Butler – Let’s Get Personal


You are invited to join me in exploring the concept of personalisation and its application in education. The 'personalisation of learning' has been a key objective in the development of e-Learning since being identified as one of the required 5 high level outcomes of the government's strategy 'Harnessing Technology' published in 2005.

Since 2006 ULCC has been involved in a significant development project in response to this agenda which sets out to provide learning institutions a means to support personalisation; 'The logic of education systems should be reversed so that it is the system that conforms to the learner, rather than the learner to the system. This is the essence of personalisation' Personalisation and Digital Technologies, Future Labs.

In 2007 ULCC successfully completed a model framework that has focussed on utilising Open Source tools and technology, either existing or withnew developments commissioned where required. In consultation withleading UK agencies (JISC, BECTA, etc.) and learning providers, weidentified four key elements:

  1. Virtual Learning Environment
    VLEs provide support for teaching and learning through delivery of course materials and learning activity, utilising assessment, communication, collaboration and content tools
  2. Personalised Learning Plans (e-ILPs)
    PLPs provide support for the process of learning through mapped routes to the achievement of individual goals. They facilitate effective dialogue between tutors and learners, to review progress.
  3. e-Portfolio: Assessment
    The assessment portfolio provides support for summative, formative and other assessment through tracking evidence of work completed in relation to assessment criteria and learning outcomes.
  4. e-Portfolio: Learning Space
    The learning space portfolio provides support for collation and presentation of learner activity and facilitates transition between stages of learning and employment. The Framework has created considerable excitement and interest amongst all sectors. It has become central to a number of projects under the JISC/BECTA 'Transforming Curriculum Delivery Through Technology' funding strands. For example, since its release in 2007 the e-ILP has had a world wide impact with it being translated into several languages. In the UK, it has featured in a number of recent OFSTED inspections where it has helped facilitate 'Significant Progress' in a number of key areas whilst finding new applications as a CPD tracker for Staff Development/Appraisal.
Personalisation, e-ILP, e-Portfolio, Mahara, 
Moodle, Open Source, Assessment Portfolio.


Philip Butler is the Senior e-Learning Adviser at the University of London Computer Centre

Having graduated from St Martin's College with a BA (Hons) Fine Arts, Painting, Philip has worked in the post-16 education sector as a teacher and manager for 25 years, developing a strong interest in Technology Enhanced Learning.

He was amongst the founding members of JISC Regional Support Centre for London and helped establish its excellent reputation for providing quality advice and guidance on e-Learning. He began several important regional user groups for Virtual Learning Environments in order to share good practice.

Now working for the University of London Computer Centre, he has helped establish their Moodle and e-Learning services as a centre of excellence and development, notably their framework for 'Personalisation of Learning'. In addition, Philip has worked as a consultant on several major projects for national advisory boards with JISC, NIACE, BECTA, NLN, etc. along with presentations at universities and national conferences in the UK, USA and India.


Senior e-Learning Adviser
University of London Computer Centre
20 Guilford Street,
London WC1N 1DZ