Personal development plan Pharmacist example
- PDP is essentially a process
- PDP is a student opportunity to reflect, plan and review learning
- PDP is related to the development of transferable skills
- PDP can and should result in a range of useful products
- e-portfolios can play a part in the process and be a medium for products
EPICS Final Report
The Dearing Report states that an institution should provide ‘a transcript recording student achievement which should follow a common format devised by institutions collectively through their representative bodies [and] a means by which students can monitor, build and reflect upon their personal development.’ (Recommendation 20, National Committee of Inquiry in Higher Education 1997).
The transcript, consisting of an institutional record of learners’ achievements and associated academic credit, has been widely implemented in HEIs (more information is provided in the transcripts held at The Centre for Recording Achievement). PDP implementation, in comparison, is patchy and very varied across, and between, institutions (Streeting 2007) and between different subject areas.
Professional education has used paper-based portfolios linked to PDP and lifelong learning since the 1980s (Cotterill et al 2004). For example, the Danish Ministry of Education and its education and training programme promotes an educational portfolio to support a personal educational plan (Stefani et al 2007). In vocational education, learners have often been asked to provide evidence of knowledge and competence. The e-portfolio is a natural progression to presenting such evidence.
PDP supported through e-portfolios has the potential to improve learner performance especially when linked to action planning and goal setting (Gough et al 2003) but initially it can be challenging to integrate into the curriculum (Gathercoal 2002). Some learners require significant scaffolding whilst others need a greater degree of flexibility. Different pathways could be provided which have prompts for some learners, whilst examples to work on may be enough for others. At the University of Strathclyde, the MSc in Pharmacy has used an e-portfolio system to integrate PDP within the programme. Careful planning was required to ensure that the assessment focused on the process of learning as well as the product (Stefan et al 2007). There are different models demonstrating how e-portfolios can support PDP. Examples include a central repository for the storage of artefacts for PDP and an area which encourages learners to reflect on their management of their learning and plan for the future.
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