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1 Personal Development Plans (PDPs) Subject-specific PDPs in Economics

2 Background QAA recommends that HE institutions develop a progress file consisting of two main elements: –Transcript –A means by which students can monitor, build and reflect on their personal development The opportunities for PDP in student programmes will be made clear in the programme specification and through any other means the institution considers appropriate PDP originally to be in place by 2005/6: now to be fully operational within 5 years from 2005/6

3 QAA Requirements On completion of their programme, students will have: –participated in PDP in a range of learning contexts at each stage or level of their programme; –demonstrated that they can access and use the aids and tools provided by the institution to help them reflect upon their own learning and achievements and to plan for their own personal, educational and career development; –with support, created their own learning records containing information on the qualities and skills they can evidence which can be drawn upon when applying for a job or further study.

4 PDP is likely to be most effective when it is –a mainstream academic activity –linked to the learning objectives/outcomes of programmes –undertaken regularly –supported and valued by staff –supported by institutional structures, resources and expertise –owned by the learner –seen to be valued by society (e.g. employers) QAA Views

5 Creating an inventory of Targets for the student Focus - Personal - Career - Academic - Skills Monitoring Progress in achieving targets Activities - Recording - Reflecting - Planning - Discussing - Accounting for Reporting on Progress in achieving targets End products - Progress reports - Progress files PDP: three Aspects

6 PDPs in Economics What are the implications for: –curriculum? –teaching/assessment methods? Philosophy of PDPs –encouraging reflective learning –making degrees more vocational? –subject / module specific PDPs? Resistance by students to PDPs?

7 Module PDP at UWE 1.Introduction –This sets the scene and locates the topic in the overall syllabus 2.Learning objectives (L/obj) –Up to 12 learning objectives are devised for each topic and students are invited to evaluate and rate (1= fairly weak to 5 = good) their ability in each learning objective. All units are constructed using an Excel spreadsheet. There are 6 worksheets in each unit.

8 Module PDP at UWE 3.Multiple-choice questions –There can be up to 60 multiple choice questions. All questions are batched according to the learning objective being evaluated. 4.Data response questions –There can be up to 15 questions and are based on the kind of calculation questions used in an exam or a workshop. Where appropriate students can manipulate an equation to alter the lines and curves found in the questions diagram.

9 Module PDP at UWE 5.Essay planning task –Here students are invited to draw up a rough answer plan to a typical exam style question and compare it to what the tutor thinks would make for a good answer 6.Summary sheet –Here the students score in the self-test questions are revealed, enabling them to compare it to their self-rated score per learning objective. They are then encouraged to offer some general reflection on their abilities in the units topic – setting out any strategies for improvement if the wish to.


11 Making a start: Teaching & Assessment Teaching –Identify Key Skills and Discipline Skills already being developed by students in seminars –Draw the students attention to these skills (e.g. put footnotes in seminar handouts, etc.) Assessment –Again, identify Key Skills and Discipline Skills already being evaluated in current coursework. –Amend feedback forms to highlight the skills needed to complete the assignment

12 Developing the Departments PDP Incorporate a wider range of relevant skills (generic and specific) and improve the students awareness of them Encourage students to self-evaluate their work prior to hand-in Start thinking about and developing targets that suit you and, your own module (i.e. take control!)

13 Devise new assessments that might involve behavioural targets –(e.g. planning and evaluation, group work, problem solving) Devise new seminar tasks, ones which: –are more closely linked or reliant on key skills and discipline skills –encourage students to review and organise their learning (to date) –encourage greater self-evaluation Design a process that is semi-automatic? Developing the Departments PDP

14 1.Examine 3 documents –Section 5 of Bioscience audit –Skills from Economics benchmarking statement –Extract from Careers benchmarking statement 2.Individually consider ways in which skills can be integrated into a particular module or unit 3.In small groups consider amendments to one particular module chosen by the group 4.Plenary Discussion

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