PLP Planning

Hopefully, your team, administration, or district has introduced a plan to implement Act 77's Personal Learning Plan initiative with supporting professional development, resources, and of course, time to prepare.

Even so, there are many areas of concern that you should consider as you move forward with your Personal Learning Plan implementation. Although the following list is not comprehensive, experience has indicated that by working through these issues with your team, administrator, or school, you can avoid time crunches or the stress associated with new initiatives.

When will students work on their PLPs?

Identifying specific periods, classes, or even specific days in the week during the school year that students can work on their PLPs will allow your team to establish a learning progression. Doing so will provide the opportunity to set goals and benchmarks for student progress. In essence, where what will students learn and be expected to do at specific times during the school year?

What systems are in place for reviewing student progress?

Once students and teachers have established the learning progression and benchmarks of progress, teachers and teams should identify how progress will be measured and who will be responsible for reviewing student work. Using a cohort model wherein the teacher is responsible for a heterogenous group of students can provide ample time for review of work. However, remember that as the PLP work progresses, significant levels of differentiation will be required based on academic, technological, and transferable skill sets of the students.

What systems are in place to get student and teacher feedback?

Organized and consistent feedback loops are crucial to the success of the implementation plan. Student feedback and formative assessment can help guide your decision making regarding the previously mentioned program benchmarks and goals. Additionally, identifying student needs with regards to the technology can help programs provide the support that will lead to student success.

What skills do we need to support for student success?

Spending some time at the beginning of your implementation identifying the skills required by students to successfully complete their Personal Learning Plan will save time and frustration down the road. By predicting what skills students will need, time, space, and technology can be allotted for student learning with regards to the technical elements of PLP development. However, don't overlook this area as an excellent opportunity to teach and assess student transferable skills, interpersonal development, growth, and transformation.