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Pdp: Its Role And Implementation In The Law Curriculum


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Details of the implementation of Personal Development Planning (PDP) as a module within BPP Law School's LLB programme.

Details of the implementation of Personal Development Planning (PDP) as a module within BPP Law School's LLB programme.

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  • Dearing Report (Sir Ronald Dearing, National Review of Higher Education (1997))QAA Policy statement on a progress file for Higher Education - (cited 11 March 2010)
  • J. Strivens and R. Ward, “An overview of the development of Personal Development Planning”, in J. Strivens (ed) Personal Development Planning (Foundation Degree Forward , 2009), 5See also:S.Clegg and S. Bradley, “Models of personal development planning: practice and processes” (2006) 32 (1) The British Educational Research Journal 57 – This presents a taxonomy of PDP, according to Professional, Employment and Academic “ideal type” models.
  • For BPP’s 2008 review of undergraduate law degrees, see: P. Roberts, “Career development in the LLB” (2009) 43(3) Law Teacher 297For discussion of the effects of diversity and new technologies on the student experience, see:H.Huijser, L. Kimmins and P. Evans, “Peer assisted learning in fleximode: developing an online learning community” (2008) 1 Australasian Journal of Peer Learning 51
  • See P. Roberts (2009), supra
  • For a welldocumented example of embedded PDP within the law curriculum, see:S. Bloxham and A. Cerevkova, “Reflective Learning, Skills Development and Careers Management Online – An Evaluation of a First Year Law Module” 2007(1) Journal of Information, Law & Technology (JILT), < >S. Bloxham, F. Boyle and A. Thanaraj, ”Using E-portfolios to Support PDP and Reflective Learning within the Law Curriculum: A Case Study”, 2009(3) Journal of Information, Law & Technology (JILT), <>  Also see, for example:M. Atlay , P. Petrovaamd D. Ujma (2009) “To embed or not to embed? The embedding of PDP in the curriculum” in Personal Development Planning and Employability. Learning and Employability Series 2 (ed M. Yorke) (CRA/Higher Education Academy)<>It is suggested that there are five main approaches to PDP in the curriculum that have been adopted by various universities. These include a discrete model, where PDP is additional to the curriculum; linked, with PDP in parallel to the curriculum - but not integrated; embedded modular, embedding PDP in certain modules; integrated, with PDP embedded across the whole curriculum (in some cases as ‘curriculum carrier’) and finally, an extended model.For further commentary on eportfolios, see second part of paper.
  • The learning theoretic material derives from “standard” sources, for example:B. Bloom (ed.), Taxonomy of Educational Objectives, the classification of educational goals – Handbook I: Cognitive Domain (New York, McKay, 1956)D. Kolb, Experiential Learning experience as a source of learning and development (New Jersey, Prentice Hall, 1984)P. Honey & A. Mumford, Manual of Learning Styles (London, P Honey, 1982)Relevant to this, as well as the discussion of the purpose of the portfolio “milestones” described later, is the distinction between “deep” and “surface” learning. There is a boddy of commentary, including:F. Marton and R. Säljö ‘On qualitative differences in learning. I – Outcome and Process’ (1976) 46 British Journal of Educational Psychology 4N.J. EntwistleThe Impact of Teaching on Learning Outcomes in Higher Education – A Literature Review (Sheffield: CVCP, 1992) 12; citing N.J. Entwistle `Student learning and studystrategies' in B.R. Clark and G. Neave (eds) The Encyclopedia of Higher Education (Oxford:Pergamon Press, 1992)
  • This is a growing body of commentary on peer assisted learning in an online environment. See for example:Ian Davies, “E-xperience in e-learning: The impact of a peer assisted online mentoring scheme on an e-learning programme: A case study of E-College Wales” in Networked Learning Conference Proceedings (2004) <>H. Huijser and L. Kimmins, “PALS online and community building: a contradiction in terms?” in 22nd Annual Conference of the Australasian Society for Computers in Learning in Tertiary Education (ASCILITE) (2005) <>H. Huijser, L. Kimmins and P. Evans, “Peer assisted learning in fleximode: developing an online learning community”, (2008) 1 Australasian Journal of Peer Learning 51
  • Learning Technology Dept. look at SKIP as first example of possibly making use of design principles in new/old modules.Roughly follow Addie model.Ozdilek, Zehra & Robeck, Edward “Operational priorities of instructional designers analyzed within the steps of the Addie instructional design model”, (2009) Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, Volume 1 (1) Pages 2046-2050Evaluation outstanding but during other steps has been conversation between module team and Learning Tech dept.Image source:
  • Theories/best practice considered.John Sweller, New South Wales, focus on limits of working Miller, 7 is the ‘magic number’ of what we can hold in our working memory. Multimedia allows for different ways to deliver content and minimise load.Miller, George A. (1956): The Magical Number Seven, Plus or Minus Two: Some Limits on Our Capacity for Processing Information. In Psychological Review, 63 pp. 81-97 Herbert Alexander Simon, Berkley, “a term referring to the process of taking individual units of information (chunks) and grouping them into larger units”. to come in and out of module structure as desired by own learning preferences.Atherton, J. (2009). Systems and Conversations: Pask and Laurillard. Retrieved October 4, 2009, from the need for consistent interfaces and consistency, inc.:Consider expertise including:Zaharias, P., & Poulymenakou, A. (2008). Design Guidelines for Asynchronous E-Learning Applications. In T. T. Kidd, & H. Song, Handbook of Research on Instructional Systems and Technology (pp. 741-751). New York: Information Science Reference.Badre, A. N. (2002). Shaping Web Usability: Interaction Design in Context. Indianapolis: Pearson.
  • Sutherland, S. and Powell, A. (2007). CETIS SIG mailing list discussions 9 July 2007 in e-Portfolios: Anoverview of JISC activities[viewed 06 September 2007]
  • Policy of SKIP to allow students to develop own portfolio – partly on basis of findings of other Universities, including: IT challenges relating to the development of the e-portfolio templates student access to the software and student ownership[Two issues raised by Getting started with e-portfolios: University of Cumbria (UKCLE)*]Students may arrive with own systems, etc. “Tech savy” may be happy to build and keep own systems*
  • Show examples linked to from site.
  • Transcript

    • 1. Personal development planning: its role and implementation in the law curriculum
      Philip Roberts and Ian Gardner
      BPP Law School
    • 2. Running order
      PDP: background
      SKIP overview
      Design and theory
      Module content and e-portfolios
    • 3. PDP – Background
      • Dearing Report
      • 4. QAA definition
      “Personal Development Planning is a structured and supported process undertaken by an individual to reflect upon their own learning, performance and/or achievement and to plan for their personal, educational and career development.
      It is intended to help students:
      • become more effective, independent and confident self-directed learners;
      • 5. understand how they are learning and relate their learning to a wider context; 
      • 6. improve their general skills for study and career management;
      • 7. articulate personal goals and evaluate progress towards their achievement;
      • 8. and encourage a positive attitude to learning throughout life.”
    • PDP – Background
      • Typical PDP activities/outputs can be grouped:
      • 9. Recording experiences and achievements
      • 10. Thinking about skills
      • 11. Thinking about values/attitudes/motivations/reasons
      • 12. Goal-setting and planning
      • 13. Summarising (for presentation to a third party)
      • 14. Understanding oneself as a learner
      (Strivens and Ward (2009))
    • 15. PDP – Background
      2008 review of undergraduate law degree programmes:
      9% of QLD providers referred to PDP as part of law curriculum
      The undergraduate LLB at BPP Law School
      Student market & Student community
      (H. Huijser, L. Kimmins and P. Evans (2008))
    • 16. SKIP overview
      BPP level 4 (15 credit) module
      Skills in Practice - ‘SKIP’
      Initially linked to
      Career development
      Supported by Blackboard and Pebblepad
      Admissions model
      Diagnostic process – SKIP as recommended pathway
    • 17. SKIP overview
      Long/thin vs short/fat
      (Atlay et al (2009))
      Availability to all BPP students
      Significant “output”
      Portfolio plus Commentary
      (S. Bloxham et al (2007, 2009))
    • 18. SKIP overview: learning objectives
      Students should be able to:
      Understand and articulate their learning needs and preferences
      Act independently in planning their learning 
      Reflect on their learning
      Recognise, evaluate and articulate their transferable skills
      Early introduction to learning theories
      “Educated consumers” of theory?
    • 19. SKIP overview: expectations
      “Because the content and direction of the portfolio is largely determined by you, we expect the following of you:
      the ability to be organised and self-disciplined
      some creativity
      a willingness to be self-critical”
    • 20. SKIP overview: expectations
      “How difficult have you found studying undergraduate law so far (where 1=easy and 5=difficult)?”
      (13 students)
    • 21. SKIP overview: expectations
    • 22. SKIP - Timeline
      1 = Starting off
      2 = Development
      3 = Goals and planning
      4 = Report
      This timeline represents the duration of the SKIP module. You will begin (on the left)
      with some preparatory work (Starting Off), and then move on to the Development stage,
      during which you will assemble evidence and commentary for your portfolio. However,
      During this second stage – perhaps on a number of occasions - you may want to address
      your Goals and Plans. Finally, you will Report by completing your portfolio and writing
      your report on it.
    • 23. SKIP overview: “milestones”
      Module milestones:
      • Skills audit – pre-module
      • 24. Module redesign exercise
      • 25. Learning log
      • 26. Current affairs log
      • 27. CV draft
      • 28. Plans and goals analysis
      • 29. Skills audit – post-module
    • SKIP overview: milestones
      Current affairs log
      Redesign exercise
      Link to learning theories/preferences
      A complete module
      A topic area within a module
      A series of sessions dealing with the same topic
      A particular session – e.g. a seminar or lecture
      A case study
      A new session linking existing elements of different modules or topics
      An online guide or session
      Feedback benefits
    • 30. SKIP overview: linkages
      Curriculum design
      Embedded vs linked
      Learning theory
      Peer assisted learning
      Mentors, community building
      Career development
      Link to level 5 module
      Feedback/course design
      Learning technology....
    • 31. PDP: history and implementation
      SKIP overview
      Design and theory
      Module content and e-portfolios
    • 32. Redesign
    • 33. Analysis
      ‘Fresh eyes’
      Attempt to experience module as a student
      Consider what worked better than other areas
    • 34. Design
      Consideration of a number of theories:
      Cognitive Load
      7 +/-2
      Serialist and Holisits
      Web design and usability
    • 35. Development
    • 36. Implementation
    • 37. ePortfolios
      "An e-portfolio is a purposeful aggregation of digital items - ideas, evidence, reflections, feedback etc, which 'presents' a selected audience with evidence of a person's learning and/or ability."
      Sutherland and Powell (2007)
    • 38. ePortfolios
      More than just an ePortfolio
    • 39. Clarify expectations
    • 40. Q&A
      • 41.