A learning plan is a written outline of the resources, approach, activities and objectives that must be brought together to allow an individual or group to learn a specific skill or body of knowledge. It should not be confused with a teaching plan, which concentrates on how a teacher can guide and assist students. By contrast, a learning plan concentrates on what the learner will do, typically without any assistance from a teacher or tutor. The term learning plan is frequently used in the context of online training, supplied direct to the learner without the mediation of a teacher or tutor.
State the learning objectives you wish to see achieved by someone following the plan. Use the construction “The learner can…” For example: “The learner can create and edit documents using a range of desktop publishing software.”
Describe the approach to be used. For example: “Remote study by completion of online tasks” or “Completion of printed worksheet.”
List the activities the learner will undertake. For example: “Planning, laying out, drafting and editing a magazine article using a specified software package, either Adobe InDesign or Quark Express. Article to be 500 words maximum with as many as three colour photographs.”
Research and compile a list of resources needed to implement the plan. These might include hyperlinks to online training materials—such as videocasts or interactive animations—
software manuals, downloads of specific software or a portfolio of projects successfully completed by other learners.
Present the plan as a written document under the headings: “Learning Objectives”, “Approach”, “Activities”, “Resources”.
Add a final heading: “Feedback”. This is a space on the plan for the learner to add any comments after completing the training.
- Some commercial online providers of learning plans provide access to accredited professional certification tests and examinations. These can be a convenient and speedy way to improve your skills and career prospects, avoiding the need for lengthy and expensive taught courses at college.
- Learning plans are associated with online study but not limited to the Web. You could equally assemble a learning plan using resources such as books, evening classes and other study aids.
British writer Martin Malcolm specializes in children's nonfiction. His books include "A Giant in Ancient Egypt" and "Poetry By Numbers." His schoolkids' campaign for the Red Cross won the 2008 Charity Award. A qualified teacher, he has written for the BBC and MTV. He holds a Master of Arts in English from the University of London.