Prepared by Marilyn Higgins, School of Planning and Housing, Edinburgh College of Art/Heriot-Watt University, 24 June 2002
This paper has four aims:
a. To explain briefly the context and purpose of personal development plans in higher education
b. To review general progress of the implementation of personal development plans in built environment education
c. To report the findings of a small evaluative survey of current practice in the sector
d. To summarise key points regarding the successful implementation of personal development plans, pointing the way for future action.
The Learning and Teaching Support Network (LTSN) Generic Centre is currently building on previous work about Personal Development Planning by asking each individual Subject Centre (in this case, the Centre for Education in the Built Environment (CEBE)) to carry out a survey of the general state of progress within each subject community. Although there has been a considerable amount of work carried out at the national level regarding personal development plans, it is hoped that involving subject communities will reach out to more people to promote good practice and encourage further development of this learning tool.
Resource constraints have limited the scope of the survey discussed in this paper; no doubt there is other activity in the sector that the author has not been able to find. The survey is not statistically significant. However, it has been successful in highlighting persistent issues from those in the field that illuminate key points for future discussion and action.
The Learning and Teaching Support Network defines Personal development planning (PDP) as
‘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’ (Jackson, 2001a, p.1).
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