A response to the criticism of PDP
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I know that PeeDeePee probably sounds like some 'stupid government idea' but I have to agree with John dale on this (I'd guess you'd expect me to – as I am the PDP Co-ordinator!) PDP (Personal Development Planning), is a reflective process that is already embedded within every course. Every time you sit and think about solving a problem, planning a project, writing an essay or carrying out research, you are engaged in a reflective thought process, but not all of us are systematic about it.
Our values and beliefs, our experiences and our reading influence what we do – even how we approach challenges – but this process can be a bit random. The problem comes when we try to apply a haphazard way of thinking and planning to getting a job, or finishing our degree courses.
It a good idea if you keep a 'journal' (blog?) of all the skills and ideas you are developing. By ‘thinking through’ the implications of your records, you will find it easier to set goals and focus on what you need (such as certain technical or work-related skills) and what you want to achieve. This could help prepare you for interviews, work placements, and CV preparation – so it could lead to a good job. In a competitive marketplace, we need to make sure that we get ahead.
In addition, it gives you a better understanding of how to approach your studies – especially as ideas and skills develop over your degree course – and this could help you decide on the kind of future you want. If you keep a PDP record and occasionally revisit it, you will be more able to express your aspirations and evaluate how they’re going.
PDP makes you more effective at interviews by helping you appreciate your own values, goals and methods – which influence the way you approach problem solving, or management or the conclusions you reach. A reflective record helps you to organise what you are going to say at interview. Research indicates that those employees who match or exceed expectations, and know what they want, in every job are accelerated in promotion.
So, my advice is: start reflecting, reviewing and planning.
Maybe these questions will help?
What advice would you give first year students as they prepare for the module/course you're on now?
Can you think of one thing that is wrong with your module – and what solution would you propose if you were running it?
Can you think of three ways to improve your essay/report score?
Can you think of three immediate goals for this term?
What is the most useful thing you discovered this month and how will that help your studies/research?