What people say about PDP
So what's the benefit?
Some staff emphasised the process of reflection-recording-reviewing-reformulating and planning as an important element within personal development and as integral to the process of learning, concerned with:
“getting away from a one dimensional view of their achievements, and come to see themselves in terms of their own progress, objectives, knowledge, helping them become more discerning in how they see information, promoting a deeper approach to learning, more curious, querying”;
and as a useful means of :
“getting students to engage in learning in a more holistic way, to see teaching as an activity which makes learning possible, and enabling students to weave together a tapestry so as to turn their aspirations into reality.”
Students identified something similar, though more concretely expressed:
“creates a complete record, while you remember it. This is important in a modular structure, where you do something then move on. The risk here is that you lose the sense of continuation, it is quite hard, trying to link it all together”.
The spin off in is in long term planning:
bq. “it could be a bit daunting’ doing a CV, so a general basis from which you could select would really help people”.
“We have never been told what an employer will be looking for in their jargon, we know we are competent, but we don’t really know how to tell an employer that we are”
Students need to be aware that PDP highlights skills beyond the ones that are obvious on their course. This is important given the lack of a clear view of what employers want from this process and their stated concern with
“knowledge of publishing and procedures, when actually what matters are mature approaches to problem solving, strategic thinking, creative thinking, nothing to do with the content”.
Students see the relevance of PDP as part of the changing career structures within the world of, for example, publishing which will require employees to take greater responsibility for their own career development:
‘the increasing need to manage your own life career in industrial contexts”
“you have to get into the lifelong learning habit, for which this kind of self-analysis is needed”.
This was not necessarily seen as an immediate motivator-lifelong learning was something for the future, though students acknowledged the sense of individual development that could be captured within the process:
“we’ve changed so much… like being a different person.”