Personal development planning
From 2005/6, the Cardiff Centre for Lifelong Learning is offering all students the opportunity to participate in a process of Personal Development Planning.
What is Personal Development Planning (PDP)?
PDP is a process which aims to improve your ability to understand what and how you are learning and will help you to get the most out of your student experience by helping you to take responsibility for your own learning and raising your awareness of the variety of opportunities for development.
Why is it Relevant?
There may be many different reasons for studying at the centre: to update your skills, for professional development, in preparation for undertaking undergraduate study or just for the fun of it. Attending a course in the Centre for Lifelong Learning may be part of your own personal development strategy or if you are employed it might be part of your Continuing Professional Development Strategy. You might also be attending your course as a first step back into learning and an initial trial to find out whether HE level study is for you.
Whatever your motivation for following a course, the Personal Development Planning Process aims to help you make the most of your time at the university and ensure that you access all of the opportunities on offer.
How is the PDP Process Structured?
The Centre’s PDP process is based upon an ongoing cycle of self-evaluation and reflection and development.
- The PDP process will begin informally when you first contact the centre regarding enrolment. You may wish to discuss what course you wish to follow and why you want to follow it, or you may have already completed this process of your own accord. Either way, you will have been prompted to think about issues such as what level of study should I follow or do I want to be formally assessed?
- Preparing for HE level study – reflecting on why you chose your course and questioning what you hope to gain from it.
- Reflecting on progress – reflecting on your overall progress in modules and planning for future study or career development.
What support will you receive?
The Centre for Lifelong Learning has a framework in place for PDP and will support you throughout the process. This framework is entirely optional and is not formally assessed. A PDP pack is available on request from the Centre’s Reception which contains guidance on the scheme and includes forms to help you record the outcomes of discussions and thought processes you will undertake throughout the process.
While the responsibility for participating in the PDP process rests with individuals, the Centre is committed to supporting you in this activity.
If you wish you can discuss your development with your personal tutor, peers or members of the university support team i.e. student support, careers service. Your tutor may refer you to a member of staff at the Centre for a PDP interview/guidance session if further discussion is required.
Before you arrive – Preparing for HE level study
During your initial conversations with staff at the Centre will have engaged in an informal discussion regarding what you want to study, the level you wish to study at and what you aim to achieve from your time at Cardiff University. Form 1 can be used to record the outcomes of these discussions or the thought process you have undertaken when deciding to follow your chosen course.
While you are here – Reflecting on Progress
It’s often easy to regard what you are learning within your course as just subject specific knowledge. However, individual modules have been designed to help you develop or improve certain skills and it is just as important to consider the non-subject specific skills you are developing.
All modules will help you to develop transferable skills which are applicable in the world of work or life in general. As well as subject specific knowledge you will also develop in areas such as:
- Initiating and directing your own learning,
- Communicating ideas and arguments effectively in oral and written form,
- Assembling information/data and drawing appropriate conclusions from it.
- You will also develop personally and have the opportunity to:
- Gain confidence in your own ability,
- Network with a wide range of individuals,
- Improve your IT skills.
Form 2 will help you to engage in a reflective process and record your progress for each module you follow at the Centre. If you use this form to evidence your development during individual modules you will have a valuable log of progress to refer to in the future.
Next Steps – Pathways for progression
During your initial conversations with staff at the Centre, you may have engaged in an informal discussion regarding what you want to study, the level you want to study at and what you aim to achieve from your time at Cardiff University. Reflecting on progress throughout your course will have helped you to identify what was going well, what wasn’t going so well and will have hopefully have pointed you in the direction of sources of help and advice.
Form 3 can be used to help you consider and evaluate your future plans.