Going for gold > Initial and current assessment > Individual learning plans

Individual learning plans

learners with wheel of change

Effective learning plans are learner-centred and destination-led so that they support learners in achieving their learning goals. Involving learners in creating and monitoring their individual learning plan (ILP) will encourage them to be independent and self-confident, and to become expert learners.

Teachers should work with learners to create and use learning plans that:

  • are ‘owned’ by the learner;
  • are informed by initial assessment;
  • meet the learner’s identified learning goals;
  • include SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, time-based) targets that are set and understood by the learner;
  • are reviewed and updated throughout the learner’s journey; and
  • are consistently used to drive achievement, support learner progression and improve success rates.

The Tree of learning resource is based on a simple device to help learners identify their personal learning goals, and reflect on their progress towards them, in a meaningful way.

Resources for Individual learning plans

Tree of learning

The Tree of learning is a simple device to help learners identify their personal learning goals and reflect on their progress towards these in a meaningful way. You can use the poster of the Tree of learning as a paper-based or electronic resource.

In the four video clips you will see teachers and learners using the Tree of learning and talking about their experiences. See how teachers have used it to find out about their learners and make their teaching and tutoring more relevant, or to help learners think about how to apply their learning. Listen to learners talking about how the Tree of learning has helped focus and motivate them.

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Challenging questions video

During reviews teachers sometimes have to draw learners’ attention to problems or sensitive issues. They may be behind with their work, working below the standard they can achieve or not quite fitting in at their placement. In this video you will see teachers, trainers and managers role play a progress review in which the reviewer needs to challenge the learner about failing to complete assignments. Note how the teacher deals with the situation by:

  • identifying the issue clearly and unambiguously;
  • drawing the learner’s attention to the consequences of not completing her assignments; and
  • getting her to confront the issue.

Explore the rest of this resource to find guidance on developing the practical skills needed to conduct an effective review. Use the online self-assessment to evaluate your skills and decide areas where you want to improve your practice. You will find activities on a range of questioning techniques, active listening, giving feedback and target setting.

Challenging questions video - launch in original context

Getting better at target setting

This continuing professional development (CPD) resource is designed to support teachers in improving their skills in target setting. The card sort activity can help you understand:

  • how to construct effective Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time-related (SMART) targets;
  • how target setting relates to the wider scheme of things rather than being seen as an isolated process; and
  • how effective targets are a natural source of evidence of achievements.

The activity Making targets SMART provides further practice at formulating effective targets. Both activities can be adapted for use with learners. Click on the Resource library to take you to the following downloadable resources relating to SMART targets.

  • Card set
  • Getting better at target setting: CPD activity instructions
  • Making targets SMART
  • SMART version of targets
  • Setting SMART targets.
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South Birmingham College: Individual learning plans in Moodle

South Birmingham College has developed a new online individual learning plan (ILP) which mirrors their recently revised paper-based ILP. The new ILP:

  • allows teachers to track the whole induction process;
  • features collaborative, interactive target-setting activities, which can be edited by both staff and learners;
  • provides reports and print outs of different views;
  • allows the teacher to see the ILPs for all learners on the course they teach and view all courses that they teach; and
  • links course codes to the ILP database.

Find out how the college developed their online ILP and integrated it into the college's virtual learning environment, Moodle.

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South Birmingham College: Individual learning plans in Moodle - launch in original context