How to create a Personal Learning Plan

Your PLP or “Personal Learning Plan” is very important because it defines what you will actually do in the course: how much you will read, how often you will post to forums, and whether you will do a presentation, a devotional, an artistic project, a research paper, or something else. It also helps your mentor to advise you.

Please think carefully about the goals you set for yourself. The course asks you to read and to post to the forums every unit, and we hope you do so. But if you think you cannot do that, set different goals that you feel you can realistically achieve. Remember, this course is for your own personal development, not for credit. Set learning goals geared to your own “capacity building.” For example, if you are taking the course to acquire background for writing an article or a book, obtaining the background you need for your projected work is a legitimate learning objective. You will have plenty of chances to reconsider and revise your PLP as you move through the units in the course.

What are the learning objectives for your course? Go to the course’s “classroom” or main page and look for them in the top section near the list of faculty. They will usually list things you should be able to explain or do. The last objective will say “To demonstrate this ability through postings in the course, devotionals, special artistic or research projects, or presentations to your friends” or something very similar. The course objectives are not abstract, asking you to “learn” or “understand”; they ask you to explain, demonstrate, or “do” something with the course.

If you are a Bahá’í, we hope you will be able to use course materials in firesides, deepenings, devotionals, study circles, children’s classes, junior youth animator sessions, public presentations on Bahá’í topics, etc.; in other words, use the course materials to reinforce the core activities and other important efforts of your local Bahá’í community. If you are not a Bahá’í, think of groups of people you can share your learning with (including any Bahá’ís near you). This is very important because you learn by doing.

You will have a chance to reflect on the goals you set in your PLP at the end of the course when you complete your “Learning Self Assessment.” These two activities are like book ends that shape how you read and study in the course. The “Integration and Application of Your Learning” unit at the end of your course lists a series of projects you could have accomplished during the course to apply your learning: a devotional program, a presentation, an artistic project, and a research project or paper. Take a look at that unit on the “classroom page” as well. Your “Learning Self Assessment” is your chance to review what you did, what challenges you faced, how you met them, and what you feel you accomplished.

Once you have reflected on the course’s learning objectives and the various projects you could consider to express your learning in action, you are ready to draft your PLP. We hope you will post your PLP in the “PLP Forum,” but if you prefer, you can email it to your mentor instead.

If you want a step by step example how to create a PLP in the PLP Forum, here are some instructions we created several years ago when we were using a slightly different version of the Moodle course management system. Our current version looks a bit different, but these instructions should be helpful anyway.

How to Create a Personal Learning Plan (PDF of Powerpoint)

Here is the text version as well.

•    Open “Learning Center Home Page.”

•    Look for title of your course in list of courses for this year.

NOTE: Courses for the current year are at the top of the list of courses, in alphabetical order and followed by the start date.

•    Click your course.

•    On “Classroom Page,” scroll down to

•    Click “Students: Click Here to Create a Personal Learning Plan (PLP).”
•    Read explanation and sample PLPs.

•    Click “Add a new discussion topic.”

•    Scroll to “Your new discussion topic.”

•   In “Subject” line, enter “[Your name]‘s Personal Learning Plan.”

•   Type your PLP in “Message” box.

•    Scroll to “Post to forum.”

•    Click to send.

If you have problems or questions, please email me at rstockman@usbnc.org.