Personal Learning Contract

Designed into these learning stories:

Narrative

Illustration by Future Lab

Teachers act as learning designers, that is, they negotiate a personal programme of study with each of his students based on the students’ initial understanding and preferred choices for working. However, the individual learning programmes are designed to fulfil the curriculum requirements.

Mr Nielsen is science tutor to a class of mixed ability students. He had previously loaded a set of chemistry activities, including self-study, practical’s, small group work, pair-work, lectures and seminars into an online database of resources and activities for this topic. Birgitte, along with the rest of her class, took a pre-test at the start of term. She then had a meeting with Mr Nielsen to work out what was required for her to complete that term’s chemistry curriculum requirements and relevant milestones to show these had been reached.

To create the personal learning plan the personal learning agent suggested a variety of tasks that Birgitte could use to complete her goals from the online database of learning resources. She discussed these with Mr Nielsen and together they agreed a programme of work. During this meeting Mr Nielsen acted as facilitator to ensure that Birgitte selected realistic goals and an appropriate method to achieve her learning goals.

Once Mr Nielsen had agreed all his students’ various learning plans he arranged a timetable so that students requiring certain practical’s had access to the laboratory and the equipment at a mutually convenient time. However, only a few people chose a lecture to learn about the carbon molecule so along with those students Mr Nielsen negotiated a seminar for those who had been interested in a lecture allowing the others to complete the work as a self-study module. Mr Nielsen is required to move between different roles as the students require: traditional presenter of content, facilitator, mentor and so forth.

Once she had her personal agreed programme of work Birgitte can access her e-portfolio used to record tasks and progress at any time. As she works through the various activities she meets Mr Nielsen regularly to check on progress, which will be formally examined at the end of term.

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