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Personal Learning Plans: Planning Learning in Groups

Learners formulate their Personal Learning Plans in one-to-ones with their Training Adviser. Occasionally, there may not be enough Training Advisers to provide one-to-one support for all the adults who need it and, therefore, under exceptional circumstances it may be appropriate to carry out the formulation of the training plans in a group. It's better that PLPs should be done in a group rather than not at all or after a lengthy delay. This factsheet aims to help those guiding groups of adults to produce Personal Learning Plans.

Possible drawbacks

One of the main drawbacks to doing PLPs in groups is that learning needs which are specific to a certain individual may not to be picked up or even be ignored. Some people may be reluctant to admit difficulties in a group setting which they would readily share with their Training Adviser in a one-to-one.

Even if the group of learners all share the same or similar roles within Scouting, it is likely that they will not have identical training needs. This could be due to slight differences in role, who they interact with when carrying out their role, previous experience, learning already completed or different preferred styles of learning.

Possible benefits

If learners have the same or similar training needs, they may be able to help each other in identifying those needs. Discussion can aid them in identifying areas of learning and possible methods that are appropriate to their roles. Working with a peer group can be a very valuable aid to the learning process. The relationship built up by a group of people may also help them in following through on their learning plans by providing motivation and support in a group setting.

Working in a group

  • Groups should consist of no more than 8 learners.
  •  Always start the discussion of a new module with a different person in the group.
  •  Always ask learners to explain why they have or have not selected a particular module.
  •  Use questions to test knowledge and avoid un-thought through ‘box ticking’.
  • Ensure no one individual dominates, or is suppressed by, the rest of the group

Points to remember 

It's always the first-best option for learners to write Personal Learning Plans in one-to-ones with their Training Adviser.

  •  Particular attention must be paid to ensuring that individual learning needs are identified and then met.
  •  It must be ensured that ongoing-learning needs are identified and met. To do this, ongoing-support must be provided, with regular meetings of groups after the completion of PLPs. Also, learners must
    be able to contact their Training Adviser when necessary.
  • Validation of learning, however it was decided upon, must still occur on a oneto-one basis.