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In this approach learning is tailored to individual needs. As the name suggests, learners
work independently - they may be on their own working individually, or they may be working
in collaboration with others. Either way, they are relatively independent of the teacher. Each
student’s learning strategy is ‘personally approprite’ and is therefore likely to be different
from other students’ strategies.

Students work to a personal learning plan which is agreed with, and monitored by, the
teacher. The teacher provides very little input of content, rather pupils learn by using
appropriate resources - books, videos, people, places, CDRoms, Internet, audio tapes,
worksheets .... The resources and method will vary from pupil to pupil, depending on their
learning style and various abilities. The learning targets are usually fixed for everyone, it’s
the means of reaching them that differs.

The success of this method depends on the range and quality of resources. The teacher
may need to invest time in preparing materials to complement commercial resources. The
teacher also needs to be confident in operating as a tutor rather than performing the
traditional teaching role. In many ways this approach is similar to GNVQ.

See example below:

Personal Learning Plan


Name __________________________________ When this plan starts _______________
When this plan finishes _______________

This is what I am setting out to learn or These are the questions I will answer
1 _____________________________________________________________________________

2 _____________________________________________________________________________

3 _____________________________________________________________________________

4 _____________________________________________________________________________

5 _____________________________________________________________________________

I have to have this learning finished by _______________________________________________

This is how I will carry out my learning


With By Using
_________________________ __________________________ ________________________
_________________________ __________________________ ________________________

_________________________ __________________________ ________________________

_________________________ __________________________ ________________________

_________________________ __________________________ ________________________

This is how I will teach other people what This is how I will present my learning for
I have learned assessment
_________________________________ _________________________________

_________________________________ _________________________________

_________________________________ _________________________________

I will do this on ______________ (date) I will present it on ____________ (date)

Here are some ways to carry out your learning. Mix and match from the three columns.
With By Using
§ Yourself - work on your own § Reading § TV
§ A partner § Notemaking § Books
§ Others in a small group § Testing a hypothesis § Magazines
§ Following instructions § Internet
§ Collecting and analysing data § Photographs
§ Observing § Family
§ Peer teaching § Your teacher
§ Watching § Video tapes
§ Making § Journals
§ Debating § Telephone
§ Modelling § On-line course
§ Listening § Experience
§ Questioning § Your own imagination
§ Thinking § Visitors
§ Imitating § Newspapers
§ Visiting § CD Roms
§ Imagining § Audio tapes
§ Dancing § School library
§ Interviewing § Distance learning materials
§ Exploring § Radio
§ Meeting § Friends
§ Dramatising § Video conferencing
§ Trialling § Visits
§ Surveying § Public library
§ Reflecting § Other teachers
§ Evaluating § Neighbours
§ Discussing § Primary source documents
§ Corresponding § The mail
§ Other pupils’ work
§ Objects
§ Pictures
§ Computer
§ Experts
§ Models
§ Pamphlets
§ Study guides
§ Your environment
§ Worksheets
§ Museum

Here are some ways of presenting your learning. Make choices based on what best suits the
nature of what you've learned, your own learning style, and the assessment requirements.

Newspaper Lead a discussion or debate Diagrams


Illustrated booklet Posters or wallcharts Radio show
Project Essay Flow chart
Lecture Exhibition Key word plan
Seminar Puppetry Storyboard
Video recording Song Lead a visit or field trip
Audio recording Overhead projector presentation TV show
Mime Game Interview
Hot seat Contribute to discussion or a debate Poem
Still images Model Powerpoint presentation

Dance Teach a lesson


This is how
Date and time long it should
when this
step was This is the small step I need to take next take …
written and how long
it actually took