Helping students link their academic study with reflective self-awareness through engagement with Personal Development Portfolios
Timotijevic, Jelena and Moriarty, J (2008) Helping students link their academic study with reflective self-awareness through engagement with Personal Development Portfolios In: Exploring the Hinterlands: Mapping an Agenda for Institutional Research in the UK, 25 – 26 June 2008, Southampton, UK.
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Following recommendations from the Dearing Committee in May 2000, Universities UK issued a joint policy statement on Progress Files in HE. As a result, their implementation was to take place over five years from 2005. The government has since relaxed the implementation deadline because of the QAA’s recognition that the HEIs are at different stages of development in relation to Personal Development Planning (PDP). It was therefore recommended that the implementation should be phased which would enable HE institutions to introduce the initiative in a more structured manner, as applicable to individual Schools and Departments. In generic terms, the PDP should incorporate two elements: the institutional record of students’ achievement and students’ individual record of achievements, progress reviews, and so on. At the School of Language, Literature and Communication at the University of Brighton the PDPs have become a part of the undergraduate degree programme for 2007/08.The aim of this initiative has been to link students’ academic study with reflective self-awareness, but equally to build a culture of inclusion and a sense of identity amongst, in particular, first year students. In addition, the initiative has been set up to enable students to make links between their degree and future career prospects. Through students’ and staff feedback this paper will analyse and evaluate a range of issues that have arisen from the pilot year, as well as recommend alternatives based on the lessons that have been learned whilst implementing the PDP. The paper will also reflect on how this pilot has influenced and developed other initiatives within the School, particularly in relation to the issues of student support and retention.
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