The Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) defines PDP as:
“…a structured and supported process undertaken by a learner to reflect upon their own learning, performance and/or achievement and to plan for their personal, educational and career development”. (QAA (2009). Personal development planning: guidance for institutional policy and practice in higher education)
During their time at The Islamic College, all students will be provided with plenty of opportunities to reflect on their progress and to think about what they want to improve and develop.
So PDP is a reflective process, encouraging the student to think about the skills he/she has gathered during the studies and how these can be applied in one’s future careers. It also permits the student to think about what skills might further be needed to be successful and how these can be acquired.
At The Islamic College, the expectation on the acquisition of certain skills is codified and embedded in the module narrative of each course, providing clear directives on the kind of skills one is expected to have acquired at the end of a course. This feeds directly into the PDP of each student which is monitored by the module and programme leaders, responsible to flag out any sign of discrepancy in the learning process. Some modules also provide in their assessment criteria, the opportunity for students to reflect on their personal development with special targeted assignment and coursework such as diaries and journal.
In addition to the above methods, all students are invited to keep a constant check on their personal development through a guided two-part process of self-appraisal and action planning. Students will be provided with a ready-made chart designed to help them to keep a record of their progress in relation to a set of short and long terms goals. Students engagement with this system should be supplemented by discussions with their personal tutors at least twice a year when an up-to-date version of their PDP records are evaluated and discussed in private.
The Islamic College is committed to providing all student with more opportunities to improve and enrich their personal development through direct consultation with them in order to design plans that can also extend outside the academic context.