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The Personal Development Plan (PDP). A COMPASS FOR STUDENT SUCCESS Cathy Buyarski Assistant Dean, University College IUPUI Focus on Learning. Liberal Education and America’s Promise (LEAP) of Association of American Colleges and Universities (AACU)

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The personal development plan pdp

The Personal Development Plan (PDP)


Cathy Buyarski

Assistant Dean, University College


Focus on learning
Focus on Learning

Liberal Education and America’s Promise (LEAP) of Association of American Colleges and Universities (AACU)

  • The Essential Learning Outcomes

  • The Principles of Excellence

Principles of excellence
Principles of Excellence

Principle Two:

Give Students a Compass

Focus each student’s plan of study on achieving the Essential Learning Outcomes and assess progress

What is a personal development plan
What is a Personal Development Plan?

Personal development planning is a process which will enable students at IUPUI to understand, implement, and mark progress toward a degree and career goal by creating and following a personalized plan that is open to revision and reevaluation every semester in collaboration with an academic advisor or faculty member.

Why are we implementing the pdp
Why are we implementing the PDP?

The personal development plan is designed to foster:

1. Goal commitment (student commitment to earning a degree)

2. Academic achievement (through goal setting and planning)

3. Curricular coherence and meaning

4. Each of these goals is a way to foster student development

Five learning outcomes for the pdp
Five Learning Outcomes for the PDP

  • Self-Assessment: Students identify success-related competencies

  • Exploration: Students research and identify realistic and informed academic and career goals

  • Evaluation: Students analyze their academic progress in terms of progress toward academic and career goals

  • Goal Setting: Students connect personal values and life purpose to the motivation and inspiration behind their goals

  • Planning: Students locate programs, information, people, and opportunities to support and reality test their goals.

In the beginning
In the Beginning…

  • Fall 2008

    • Approximately 1250 in 52 sections completed a PDP

    • Assessment: focus groups, student survey, content analysis

  • Assessment

    • Faculty and advisors liked the PDP but worried that it would become “busy work” and the student wouldn’t use it moving into the future

    • Students liked the academic planner and getting to know themselves

    • Content was acceptable but students didn’t present evidence or reflection at the level we had hoped; career-related content was weak

Moving to 2009 2010
Moving to 2009-2010

  • Approximately 1800 students completed a PDP

  • Began conceptualizing the PDP as part of an electronic document that a student would carry with them and update as they move through their college experience

  • Committee

    • ePort

    • UITS/CTL

    • Faculty from a variety of schools and first-year seminars

    • Center for Service and Learning

Key discussion points
Key Discussion Points

  • How do we create a presentation that students will find engaging and that they will “own”?

  • What can we reasonably expect from first-year students? How can we meet student’s personal and cognitive development but build a framework that will be suitable as they learn and mature?

  • How can we build a framework that may allow other programs to utilize the tool?

Components of epdp
Components of “ePDP”

  • About Me

  • Educational Goals

  • Educational Plan

  • Career Goals

  • My Academic Showcase

  • My Co-Curricular Experiences

  • Resume

Supporting the use of the epdp
Supporting the use of the ePDP

Faculty Development

  • Summer 2010 conducted week long institute for faculty in pilot

    • Technology

    • Scaffolding of curriculum

    • Reflection

  • For Future Faculty Development

    • Faculty development required to use the ePDP the first time

    • Continuous development for “veteran” users

    • Web site with sample ePDPs, resources, video clips for users

  • Assessment of the epdp
    Assessment of the ePDP

    • Student course evaluation

      • General questions on course evaluation regardless of completing a paper PDP or ePDP

  • Initial results are showing that students who completed all sections of any PDP (paper or portfolio) had significantly greater outcomes on:

    • Ability to succeed academically

    • Adjustment to college life

    • Understanding the PULs

    • Developing personal goal

    • Feeling connected to IUPUI

    • Feeling able to meet the demands of college

  • Survey to students using the epdp
    Survey to Students Using the ePDP

    • Survey to students completing ePDP

      • 66% of student respondents indicated that “Understanding Self / Self Awareness” was a specific area of learning that they experienced in completing their ePDP. Within this learning area students also specified the Sub-Categories of: “Identifying Strengths & Weaknesses”, “Understanding Learning Styles / Personality, “Identifying Personal Knowledge, Skills, & Abilities (KSA)”, and “Values & Ethics”.

      • 40% of student participants indicated that the technological processes associated with completing an ePDP were “Easy to Use”.

      • 21% of student participants responded that “More Organization & Improved Process of Completing the ePDP” as a suggestion for improvement.

    Content analysis
    Content Analysis

    • Formative Assessment to Improve Prompts and Rubrics

      • Conducted workshops with reviewers to enhance inter-rater reliability

      • Distributed sections of the PDPs to at least three reviewers

      • Final meeting to discuss points of divergence with an eye toward fine tuning the prompts and rubrics

    Student reactions to the pdp
    Student reactions to the PDP…

    “I thought the PDP was a great idea. It helps you think about the processes you [use] to study and complete assignments. It helped me to revise my goals and come up with some new ones. The best part was the peak performance plan because it helped map out the future classes so that you know where you need to go and where you have been.”