The development of a personal development plan provides you with a framework that will help you identify your strengths and weaknesses, developing strategies for improving, optimising and/or capitalising on your existing skills and capabilities.
This assessment also provides you with the opportunity to implement some of the academic skills discussed within the module, as well as, challenging you to engage in self-reflection. This is not optional, you must pass this element of assessment in order to pass this particular module.
PDP Example Structure:
2.Table of Contents
•TOC must list in sequence, in justified text, and with page numbers, all relevant sections of the Personal Development Plan, including:
•the titles of chapters, sections and subsections, as appropriate;
•the list of references;
•the bibliography (if any);
•the index (if any); and any other functional parts of the whole submission.
•Title and short paragraph defining the purpose of a PDP. You will use appropriate sources to underpin your analysis.
•A brief discussion of your aim(s) for the future, noting the scope of your PDP and your current career plan. If you are not sure of your career plan then outline the approach you are adopting (e.g. a generalised PDP based upon a marketing/hr/management/tourism-based career trajectory)
•You will, using appropriate sources, identify the necessary skills in your chosen career field. In doing so you will consider the various skills discussed in-class, and the different skill typologies. For example:
•‘General’ vs ‘Industry-Specific’ skills
•‘Hard’ vs ‘Soft’ skills
•You will then critically analyse your current abilities, in relation to the skills identified in the previous paragraph. Here, you must underpin your analysis with reflection(s) on your previous experiences of using (or not) the skill being discussed.
•You will then conclude this section by providing a summarisation of your strengths and weaknesses, based upon the previous critical analysis of your current abilities in relation to the skills identified as being necessary for your chosen career field. [Note] It may be worth considering using some of the evidence uploaded to your e-portfolio to underpin your reflection – e.g. evidence of achievement, feedback from peers, supervisor or peers)
•[Optional] You may consider providing a visual representation of your analysis. For example, by providing a scorecard/bar chart outlining the difference between your desired level of attainment, vs. your current abilities in the identified skills. [Note] Consider the discussion of learning styles within the lecture. The ability to present data in varying ways is essential]
•[Note] The reading list has several additional sources of information that you can incorporate into your PDP skills analysis. For higher marks, we expect you to identify your own sources using the techniques and databases discussed in-class (e.g. both the lecture, and the seminar with the subject librarian)
5.Goals and Objectives
•Here, you will set several new and clearly definable goals and objectives for yourself. It is essential that you make clear the link between these goals and objectives with the previously discussed ‘strengths’, ‘weaknesses’.
•You must ensure that each of these goals and objectives are SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Timely). To ensure this, you must outline how each individual goal and objectives is specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and timely.
•You will consider short, medium and long-term goals. Make sure you clearly highlight exact time frames. What is the difference between a short, medium, and long-term goal. [Note: You may need to re-evaluate your categorisation after you have drafted your recommendations for each goal].
•[Note] For higher marks, you may consider displaying evidence of further reading by utilising extensions/alternatives to the SMART framework for goal setting.
•[Note] Consider the use of a table(s) to improve the presentation of this section. Potentially this will help you show;
•the link between the goals and objectives set and and your strengths and weaknesses
•Whether they are short, medium, or long-term goals.
•How they fulfil the SMART criteria.
•NOTE; this will also help with your word count
•Here, you must outline the developmental steps you will undertake in order for you to achieve the SMART goals and objectives set in the previous section.
•[NOTE] This section is crucial, given that it is worth up to 25% of your final mark!
•In doing so, you must consider:
•all the support and resources you will need to achieve your goals and objectives (see mapping of available resources exercise),
•how you will measure success?
•target date(s) for reviewing your progress.
•[Essential] You must make very clear the link between your recommendations and how completion will help you develop the skills necessary for your chosen career path (e.g. weaknesses outlined within the ‘skills analysis’).
In the previous section you may have outlined a set of goal(s) and objectives related to improving your data analysis skills. These goals and objectives should have been based upon the identified strengths and weaknesses (see skills analysis) and your perceptions of opportunities and threats (see goals and objectives).
In this section, you might outline specific online courses that will help you to use analytics software, or courses related to managing ‘big data’. You might also consider how you will engage with these courses, discuss how they will improve your current skills and capabilities, and reflect upon how you will measure any improvement.