What can you make a plan for? To develop your talent in mathematics. To improve your English, which you’re not good at. To prepare for your leaving examinations. To prepare for your entrance exams to university. To develop your presentation skills. To improve in ballet. To develop your YouTube skills.
Planning deals with the following points: the topic, goal, outcome, sources and strategies, learning artifacts, evaluation criteria, evaluation of results, time, and deadlines. You can first sketch the plan on a piece of paper, but then you’ll have to shift it into real life, realizing your plan through work while using suitable tools.
Each point is bound to certain processes of working with information and learning, and to tools or to our personal learning environment. Some are more static – for example, we usually use Google calendar for planning various goals. Others are more dynamic and typically tools that are needed for a specific purpose. These are the ones that need to be identified here. For example, if I want to improve my singing, I’ll add the Vanido app, which I don’t use normally. If I’m registering for an artistic competition, I’ll probably put my best work on Behance although I normally use Instagram.
What topic or problem do I want to deal with?
Example: I want to learn how to write in English.
It’s a big world and we can’t always be everywhere at once. It’s necessary to choose a smaller part of something that we can manage at the given moment. If you want to improve your English, think about how you can limit things for this step.
What is the goal?
Example: I want to be able to write blog posts in English for my blog.
It’s necessary to set a specific goal in your field that can be achieved. If we just stick with the goal of “improving writing in English”, it can mean all kinds of things.
What will the outcomes of my efforts be?
Example: I will create three blog posts in English on various topics for my blog.
A goal that is formulated similarly to “learn how to blog in English” is fine, but we can go on learning forever. For the period when we’ll be dealing with improving our writing in English, we’ll need to come up with some outcomes = What will happen? What will be created?
What resources or strategy will I use? Who can I cooperate with?
- I’ll write a text with the help of Google Translator or a dictionary.
- Then I’ll use the Grammarly application, which will check my text thanks to artificial intelligence and give me feedback. I’ll found out where I’m making mistakes most often.
- I’ll look up the relevant grammatical rules that I’m having trouble with on the website Help for English.
- I’ll post the text to my blog in Wordpress and ask a friend from abroad to comment on it.
- I’ll ask if any of my classmates/friends want to join in – we could help each other out. We could also talk with our English teacher.
In order for your learning to result in certain outcomes, you’ll probably need some aids, resources, tools, strategies and so on. Examples of working resources and strategies are: Translator, Grammarly, Help for English, a blog, writing, native speakers (= or one of your friends from abroad).
What artifacts will come from my efforts?
Examples: Tangible output will include three blog posts, screenshots of your mistakes from Grammarly, commentary from native speakers, and notes on self-reflection.
Output is not always as tangible as in the case of a blog post. If you wanted to train something like speaking and presentation, your output would be something like a presentation in front of your classmates and your artifact a PowerPoint, a photograph of you presenting, or a teacher’s commentary. With writing in English, this will be a blog post and also feedback. We can think about this as evidence. If we want to work somewhere, people aren’t going to be very interested in our marks from the course, but rather in the proof that we know how to do something or that we’ve completed something.
What will be the evaluation criteria?
Evaluation example: I want to improve in something, so the criteria is the difference between the first, second and third text.
My learning and its outcomes need to be evaluated. This doesn’t mean giving yourself either an A or an F, but thinking about where we started and how far we’ve come, and what we can work on into the future.
Who can give me feedback?
Example: I first evaluate the difference between texts with my own self-evaluation and then compare it with the feedback from a native speaker. Based upon this, I evaluate what I still need to refine.
Feedback is one of the most important things in the learning process. We first have to give ourselves feedback in the form of self-evaluation. Then we can think about who could help us move forward with their evaluation –this not only goes for people, but also technology.
What will the schedule be like?
- One blog post will be published every other Sunday + corrections in Grammarly.
- Mondays will always be for studying on Help for English and addressing a native speaker.
For us to begin and also end at some point, we need to work with time, which means following some basics of time management.
Motivation for the creation of plans can thus be summarized in the following points:
- I’m developing my autonomy.
- I can successfully achieve my goals.
- I can achieve the goals that I desire, not only the ones that someone else sets for me. This is useful to me both in school and life in general!