Scanning the characteristics of your learning context

Scanning the characteristics of your learning context

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While professional learning requires personal reflection and meaning-making, it takes place within a context which impacts on individual motivation, purpose, accountabilities, interactions and learning possibilities. By scanning the characteristics of your learning context, you are able to make considered decisions about your purpose, needs and the usefulness of different learning approaches. The aim is to identify a professional learning need within your context, develop a for a project to be implemented, and that will make a difference for you and others within the workplace. Working collaboratively with others has the potential to deepen and extend your learning and contribute to broader learning and improved practice for all.
Assignment 2: Reporting the implementation of the professional learning project
The implementation of the proposed project will require the monitoring of timelines and chosen approaches, inclusive of unexpected factors of influence. You will then be required to report this implementation together with your analysis and interpretation of your professional learning experience as encountered via this project.
Note: there is a direct link from Assignment 1 to Assignment 2, thus feedback from Assignment 1 is intended as a guide for refinement of Assignment 2.

Assignment 1: Situation analysis
Length: 2000 words (note: the attached proposal template is not included in the word count)
Assignment 1 requires you to examine a selected professional learning context to:
• identify contextual factors impacting your professional learning
• identify critical learning needs within this workplace
• compare different ways these needs might be addressed, and
• develop a Professional Learning Project Proposal (see proforma).

Key questions for reflection
As you reflect on your specific situation, the following questions are designed to help you to think about various aspects of professional learning in your workplace.
1. What are the key elements/characteristics of the selected professional learning context?
o Consider how these elements impact on you current and future professional learning needs, and on the approaches which you might use to respond to these needs.
o Relate your own learning needs to the priorities of your workplace and consider the scope for impact of your learning to the broader work setting.
2. What are the main approaches to professional learning currently used in this context?
o Critique the strengths and weaknesses in the current approaches and practices.
3. What other approaches and practices are available?
o Analyse their suitability and applicability for your current context and your personal learning needs.
Which approach is most relevant for your context and needs and how might you adapt this approach to support your professional learning?
In completing this assignment provide concrete examples of aspects of your current learning context and use the literature to support your analysis of a preferred professional learning approach.
Drawing on your analysis and synthesis of your professional learning context, personal needs and a preferred new learning approach, develop and attach your Professional Learning Project (see template in two parts: Part A and Part B). A report on the implementation of this Project will be the basis for Assignment 2.
Professional learning project
Submit a completed proforma as an attachment to assignment 1. (An e-version of this pro-forma will be available on the Study Desk)
Part A – Project outline: analysis of context, needs and possible approaches
Name : _______________________________________________
Key questions Activity
What is the professional learning need to be addressed in the workplace of your choice? Description and analysis of topic:

What are the major contextual features which will impact your learning? Analysis of context:

What are the key elements of current professional learning practice in your chosen workplace? History:

Who has been involved in, and directly influenced, this practice? Personnel:

Which aspects of current practice are enabling and which are problematic in terms of your continuing professional learning? Analysis of practice:

What are the desired outcomes of changed practice?
What strategy would best assist your learning, and contribute to the broader professional learning of others? Initial theorizing:

Part B – Project planning sheet
Name: _______________________________________________
Key questions Planning framework
1. What aspect of professional learning practice is to be investigated?

Frame this as a question. Title:

2. Why is this topic worthy of investigation?

What outcomes do you desire?
What impact will this inquiry have? Rationale:

3. What are the key elements of the inquiry topic? Description:

4. How do you intend to investigate the topic?

Include description of your information gathering tools (e.g. interviews, focus groups) and processes (e.g. participant observation)

5. When will the major stages of the project be conducted? Timeline:

6. Who is involved?

List or describe Participants:

7. What factors may impact the implementation of this investigation? Other considerations:

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