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How to Design Your Basic Learning Plan

Copyright Carter McNamara, Authenticity Consulting, LLC

Sections of this Topics Include

What is a Learning Plan?
Designing Your Own Basic Learning Plan
Additional Resources About Personal Learning and Development

What is a Learning Plan?

A learning plan is a description of how you intend to achieve your desired outcomes in learning. The plan can be very helpful in showing clarity and progress in your learning. It also can ensure that your activities learning activities will be very efficient and orderly.

Beforehand developing a plan, it helps to be specific about what learning actually means. Educators interpret learning to be new:

  1. Knowledge is information that will be useful somehow, for example, in solving a problem, achieving a goal or otherwise accomplishing something important in life.
  2. Skills are developed by applying the new knowledge over time.
  3. Abilities are intuitive capacities developed by applying the skills over time.

The design of learning plans ranges from very spontaneous and unfolding to very planful and orderly. However, for the sake of clarity when describing the typical contents of a learning plan, it might be helpful to reference one example of a format of a learning plan. Let's use this example. In the example, the:

  1. Goals / Outcomes are the overall kinds of learning to be accomplished from having implemented the plan.
  2. Methods of Learning are the activities that will have accomplished the associated goals / outcomes, that is, the goals / outcomes that are on the same row of the methods of learning in the above example.
  3. Indicators of Learning are the tangible results that will provide the evidence of having accomplished the associated goals / outcomes.
  4. How to Monitor Ongoing Progress are the activities to ensure the ongoing monitoring, or status, of having done the methods and producing the indicators of learning.
  5. How to Capture Learning is the method to document the new knowledge, skills and abilities while having implemented the methods and achieved the associated goals / outcomes.

Designing Your Own Basic Learning Plan

There is no one perfect, standard format for a learning plan. Your plan should suit your own nature and needs. It need not be perfect. You can adjust it as you implement it. Here are a variety of different types of plans to help you understand some different formats.

You might start drafting your own learning plan by using this template to form a basic plan like the one in the above section "What is a Learning Plan?".

However, if you want to see other examples, the following articles will be helpful.
Sample Learning Plan (organized, concise plan in one table)
Sample Learning Plan (a narrative format)
Sample Learning Plan (extensive and detailed)
Numerous sample plans

Additional Resources About Personal Learning and Development

If you'd like more "advanced" information about developing an even more comprehensive plan, here are additional guidelines and resources.
How to Design Your Personal and Professional Development Program

If you'd like to learn more about learning and development, here is a vast range of free articles.

Adult Learning
Continuous Learning
Creative Thinking
Critical Thinking
Learning in Courses
Defining Learning
Group Learning
How to Study
Key Terms in Learning
Improving Your Learning
Improving Your Thinking
Learning Styles
Online Learning
Reading Skills
Systems Thinking
Taking Tests
Types of Learning
Using Study Guides
Writing Skills

Also consider
Personal Wellness

For the Category of Personal Development:

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