Useful or just another fad? Staff perceptions of Personal Development Planning

Jo Powell

Abstract


The Quality Assurance Agency (QAA, 2001) suggests that all Higher Education Institutions must offer every student the opportunity to consider their own personal development and promoted Personal Development Planning (PDP) as an important part of supporting and engaging students in their own development whilst within higher education and beyond. The term Personal Development Planning means many things to many people and institutions often appear to adopt their own definition of it. This can be complicated further when faculties or departments within an institution each create their own meaning. Research indicates that staff perceptions of the material they are teaching has a direct link with students’ opinions of these activities, so in order to promote and resource PDP effectively it is essential to consider what staff actually think of PDP.
This paper considers the difference between the perceived usefulness of PDP and its elements (reflection, self awareness, action planning and employability), and what it is that impacts upon that view of PDP. The data collected offers the opportunity for both qualitative and quantitative analysis, using free text and ranks of usefulness through an online questionnaire across different faculties within Birmingham City University. The research suggests that both PDP as a process and its elements are perceived as useful by academic staff and it also indicates that the elements are seen as significantly more useful in isolation. It further suggests the rationale for the ranking of PDP as a process was directly linked to perception rather than experience.

Keywords


Personal Development Planning; PDP; staff perceptions

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ISSN: 1759-667X