Professional Development Plan: Section B The Personal development plan is a structured process undertaken by an individual to reflect upon their own learning, performance and or achievement and to plan their own personal, educational and career development. It helps an individual keep track of what they have learned, how they learnt it and what might they do with that learning later on. (QAA, 2012) My PDP will be based on analyzing my personal goals, my learning style and how to achieve future improvement.
My objective is to initiate my own personal and academic development. I will learn about myself and depict which learning style is suitable for my future progress. Throughout my first year in university I will set myself goals to find out what type of learning I could attain knowledge from by trial and error. By doing this I am preparing myself for my second year of studies and also whichever career path I choose afterwards. The main aim for this PDP will be to develop a whole range of skills and intellectual activities that can be transferred to other areas of life.
Throughout this account, I will highlight my strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and also the threats to my success in the future. During my first year I have performed well in all of my assignments attaining 60 percent or higher in all subjects. Although I leave things towards the end, I still manage to get things done with passing quality. I have never missed an assignment deadline. I have also done very well in the 2 examinations I have taken during term 1 and 2. In both key skills and Human anatomy and Physiology modules I have achieved higher than 70 percent.
We also had to present a presentation within random groups and I think that I performed fairly well in. I have been consistent with my attendance for lectures, practicals and tutorials. One of my strengths is that I am very organized, from color-coding my notes to prioritize what is important and what I don’t understand to keeping different notebooks and files for each subject areas. Although the first term in university was a breeze as the lectures mainly contained introductions and revision from A level subjects, I have found some weaknesses and difficulties.
My main reoccurring problem has always been time management; I can’t manage my time between university work, my part time job and time for extra activities, such as going out with friends and family. I decided to solve this problem by buying and keeping a diary. I organized my schedule everyday and prioritized what was important, for example writing down assignment due dates a week early to reduce the stress and pressure I usually put myself in. Another difficulty that I encountered was with my referencing skills.
I have never had to reference before, this was why I found it quite challenging at the beginning, but I overcame this by practicing with the exercises up on blackboard and I also did some practice with some random books from the library. Another weakness I have found after my self-reflection is the amount of stress I put myself in when assignment deadlines come to the end. I have learned to solve this by joining a badminton club, to overcome my stress and to also have fun with my friends.
Other personal weaknesses that hinder my learning are my lack of confidence, concentration during lectures and interactions with other people. Although my communications skill and people skills are well developed from my part time job where I deal with customers’ queries everyday. I have a hard time communicating with my tutors, which is an important aspect of learning within university. Throughout my first and second term in university, I have improved and expanded most of skills and I have also gained some new skills for my future studies.
I have learned some new laboratory procedures, such as the proper way to aseptically experiment, how to prepare agar plates and how to hold and read pipettes. I have improved my referencing skills and how to properly use the Harvard system and how to make a bibliography with much help from Blackboard materials. I have demonstrated this newly attained skill within all my assignments. Within creating my PDP and producing an essay for my module professional studies I have also learnt to reflect on my future and the wide range of options that I have after I graduate.
Within my reflection, I have also recognized a number of opportunities that I haven’t given a thought about whilst coming into university, such as extra curricular activities, that help students achieve their goals socially and academically. I have always thought that University was just another place for lectures and examinations. Now I have realized some opportunities like joining games, clubs and societies. Through these activities I could accelerate my communication and people skills and also I could try to gain some leadership skills.
Other opportunities that have occurred is the opportunity of work experience, I will aspire to obtain a work placement related to Biomedical Science this summer, either at a university hospital or a medical company. My objective at the end of term 2 is to do some research on the placements available this summer. Along with opportunities there are other certain threats challenged my performance this year. For example I had the risk of not having a social life or any friends because of my strong individual work ethic.
I believe that I learn better when I’m studying by myself but in reality working with other people is the best way of learning because in a group, weaknesses and strengths of each individual can be analyzed and overcome together. Overall I have learned that I can manage and engage in other activities besides university and work without compromising the time I spend on my studies. Keeping a hobby is a good way to release some stress more effectively. Having an extra-curriculum activity once a week aids to relax and become healthier.
Furthermore I have realized the importance of planning ahead, to visualize what is needed to complete, when and how. Visualizing a weekly schedule makes it easier to do tasks and estimate the time I would need to do them. During the production of my PDP I have come to a realization that education is not just about attending lectures, listening and writing notes down, and thereafter reproducing them in the examinations. It is mainly about understanding the facts that have been taught and applying it to real life situations. This way of thinking will enable a student, like myself progress throughout any career opportunities.