Guide to the Learning Plan

The Learning Plan describes the forms of documentation you will submit for evaluation and is, in essence, your Applied Studies disciplinary credit course proposal/learning contract. It must be literate and appealing. Pay attention to language usage, sentence structure, style and format. Be as brief as possible without sacrificing information vital to your project. The Learning Plan has five parts, be sure to complete all parts.

Part I: Description of Field Experience

Part II: Pre-Experience Preparation & Qualifications

Part III: Description of Goals & Objectives

Part IV: Project Proposal & Bibliography

Part V: Statement of Resources

Part I

Description of Field Experience

1. Position Title
2. Duties/Responsibilties
3. Location
4. Duration

Part II
Pre-Experience Preparation & Qualifications

In this section, outline your previous experience, both employment and academic, which is related to the project you wish to undertake, and which will help you in the completion of that project.

1. Courses

  • ZOOL 2000: Structure and Function in the Animal Kingdom -- this course provided an introduction to the diversity of life and a background to the organisms which will be the focus of this Applied Studies, namely insects and bacteria.
  • CPSC 1000: Introduction to Computer Science -- provided the background information on the use of computers. Although the class did not teach me how to use the specific programs that I am working with in my Applied Studies placement, it did provide useful general knowledge.
  • PSYC 3010: Introduction to Statistics in Psychological Research -- this class focussed on an introduction to statistics. I will be required to utilize this information to interpret and analyze the data collected during my research placement.
  • SOCI 3850: Sociology of Law -- I am currently taking this course and its material is augmenting my knowledge of Canadian law and the court systems. The material presented in this course will prove very valuable while I am working at the Correctional Centre.

2. Previous Employment and Volunteer Experience -- A brief title and job description with dates indicating when the job/volunteerism occurred; indicate how pervious work experience will assist you in your project. top

Part III
Description of Goals and Objectives

In this section you are to set forth what you wish to learn. Some learning objectives may relate directly to the job, and others will relate indirectly. You are expected to create between three and five learning objectives.

Your learning objective must have two parts:
A. What you will learn.
B. How you will learn it.

Learning Objectives may be of several sorts:

  • Comprehensive Objectives: e.g., To increase my understanding of mental retardation.
  • Problem-Solving Objectives: e.g., To develop recommendations for ways to reduce school dropouts.
  • Creative Objectives: e.g., To create assessment procedures for identifying gifted students.
  • Personal Ability Objectives: e.g., To increase my ability as a storyteller.


Sample #1

Placement: Assistant to the Forensic Psychologist, Lethbridge Correctional Centre

Objective #1:
To increase my understanding of the basic structure and organization of a Provincial Correction Centre.

  • By working directly within the L.C.C. alongside the individuals who work there and run the institution.
  • By reading literature about other Provincial Correction Centres in Canada.
  • By shadowing my supervisor and assisting him with his daily routine as the Forensic Psychologist.

Objective #2:
To increase my understanding of the types of crimes committed by both the male and female inmates in Provincial Correction Centres.

  • By reading relevant literature with focus on types of crimes and reasons for committing them.
  • By working directly with both male and female inmates at the L.C.C. in a one-on-one setting.
  • By assisting with the assessments and counselling sessions for male and female inmates.

Objective #3:
To increase and develop my ability and understanding of how to format and perform an assessment and counselling session for an inmate.

  • By working directly with the Forensic Psychologist and assisting him with the assessments and counselling.
  • By engaging in different role plays using different scenarios.
  • By reading relevant literature on interviewing skills particularly from the perspective of working with and assessing criminals.

Objective #4:
To understand the types of punishments inmates are sentenced as a result of criminal activity.

  • By meeting with inmates and discussing their crimes and punishment.
  • By applying theory learned in SOCI 3850 Sociology of Law I will learn more about Canadian laws and methods by which they are enforced. top

Sample #2

Placement: Research Asst., Agriculture Canada

Objective #1:
To learn more about the techniques and procedures used in the laboratory setting and relating to entomology.

  • By working in the lab with my supervisor and his technicians.
  • By rearing fly cultures upon which strains of harmful bacteria will be tested.
  • By performing biological assays of different strains of bacteria known to be harmful to adult pest flies.

Objective #2:
To evaluate the potential of isolated microbes for population reduction of the pest insects (stable fly and house fly) using caged feeding studies and laboratory bioassays.

  • By performing biological assays of thirty different strains of the bacteria Bacilus thurengiensis.
  • By performing three trials of each of the thirty strains to obtain statistically valid results.

Objective #3:
To prepare and collate data and conduct simple statistical analysis of the results obtained from the assays.

  • By recording data and assay results.
  • By evaluating said data through calculation of percent mortality and other related results. top

Sample #3

Placement: Photojournalist, Lethbridge Herald

Objective #1:
To increase my understanding of the methods used by which editorial decisions are made concerning the placement of photographs and stories in order to test any consistencies in editorial decision making.

  • By discussing story/photo placement with the editorial staff responsible for determining what the readership will see and by arriving at conclusions as to why certain decisions are made.
  • By conducting an informal survey among editorial staff and others using a variety of sample photographs to determine whether any are chosen consistently.

Objective #2:
To determine the impact of training, whether informal or formal, on editorial choice.

  • By interviewing members of the editorial staff and composing a bio, focussing largely upon training, on each.
  • By comparing curriculum guides from a number of schools offering photojournalism programs at either the college or University level.

Objective #3:
To deconstruct my own experience as a journalist to determine where my skills were obtained and the point at which I became a professional capable of making quality decisions.

  • By conducting in-depth self evaluation and by researching my own archives of collected material.
  • By analysis of my own recollection of newsworthy events covered by myself.

Sample #4

Placement: Project Manager, Hire A Student

Objective #1:
To increase my understanding of Personnel Management, particularly with respect to motivation and job organization.

  • By reading relevant literature on Personnel Management.
  • By working as Project Manager, supervising eight students and managing the administration of a Summer Job Corps Team under the federal job creation program.

Objective #2:
To develop an understanding and working knowledge of the many facets of the media and how to effectively communicate with them on and off the air.

  • By dealing effectively with the media when they call and contacting them when their services are required.
  • By approving advertisements that are to be purchased.
  • By refining my interpersonal and communication skills while speaking with the public, for example on radio and television interviews.

Objective #3:
To gain realistic and practical skills in order to market a non-profit organization.

  • By reading relevant literature and researching previous marketing plans for H.A.S and other not-for-profit organizations.
  • By identifying marketing trends for the H.A.S. top

Important things to keep in mind:

  • Examine your goal and state how it will be accomplished in relation to the position you hold.
  • Examine each objective and state how you will show that you have accomplished what you wished to do. If you do not accomplish your objectives, failure is not automatic if you can indicate why the objectives could not be attained.
  • Stay away from vague "personal" objectives which cannot be measured (e.g., to increase my self-confidence). While important, such objectives are not generally worth academic credit.
  • Emphasize the idea of "application" in your goals. Examine the specific application of theory -- does the theory learned in the classroom apply in the practical situation? If it does not, do not feel you have failed. To learn the shortcomings of a theory is itself the educational experience.
  • If you wish to earn credit for more than one course, create objectives distinctly different from one another. Different objectives increase credit potential.
  • Because you are applying for disciplinary credit, make sure your objectives clearly relate to a specific discipline.

Part IV
Project Proposal & Bibliography

The proposal should be a summary detailing the focus and/or methods for your final paper/project. The bibliography should be a tentative list of resources you have or intend to use. top

Part V
Statement of Resources

Advisors - List names of those individuals who have been formally consulted and consented to act as resource people; e.g., University Faculty, on-the-job personnel.

Please ensure that you Faculty Advisor reviews and signs your Learning Plan before it is submitted.