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Approaches to Self Managed Learning

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Unit 13 Personal and professional Development

Approaches to self managed learning are addressed through Unit 13 of the HND program which talks about personal and professional development.

Self-managed learning approaches

SMLA (Self-Managed Learning approaches), a term coined by Ian Cunningham in the late 1970’s[1], refers to a specific learning approach derived from elements of several other methods including self-development, self-directed learning and action learning. It is essentially a holistic approach to the individual and is underpinned by strong values.

Ian Cunningham himself said in an interview, ‘in the pieces there’s nothing original ….it was putting all that together that was unique’ (Ross, 1997)

A broad definition of self-managed learning can be termed as the process in which people accomplish their own learning goals and are answerable for implementing a strategy on how, when, what, why, and where they learn. Learning and development is a continuous theme in one’s life and it is impossible to collate each and every experience in one’s life.

Self managed learning approaches

According to Gureckis and Markant[2], “Research from cognition offers several explanations that help to account for the advantages of self managed learning approaches . For example, self-directed learning helps us optimize our educational experience, allowing us to focus effort on useful information that we don’t already possess and exposing us to information that we don’t have access to through passive observation. The active nature of self-directed learning also helps us in encoding information and retaining it over time. But we’re not always optimal self-directed learners. The many cognitive biases and heuristics that we rely on to help us make decisions can also influence what information we pay attention to and, ultimately, learn (Gureckis and Markant, 2015).

In my own personal experience the key to being able to develop and monitor a self-managed plan is to determine the best learning style suited to you. Therefore, I undertook a VAK model questionnaire (inserted in file). Through this method I learnt that I possessed a varied and ultimately blended learning style consisting of all three styles (visual, auditory and kinaesthetic) with a slight emphasis on the visual and auditory learning styles. This advocated that I am a person who is open-minded to learning in a variety of ways and methods and that I do not limit myself to one mode or a particular route to learning. I am a determined individual that welcomes challenges to learning different things via different approaches depending on the best suited style for the (particular) task at hand.

I comprehend that the evaluation of self-learning is important and is of paramount importance to the overall success of one’s goals. In my case, I came to the conclusion (before the commencement of utilizing this PPD plan) that my most effective form of self-learning is my ability to evaluate, adapt and put into practice lessons that stimulate me and help me set a working agenda to achieve them.

This unit has four key learning objectives for the learners and which are given as under:

· Aim

The aim of this unit is to encourage learners to develop as reflective practitioners by applying their understanding and skills to their own health and social care setting.

· Unit abstract

This unit provides learners with an opportunity to develop as reflective practitioners. A minimum of 200 hours of work experience will be completed in order to achieve the unit. This practice will provide the basis of evidence for assessment of the unit.

Learners’ practice, observations and learning in the workplace will be supplemented with wider understanding and knowledge from all parts of the course.

Evidence of learning will be presented through a portfolio that reflects the learner’s ability as a reflective practitioner. Planning, monitoring and revision of personal development plans would be appropriate evidence for achieving personal targets and learning outcomes.

Evidence from workplace settings should be validated and authenticated by appropriately qualified expert witnesses.

It is essential that learners and assessors respect the confidentiality of information from the workplace at all times.

· Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this unit a learner will:

  1. Understand how personal values and principles influence individual contributions to work in health and social care settings
  2. Be able to produce, monitor, revise and evaluate plans for personal progress in developing the skills and abilities required of a health and social care practitioner
  3. Understand the application of principles of professional engagement with users of health and social care services
  4. Be able to demonstrate development of own skills and understanding in relation to working with others in health and social care practice.
  1. Understand how personal values and principles influence individual contributions to work in health and social care settings

Personal values: influences of eg beliefs and preferences, culture, political perspectives, self managed learning approaches, interests and priorities, change over lifespan, self-managed learning approaches

Culture and experiences: influences of eg family, ethnicity, belief, education, employment, age and gender, life events

Values and principles: equal rights, diversity, confidentiality, protection from abuse and harm

New developments: legislation, policies, research, priorities and targets

Change to personal values: influences of eg overcoming of tensions between personal values and principles of good practice; differences relating to values of others eg users of service, workplace organisations, other people with whom you work

  • Be able to produce, monitor, revise and evaluate plans for personal progress in developing the skills and abilities required of a health and social care practitioner

Own abilities and learning styles: planning cycle, practical skills, interpersonal skills, application to practice, level of performance, learning experiences and preferred learning style

Personal development plan: for acquiring new skills, updating practice, learning, career development; three months, one year, five years

  • Understand the application of principles of professional engagement with users of health and social care services

Professional relationships: with individuals, their family and friends, team members, line managers, workers in other agencies; rights and responsibilities of users of service versus care workers and others; professional codes; trust; advocacy; empowerment

Models of support: medical health versus social model; individual benefit versus organisational benefit

Dilemmas: risk, abuse, challenging behaviour, conflict, ethics, confidentiality versus disclosure, expectations changing over time, conflicts between principles of good practice and values of others

Own practice: roles eg meeting needs of users of service, provider of health and social care services, facilitator, advocate, adviser, counsellor, mentor

Barriers: miscommunication, different professional codes of practice, group cohesiveness, personalities

  1. Be able to demonstrate development of own skills and understanding in relation to working with others in health and social care practice

Own contribution: skills, knowledge, understanding, communication information, responsibilities; models of reflection, critical reflection

Collective effectiveness of teams: meeting needs and expectations of users of service, improving team performance, supporting other team members, meeting objectives, formal and informal roles within organisational structures and systemsBarriers: interpersonal interactions; professional codes, differing priorities, expectations, experience, accountability

Learning outcomes and assessment criteria

Learning outcomes   On successful completion of this unit a learner will: Assessment criteria for pass   The learner can:
LO1 Understand how personal values and principles influence individual contributions to work in health and social care settings compare personal values and principles with the principles of support for working in health and social careassess how personal culture and experience influence own role in supporting users of services and others in health and social care settingsdiscuss how new developments and changes to personal values can impact on work in health and social care
LO2 Be able to produce, monitor, revise and evaluate plans for personal progress in developing the skills and abilities required of a health and social care practitioner assess current skills ability and learning styleproduce a holistic development plan with short- medium- and long-term goalsmonitor progress against the plan according to the requirements of a health and social care practitioner, revising the plan as requiredevaluate the effectiveness of the development plan to own development as a health and social care practitioner
LO3 Understand the application of principles of professional engagement with users of health and social care services explain the nature of different professional relationships in health and social care contextsevaluate personal effectiveness in promoting and supporting the rights of the individualdiscuss ways to resolve issues encountered in professional relationships
LO4 Be able to demonstrate development of own skills and understanding in relation to working with others in health and social care practice. evaluate the effectiveness of personal contributions when working with others in health and social care practiceexplain how the limits of own work role impacts on work with othersanalyse own role in minimising barriers to effective teamwork in health and social care practicediscuss how to improve personal contributions to the collective effectiveness of a team.