What is an Individual Learning Plan?

An individual learning plan is a clear and well-designed document which contains specific methods and processes that help the students and professionals in guiding them towards informed decisions and defined goals in their courses, activities, and careers. This plan is an effective management tool with the purpose of facilitating the growth, development, and performance of the people in the school, business, or organization.

According to a national study conducted by the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) in partnership with Hobsons and with analytical support from Coffey Consulting LLC, 54% of the 915 public high school survey respondents had utilized individual learning plans for at least 5 years while almost ⅓ (31%) had implemented individual learning plans for 10 years or more.

Thus, all kinds of educators, counselors, supervisors, teachers, mentors, consultants, managers, and other key individuals in an educational institution or organization should effectively create a compelling and well-detailed individual learning plan for the further development and growth of the students and other learners.

Different Types of Individual Learning Plan

Do the students have realistic and considered expectations for their future learning? Are the students well-informed of the wide-ranging options available to them? How are the students making progress while reaching their long-term goals and how can teachers like you support them to accomplish these? You should be aware about the different types of individual learning plans that you will use for the students. Here we will explain to you about the different types of individual learning plans below:

1. Individual Professional Learning Plan

Obtaining a new certification or degree and growing your professional network by attending more networking events are some examples of professional learning goals. When it comes to structuring your career goals and the important steps that you need to carry out in order to reach those goals, we recommend that you develop a simple and effective individual professional learning plan. This type of individual learning plan enables you to concentrate on your professional development with the use of using and following a career action plan for skill development and career management. If you want to participate in professional organizations or improve your job performance, this plan will assist you in succeeding your professional development goals.

2. Individual Learning Plan For English Proficient Students

The National Center for Education Statistics reported that the percentage of public school students in the United States who were English language learners was higher in fall 2018 (10.2% or 5 million students than in fall 2010 (9.2%, or 4.5 million students).  If there are some students who are having challenges and problems in learning English, then it is essential to construct a simple and concise individual learning plan. Preparing an all-inclusive individual learning plan for English proficient students is significant in guiding them in becoming fluent in this language.

3. High School Individual Learning Plan

A 2021 study estimates that the number of students around the world enrolled in higher education will reach 262 million by 2025, up from 178 million in 2010, and three countries are primarily responsible for the rise: China (26%), India (18%), and Brazil (14%).  If you are currently assigned to teach for high school students, it is very crucial to create a simple and structured high school individual learning plan to assist the learning journey of the students and help in their intellectual growth. 

4. Individual Learning Plan For College and Career

Many college students are stressful due to various factors affecting them such as dealing with grades, paying the bills, studying, pressure from the parents, and many others. If you are a college student, remember these words said by Mary Anne Radmacher: “Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying ‘I will try again tomorrow’.” Be inspired that you can try again until you succeed in graduating college and getting to your dream career. We suggest that you prepare an individual learning plan for college and career which will guide you in fulfilling your goals and objectives.

5. Individual Learning Plan for Students with Disabilities

Are you planning to motivate students with learning disabilities? Keep on saying positive messages and encourage them to join activities such as drawing, and writing. You may also use music therapy while integrating activities that influence the level of sensory stimulation. Also, you may need to write a clear and simple individual learning plan for students with disabilities so that you are able to guide them carefully in improving their skills and talents. Show your heartfelt concern and patience, as well as being mindful in supporting their needs. 

Benefits of an Individual Learning Plan

Individual learning plans are essential in securing the commitment and ownership of the students when it comes to participation in their selected learning pathway. Using these plans can greatly motivate the students to have strong determination as they work hard towards fulfilling the definite goals set out in the plan so that they can continue towards the next step in their plan.  To fully strengthen your determination and effort in providing individual learning plans, know more about the benefits of an individual learning plan:

1. Demonstrates Systematic Thinking and Analysis

Properly integrating the concepts of systems thinking and analysis in creating an individual learning plan is beneficial to prevent the possible confusion of an eclectic number of approaches and techniques. So, you should be able to define a system in your teaching and select to consider it as that while drawing the boundary that limits the extent of the system so you can determine the components or subsystems in teaching. Do what you can to be resourceful in demonstrating systematic thinking and analysis to help the students reach flying colors.

2. Supports Long-Term Goals of the Student

Through a comprehensive individual learning plan, it fully helps the instructor to aim on supporting the long-term goals of the students. Also, you can communicate with the professors, and send out internship applications. Studies have shown that early admission applications have about 4-6% of an admissions benefit. So, the use of an individual learning plan can help the students to review their application requirements so that they can prepare earlier when they want to go for graduate school. 

3. Sets Career Path

Some theories and research studies support the potential of individual learning plans in improving college and career readiness results. Using an individual learning plan will definitely help young people to become aware of the course taking plans required to enter and successfully achieve desired post-secondary programs that allow them to realize career and life goals. Additionally, young people are better in exploring the post-secondary pathways fundamental in pursuing those goals and in seeking out volunteer and paid work-based learning opportunities as explained from the research report Use of Individual Learning Plans: A Promise Practice for Driving College and Career Efforts.

4. Provides Personalized Resumes

When a student saves his or her details about a preferred career, school, or other objective, students are able to record their opinion, interest, and thoughts. So, the tools found within the individual learning plan can help them in storing and organizing information more in an orderly manner. It provides them a way in creating personalized resumes, thanks to the saved information to a person’s individual learning plan.

Basic Components of an Individual Learning Plan 

In this section, you will learn how to construct a well-written and systematic individual learning plan. However, an individual learning plan has different kinds of components. Include the following elements for you to create a professional piece of writing:

Overview: This part is the introductory section of the content of the individual learning plan. It provides a simple and cohesive overview about the activities and tasks that must be accomplished in a specific learning program. Being the compelling part of the plan, it describes the main purpose of the learning plan. Another element to incorporate in this section is the specific learning area connected to the curriculum which is being aimed for adjustment or modification. Learning Goals and Objectives: What does the educator or teacher hope to achieve in the implementation of the individual learning plan? This is an essential part of the individual learning plan as it contains significant information concerning the specific goals and objectives of the educators, school administrators, counselors and teachers working on the school or other educational institutions. Learning Outcomes: State the clear learning outcomes as these are the most critical elements of the document. When writing learning outcomes, you and your team should make sure that they are realistic according to the current skill level and rate of progress of the students, specific in outlining the exact conditions, and measurable in terms of monitoring and assessing during the review process. Learning Resources, Strategies and Methods: This section contains some information about the learning resources, strategies and methods that will be used in the individual learning plan. Describe the class program, modification of resources and material, positive behaviour support plan, crisis management plan, transition plan, assessment plan, etc. Be specific and clear as possible. Time Frame: Specify the time frame or duration of the implementation of the individual learning plan. Include the number of hours, time, day, and date.Progress Monitoring and Evaluation Procedures: Demonstrate how to monitor and evaluate the progress. For example, what record keeping and assessment process will be applied? Academic progress assessments and anecdotal records are some examples. Create a list showing the flow of procedures involved in the learning plan.

How to Write an Individual Learning Plan

Below are some easy-to-follow tips that indicate how to write a clear and structured individual learning plan, as well as designing the blueprint of the core activities, strategies, assessments, and other aspects.

Step 1: Establish Goals and Objectives

The right methods and strategies should assist the teacher in establishing goals and objectives that will help in helping the learners in acquiring knowledge, insight, and wisdom. So, take your time to conduct research and establish the goals and objectives of the individual learning plan. 

Step 2: Assess the Needs 

In order to assess the needs of the learners, collect data that will help in measuring the progress and determine whether the goals are fulfilled. Use  relevant student data, observations, assessment data, teacher surveys, discipline data, and curriculum data while designing the individual learning plan.

Step 3: Develop Solutions and Outline Methods

While developing solutions, consider contemplating the goals and objectives of the individual learning plan to avoid possible risks. Then, outline the fundamental learning procedures. Thus, provide a broad outline of what is likely to occur during teaching. In this way, it will guide the learners to smooth transitions between activities and other tasks. 

Step 4: Create an Evaluation  

Create an evaluation during the planning process. So, look carefully on what is working and what is not working. Set up an effective process for review and determining successes, challenges and growth opportunities, as well as the documentation of individual learning programs and the results of the evaluation.

Step 5: Proofread and Prepare the Overall Plan

Review your entire individual learning plan and make sure to fully include all the important points in your plan. It should reflect the connection between the objectives, learning resources, strategies and methods, activities used for implementing the objectives, and the evaluation of the learners. If you notice that you overlook some sections that need additional points, it is important to edit and revise the document right away. 

FAQs

What are the benefits of an individual learning plan?

An individual learning plan provides valuable benefits to the learners such as students and professionals. First, it allows the learners to discover many careers. Second, it is beneficial in developing education plans. Third, it creates, maintains, and changes resumes of the learners. Fourth, it assists the learners in setting personal goals and keeps these insights while the school continues. Fifth, the learners can save and reflect on certain activities such as community service, work experience, career planning activities, and extracurricular activities. Lastly, it keeps track of all of the completed courses.

What are the basic components of an individual learning plan?

The basic components that should be included in an individual learning plan are overview, goals and objectives, assessment of the learners, solutions, strategies and methods, timeline, and evaluation.

What are the different types of individual learning plans?

The different types of individual learning plans are individual professional learning plan, individual learning plan for English proficient students, high school individual learning plan, individual learning plan for college and career, individual learning plan for students with disabilities, individual learning plan for language learners, school year individual learning plans, individual learning courses plan, and development and modification of individual learning plan.

How to support individual learning?

First, provide the learners with opportunities to self-monitor. Then, use some noteworthy questions and provide models of behaviour. Facilitate communication that includes language aimed at learning.

What is the difference between IEP and ILP?

The IEP or individual education plan provides support and services for special education students while the ILP or individual learning plan provides support and services for people who want to learn English language.

Why are individual learning plans important?

Individual learning plans are important because these tools guide students to observe beyond the walls of the classroom and picture themselves in the future, as well as promoting effective planning, goal setting and preparing for the future which will significantly help the students to attain a bigger chance of future success.

William A. Ward said: “Four steps to achievement: Plan purposefully. Prepare prayerfully. Proceed positively. Pursue persistently.” Therefore, writing a clear and structured individual learning plan will definitely help you and many educators and teachers in supporting further development and growth of the learners such as students, employees, trainees, and other individuals who need sufficient knowledge and insight in other areas necessary in their career and life. To assist you in your journey in planning, you can learn and apply the tips aforementioned in this article. Plus, we have included several individual learning plan samples that you can download.