What Is a Learning Action Plan?

A learning action plan is a comprehensive action plan aimed at developing and figuring out strategies and resources in order to maximize learning- whether it be for traditional classroom learning, career development, self-improvement, or even just learning a new skill. 

According to an article by Litchfield School, the most common type of learner is the visual learner. About 65% of the population are visual learners. An individual who is more inclined to visual learning appreciates imagery and can better grasp ideas or concepts when pictures, graphs, diagrams, and written information are present.

Different Types of Learning

There is no one way of learning. If people are diverse, so are their approaches when it comes to learning. One person may prefer discussing ideas with other people because it helps them understand better. While another person may find self-study more effective and suited to him or her. The following are widely accepted learning styles that are generally characterized. It is important to note that it is possible for a person to have a combination of these styles, and not just one type exclusively. 

Visual Learning: People who fall under this category generally grasp concepts and ideas better by visual learning. A student who may be a visual learner would appreciate images, illustrations, graphs, PowerPoint presentations, and other visual aids in the classroom. If you are an employee who is more inclined to visual learning, watching training videos or deconstructing charts and diagrams may be more your cup of tea then, say, just listening to a traditional lecture. Visual learners find it helpful to have something that they can see to aid their thought processes and cognitive comprehension. Auditory Learning: If visual learners give importance to sense of sight, auditory learners tend to value their sense of hearing to better understand concepts. Verbal instructions or words are their preferred choice of expression. For a high school student whose inclination leans towards auditory learning, lectures, group discussions, and even one-on-one conversations may help him or her better understand and retain knowledge. Another example would be an individual whose goal is constant personal development. If that individual is an auditory learner, podcasts and lively verbal discussions on self-improvement may prove to be more impactful and useful to him, compared to other learning styles. Kinesthetic Learning: For some people, merely talking about something may not be enough to truly digest and understand it. For them, it is a better use of their time when theory is put into practice. Kinesthetic learners learn best when they are hands-on and immersed in what they are doing. Sense of touch is vital because when they feel they are directly working on something and tinkering with their hands, it registers far better in their learning comprehension. Ranging from on-the-job training to role playing, learners with a preference for hands-on activity learn by doing, compared to any other sense.

Examples of Learning Action Plans

Where can a learning action plan be applied? Learning action plans can be applied essentially in any aspect that needs development. Whether that be project management or traditional classroom expectations, having an action plan dedicated to learning all boils down to the right planning and implementation. The examples below are just some common scenarios where a learning action plan may be needed.    

Career Development: A career is not created overnight. It, obviously, takes time to build one’s career; and you cannot build a career without learning in the process. Even if you are the most senior or experienced employee in your organization, learning does not stop just because you have reached the peak of the corporate ladder. Real career development is a long-term learning process. If you want to maintain a growth mindset, then learning is absolutely essential. A solid action plan that aims to address this may open the door to new opportunities you were not even aware you could have. Classroom Setting: Learning is typically associated with classrooms, teachers, and academics. And for a teacher, a lesson plan is one of the most crucial requirements. The responsibility of imparting knowledge to students falls on the teacher and without a sound plan to execute, teaching may not be as effective as needed. A learning action plan is not just for the teacher to fulfill a department requirement, it has the potential to set the tone and environment of the entire classroom. If the action plan is solid and well-organized, it will be much easier for teachers to deliver lessons and impart knowledge. Project Management: In the realm of project management, it is a never-ending learning process as well. There is always room for improvement; and even the slightest enhancement can make a world of a difference. For example, a common practice in project management is conducting a lessons learned approach. This essentially refers to post-project processing or evaluation. It is when knowledge gained from a project is carefully reviewed and organized with the aim of improving performance the next time around. A learning action plan is similar in a sense that it anticipates the need for learning and continuous growth. If, for example, you are preparing to launch a project, a learning action plan can help you reflect on what is really important, the larger picture, as well as the core objectives of the project. Personal Learning: Crafting your own learning action plan can help you in more ways than one. For instance, your goal could be to learn a new language or gain a new skill. With a learning action plan, you can lay down your objectives one by one and assess the bigger picture in a much clearer way. And if challenges come along, you can refer to your learning action plan to remind you of your goals and objectives. If you can take control of what you are learning instead of just allowing it to flow arbitrarily, you would yield much richer and targeted results. Distance Learning: The global pandemic has undoubtedly changed the traditional learning setting. Schools had to shut down and face-to-face teaching was left with no choice but to migrate online. What students once deemed normal was completely turned inside out. In just a matter of weeks, virtual classrooms and remote learning became the new space of teaching. But even with distance learning, teachers did not and could not abandon strategies and techniques. Lesson plans and learning action plans were simply adjusted or modified to suit the changing times. It can be said that a learning action plan is all the more important in remote learning precisely because of the shift in structure where teachers have much less control because of the non-traditional classroom set up. Skills Training: When it comes to training new hires or team members, an action plan can be a lifesaver. If you are the trainer or moderator, you want the employees to maximize their learning as much as possible. By preparing a learning action plan, you can ensure that objectives are properly identified and that the proper measures are assigned accordingly. It does not matter if the training is aimed to develop hard skills like coding, or soft skills like emotional maturity. The action plan should outline concrete steps on how you intend to teach the skill and impart lessons to staff.

How to Create a Learning Action Plan 

There are several sample templates above that can serve as useful reference guides, if you opt not to start from scratch. It is important to remember that a good learning action plan is a comprehensive and detailed one. To achieve this, just follow the step-by-step guide below.  

Step 1: Identify the Objectives

Any action plan requires a list of objectives. Before you formulate a plan of action, make sure to establish your learning objectives. It is best if you keep it to a minimum and enumerate a couple of objectives only. Do not try to offer lengthy statements, a brief and action-oriented sentence should do instead. This introductory section should serve as your personal reminder for when you find yourself questioning challenges or adversity during the course of your learning. So it is absolutely critical that your objective encapsulates the core reasons and motives for doing something. 

Step 2: Assign the Action Items 

The second step is crucial. The very essence of an action plan is the action steps that are to be taken to achieve the learning objectives. How do you intend to accomplish your objectives? The format of this section would also greatly depend on your needs. For example, a project management learning action plan could utilize a detailed table, with a dedicated column for all action items. Action items can be assigned to certain tasks or goals, and it’s possible to have more than one action item for each task.      

Step 3: Establish a Timeframe

Creating a list of action items will come up short without a proper time frame set. In other words, a learning action should always contain a time element to it. It would be direly lacking without one. The purpose of having a timeline is to ensure that action items are indeed moving forward and to allow you to monitor any progress. With deadlines and time constraints, a sense of urgency and priority is introduced into the mix. For example, if your goal is to learn conversational Mandarin in preparation for a foreign trip, then your action plan must include a time frame identifying how long you intend to learn and master the foreign language.      

Step 4: Identify the Resources 

Lastly, you need to identify specific resources that will help you meet your learning objectives and action items. What are the available resources that can support your learning journey? These may be anything from peer groups, mentors, printed references, technology, and basically anything that aids you in the learning process. Access to these resources may vary from person to person, but they are a crucial component of meeting learning objectives and eventually executing the corresponding action items.     

FAQs

What is an action plan example?

A learning action plan is a common and plain example. It is an action plan that seeks to gain knowledge or skills in the name of self-improvement. It outlines various strategies and plans to figure out the best way of maximizing learning.

What are the three steps of an action plan?

The most basic steps involved in an action plan is identifying the objectives, tasks, and resources available. For instance, if your learning action plan involves professional development, you would need to outline three main things: First, identify the objectives or the why behind your learning plan. Second, come up with a task list or how you plan to achieve your objectives. And lastly, determine your resources or what available access is open to you that will help you achieve your learning objectives.

What are the five steps of an action plan?

According to an online article published by Indeed, the five steps of an action plan are to set SMART goals, make a list of action items, decide on a timeline, identify the necessary resources, and track the progress.

A learning action plan is a useful tool when you want to take control of your learning. It can be a very empowering feeling when you know that you can take charge of your own growth and development, with sheer will and the right determination. Are you ready to regain control of your own progress? Browse the sample action plans above and download a learning action plan template that suits your needs to get started today!