Personal Development Planning (PDP)
PDP and ePDP FAQs
Won’t being involved in guiding students’ Personal Development Planning create a lot more work for me as a personal tutor?
No – PDP is about ensuring that students have the opportunity to have a constructive discussion about their progress and is a two-way process. Encouraging students to regularly update their ePDP can help to make the most of time set aside for tutorials rather than necessarily increasing the time and effort devoted to them.
What can students expect in terms of support for PDP in my discipline?
In the majority of disciplines, students are encouraged to reflect on their achievements and set future targets for themselves in regular meetings with their personal tutors. Procedures and the exact timing and format of such tutorials will vary in different subject areas, so if in doubt it's important to check the details of what you and your students should expect with the Senior Tutor and/or Director of Education for your discipline.
How will my students hear about PDP and what is expected of them?
All students should have access to information about PDP and what they can expect in terms of personal tutor and other forms of support for personal development in documentation such as student handbooks. Students should also be reminded what they need to do in order to prepare for tutorials dedicated to PDP. Again, it is worth checking within your subject area whether it is up to you as a personal tutor to communicate with students about how they should prepare for tutorials, or whether that information will be sent directly to them by the Senior Tutor, or discipline/College office. As a personal tutor, it's important that you are aware of the information given to students so as to ensure that, as far as possible, students' expectations are met.
Where should I advise my students to look for more information about PDP and the ePDP resource?
For University information about PDP, as well as access to the ePDP system, students can be directed to the Personal Development Planning (PDP) page. Some disciplines produce their own student information and resources about PDP, so again it's worth checking this with your Senior Tutor, or if there is no Senior Tutor for your area, your Director of Education.
How do I access the University’s ePDP resource?
As a personal tutor, you will be able to view your students’ ePDP records (provided they have activated their ePDP account) by going to the Student Record System and logging in using your University staff username and password.
Will I need training to use the ePDP resource with my students?
Not necessarily, using the system as a tutor should be very intuitive and most tutors find it sufficient to prepare by reading the Staff User Guide to ePDP. A broad-based session about PDP and the new ePDP resource, is also available on demand, however, from Education Enhancement. Most tutors use ePDP simply to view their tutees' records in advance of a tutorial, and perhaps to provide a brief comment and/or to make a note of the date of tutorial meetings when they've taken place.
Should I take action if one of my tutees does not complete his/her ePDP records?
Tutorials are an important aspect of educational provision at Exeter, and using the ePDP resource to prepare for them should be encouraged. However, ultimate responsibility for recording progress and achievement lies with the student, and not the personal tutor.
My students don’t always see the benefits of PDP and of the kind of support I’m offering. What can I do?
It is important that students are encouraged to see the value of PDP to their own development – rather than as a mechanistic, form-filling process. It is sometimes helpful to remind students of the benefits in terms of:
- making the most of time with you as their personal tutor
- a way of 'keeping track' of developing skills and experiences, to help prepare for future interviews with employers
- as a source of material you as a personal tutor can access when writing references in the future
- its usefulness as a CV creation tool
What will students have at the end of their University career, assuming they’ve engaged in PDP meetings/tutorials and kept up to date with their ePDP?
- A full record of all their skills and achievements – one that can be used by their tutor in the writing of references
- A greater understanding of the skills they’ve developed throughout University, and how these might be useful in a professional context
- More experience of, and confidence in, their ability to plan and to develop their own learning – a prerequisite for any graduate-level job
Where can I find more resources to help students reflect on their learning and development?
To help students identify their strengths and weaknesses, undertake skills audits, write action plans and compile an effective CV, go to the ePDP Resources to Help You section. For more information about the personal and professional development opportunities available to your tutees, it is also suggested that you become familiar with the Staff Guide to Employability.