Using learning plans to support doctoral candidates
Taylor and Francis
Graduate Research School
This paper reports on implementing learning plans at an Australian university and their perceived use in supporting doctoral candidates’ professional and academic development. The implementation of individualised learning plans for doctoral candidates was the outcome of university-wide discussions regarding coursework in the PhD. Based on a review of the literature and evaluative comments from candidates and staff, the need for a learning plan for doctoral candidates was identified. Driven by institute-specific learning outcomes for doctoral candidates, we developed an online learning plan, referred to as MyPLAN. Preliminary findings suggest that areas for consideration when introducing a plan include supervisor and candidate involvement in the development and use of the plans, a user-friendly platform for implementing a learning plan, as well as the coordination of learning opportunities throughout the institution to support the specific aspects of the learning plan.