In some classes it is common to create Individual Learning Plans (ILP) with individual learning goals for each student based on initial and diagnostic assessment. Initial assessment may include an assessment of their English and Maths this may go into their ILP in order to decide which group they should be in, whether they need additional Maths and English lessons and if there any additional support requirements.
A diagnostic assessment should be performed in which their current level of skill, knowledge, ability and understanding are assessed. This provides a base line for each learner that will demonstrate the students’ strengths and weaknesses within the subject, highlighting gaps in their understanding and allowing teaching to be targeted to specific required areas. This is the ideal opportunity to discuss with the student what they hope to achieve, by recording these individual learning goals within an ILP it may be possible to tailor some of the course material directly to that student, for example, the removal of any optional elements or removal / replacement of specific units that will be particularly challenging for this student. This works well with Level 1 and 2 classes, however, for Level 3 and above the majority of the students within the class will be working towards the same goal of completing the qualification. This only means that an Individual Learning Plan is most effective when applied at an appropriate time, for example, if the student is falling behind, missing classes or there is a different issue that is having an impact on this student’s ability to perform at the level expected. This is the best time to tailor and make adjustments to units and course material to suit this particular student, the remaining students continue as they are but reasonable adjustments have been implemented to assist the student that is struggling. This adjustment could be as simple as not requiring a presentation to be delivered to the entire group but only the assessor, alternatively professional discussions or observations can be used to the same effect. During the creation of the ILP is the ideal opportunity, especially if the student was falling behind, to set targets for the student to assist in them reaching their goal and highlighting where they are in the course, potentially showing how much they have already achieved. This is also a good opportunity to implement extensions; this will reduce the stress levels the student is experiencing and make their work load more manageable.
The overall goal of an Individual Learning Plan is to assist students so that they can achieve their best without changing the course so much that it questions the validity of the qualification.