Using Learning agreements to facilitate integrated learning

Creaner-Glen, Jane and Creaner, Mary (2011) Using Learning agreements to facilitate integrated learning. [Conference Proceedings]


This paper outlines the use of Learning Agreements (LAs) as a valuable learning strategy in the education and training of supervisors on a Masters in Clinical Supervision program. Learning Agreements, as they are presented in this context, are written negotiated agreements between the student and the program. The use of LAs provides opportunities for students to individualise their learning, seeks to promote critical reflection and model the supervisory process in a training framework.Critical reflection, as a learning activity, facilitates the blending of multiple forms of knowledge and the application of theory to practice (Argyris and Schön, 1974). From its origins in the seminal work of Dewey (1933), Habermas (1971) Schön (1983) and Kolb (1984), reflection has emerged as a powerful technique for facilitating and reinforcing learning. In academic contexts, a key challenge for educators is to structure opportunities for critical reflection and encourage students to engage in reflective practice.The use of Learning Agreements is based on a number of assumptions concerning adult learning, which relate to adult learners needing to be facilitated to take responsibility for their learning, draw upon previous knowledge and skill in order to optimise plans for future learning.Learning Agreements assist both course providers and students to navigate the essential knowledge, skills and competencies required in a manner that is congruent for each student while meeting the standards required for Masters level education. They can facilitate integrated learning by taking a ‘whole person’ approach to the learning experience.The presentation will outline the steps involved in the process of constructing the learning agreement for adults in education. The contents of a LA will be discussed in terms of reflective practice and how they are used to inform assessment and evaluation will be outlined. Both the benefits and limitations of using LAs in adult learning will also be presented.

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NAIRTL 4th Annual Conference (Cork) 2010 Flexible Learning Conference Proceedings_sm.pdf

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