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					                   Jeff Moses KSSPC Spring 2006


                     PART ONE
What is Improving Own learning and

  IOLP   is the key skill that promotes effective
   performance. Its main aim is to help students in Years
   12 and 13 become more independent learners who
   know what targets they need to achieve at Key Stage

  IOLP is all about becoming aware of the quality of your
   own learning and performance in a real working

  IOLP is above all a process of continuous development
   and improvement.

                   Jeff Moses KSSPC Spring 2006

Learners who become well organised, know what
they want to do, ask tutors for advice when they need
it and get things done on time are the ones who stay
calm and can do well. They are not always the ones
who seem most clever, so what’s their secret? They
make plans, set targets, organise themselves and
learn from experience.

All six key skills have the same framework of
progression through the levels of achievement –

        PLAN
        DO

                      Jeff Moses KSSPC Spring 2006

     IOLP Process And Interpersonal Skills
IOLP asks learners to develop two different types of skills:

  1)   Process skills, such as:

  Target setting and action planning in the
  sixth form.
  The focus here would be:
   What are the targets set?
   How will the student demonstrate that they have met the
    agreed targets?
   What are the learning issues considered when deciding
    specific targets?


A target is an aim or objective you will need to meet. You
will need to agree your target with your assessor / tutor /
supervisor.    This may happen during regular review
meetings or discussions.

You must make sure you fully understand the target you have
agreed and the date it is to be completed. If you do not
understand any aspect of the agreement, ask your assessor.

                  Targets are signed by the student and the
                  Tutor which makes the agreement a form of

In order to agree your targets you will need to gather
information and ask questions to enable you to understand the
requirements of the target. A useful start to collecting
information is to ask yourself the following:-

                          Jeff Moses KSSPC Spring 2006

   What is the target?

   When is the date of completion?

   Where will it take place?

   Who will be involved?

   How will the target be achieved?

You will be able to build up the
information step by step using the answer to the previous

Targets should be SMART.

         Specific – Say exactly what you need to do.

         Measurable – Can be assessed e.g. by observation,
         production of a report.

         Achievable – Should be challenging but within you
         ability to achieve.

         Realistic – Possible to achieve and not go beyond
         what you can access.

         Timebound – Achievable within a short-term with an
         agreed review date.

     Planning set work, academic and vocational assignments
    (for instance, comparing module or unit performance and
    confirming improvement in AS Level Geography or
    Advanced Single Award GCE Business).

                     Jeff Moses KSSPC Spring 2006

A student action plan for preparing and presenting a Level
Three Communication about an aspect of their GCE course
should include the following organisational priorities:

        1. Researching the topic thoroughly and preparing
           brief reminder notes.

        2. Rehearse, rehearse, rehearse! Practice really
           does make perfect and the more you have
           rehearsed, the more comfortable you will feel
           when you are delivering your talk.

        3. Have a clear structure for the presentation.

        4. Use technical or vocational terms appropriately
           and be prepared to explain these if asked.

        5. Know exactly when you are going to deploy any
           visual aids.

        6. Ensure that you have the necessary equipment
           e.g. OHP slides.

        7. Consider how you can involve fellow students
           actively in your talk. You might ask them individual
           questions, use them for demonstration purposes,
           or finish with a short debate about the topic.

                      Jeff Moses KSSPC Spring 2006

An A/S Level Three IOLP Action Plan

  LP 3.1 – Setting Targets

  Name:   A N Other             Date of Review:   February 2006
                                Date Next Review: April 2006

  My Aim: To improve my performance in A/S English
  Literature Unit 1 and History Unit 3
  My Target:            Date Set:      Date Achieved
  Research for A05i     February       by:
  and Causes of the     2006
  Second World War

  I will know that I have achieved my target when:
      I have a good understanding of the historical,
         social and cultural context of Shakespeare’s, ‘King
         Lear’ and written relevantly in my essays.
      When I have acquired a clear grasp of the factors
         that explain Hitler’s foreign policy.

  Who will you use for support and how?
  PW (subject teacher for English Literature)
  JM (subject teacher for History)
  Act on issues raised in class discussions and individual

                  Action Points                      By when:
    1. Discuss with PW and JM what type              End      of
       of information I need and how to              week
       obtain it.
    2. Make a list of research opportunities         Week two
       e.g. student study guides, websites,
       specialist Nazi Germany texts,
       internet, critical works, articles,

                       Jeff Moses KSSPC Spring 2006

           teacher suggestions.
      3.   Conduct research – collect materials       Mid- March
           and begin to read, highlight and
           asterisk.      Be       aware     of
      4.   Make structured notes and isolate          End      of
           main ideas.                                March
      5.   Comment relevantly on A05i in my           Early April
      6.   Provide well reasoned analysis of
           Hitler’s foreign policy e.g. how
           important was ‘lebensraum’ ? Did
           Hitler want a war in the West?
           Master planner or opportunist?

Techniques/styles of learning

There are significant opportunities here to focus on specific
subject specific skills i.e. effective revision techniques, tracking
how best to address focussed exam techniques such as
interpretation or evaluation in history, summarising and
analysing in English, explaining data, graphs and diagrams
more effectively in Geography, annotating ICT and Art
portfolios appropriately, developing skills in digital

Learning style characteristics


Open-minded and enthusiastic. Like to throw themselves into
learning experiences, especially when this includes working
with others. Live in and for the present, ready to try anything
once. Thrive on the challenge and excitement of new
experiences, but soon become bored with routine work.

                      Jeff Moses KSSPC Spring 2006


                    Like to collect all the data they can,
                    considering it from several perspectives
                    before reaching a conclusion. Thoughtful
                    and cautious, they tend to take a back seat
in discussions and listen to what everyone else has to say.
Act only when they have considered all the possibilities and
the implications of each.

Like to learn in a logical, step-by-step manner. Collect and
organise information, then devise their own theories to explain
how it fits together. When working on a problem they are
likely to ask ‘Does it make sense?’ and ‘How does this fit with


                          Down to earth and practical. Learn
                          by putting theories and techniques
                          into practice, to see if they work.
Prefer to get on with things and act confidently on their ideas.
Pragmatists get impatient with what they see as long-winded,
woolly discussions. They enjoy problem solving and are
always looking for better ways to do things.

                      Jeff Moses KSSPC Spring 2006

GCE coursework planning and portfolio building.

       What way(s) of learning will be deployed and why?
       What guidance/support will the student require from
        his/her Mentor, and/or Subject Specialists?

Knowing about and using different ways of learning

The role of the Learning Tutor is to encourage students to
become effective learners, equipped with a variety of
strategies. This means encouraging them to be innovative,
autonomous (this can be a challenge in itself) and flexible

Here is a suggestion for ‘breaking the ice’:

I learn best by:             Agree                   Disagree
Doing something practical
Listening to someone
Taking notes/writing
Looking at images and
Watching a video/dvd
Seeing       a     technique
Working on my own
Working in a small group
Working on a one-to-one
Carrying out       my own

                     Jeff Moses KSSPC Spring 2006

Types Of Learning At Key Stage Five

Study-based Learning

This type of learning takes place when the teacher
presents information and ideas in a classroom
type situation. The student may ask questions
and contribute to the session but the main activity
is the teacher imparting their knowledge to the
student. This type of learning can also include
supported self-study where the student takes
more responsibility for their own learning. The
student is given access to learning resources for them to
gather information. The tutor will give regular support and

                        Activity-based Learning

                         This type of learning takes place
                         when a student improves their skills
                         or techniques through instruction and
                         practice. The tutor may show the
                         student     a     process     through
                         demonstration.     The student will
                         usually carry out a supervised
practice of the process. These sessions are usually preceded
by some study-based learning to ensure knowledge and

Independent Learning

This type of learning does not
necessarily take place in the classroom
but may involve a student learning the
knowledge requirements of a certain
subject through distance learning
materials. These may be IT based
programmes or paper based packages.

                       Jeff Moses KSSPC Spring 2006

Finally we should not discount, reflecting and reviewing.

          What systems does the Centre place for reviewing
           the agreed targets?

Reviewing would focus on the following fundamentals:

           1. What have you learned?
           2. How have you used your learning in another GCE
           3. What targets have you met and how have these
              been achieved?
           4. How do you learn best?
           5. How could you further improve your performance
              in the AS History ’Nazi Germany’ Module of GCE
              History? What steps have you taken to develop
              your grasp of the marketing mix in GCE Business?

  2)   Interpersonal skills, such as:
  speaking and listening (GCE programmes offer excellent
  opportunities for students to develop their oral
  communication skills), asking for precise advice/guidance,
  accepting constructive criticism, seeing learning
  opportunities, confidence, self-motivation, persistence
  and a willingness to learn from experience.

                 Jeff Moses KSSPC Spring 2006

So, IOLP focuses on the learner’s ability to:

       Set targets
       Plan how these will be met
       Take responsibility for their learning and for
        using the action plan agreed with their
        Mentor/Learning Tutor
       Reflect on their own learning and performance
       Learn from experience
       Keep to deadlines and become an independent
        learner (enormous WBQ dividends)

The essence of IOLP is the plan-do-reflect-
review cycle

                      Jeff Moses KSSPC Spring 2006

                                       Opportunities to accredit
                                       practical/vocational skills in
                                       areas such as D&T, Music, Food
                                       Technology, Business and
                                       Health & Social Care
                                       presentations should not be

For IOLP to succeed it is important that Mentors/Tutors set
and agree realistic learning targets with their students at the
outset. For instance, a student may well decide to focus on
identifying and describing how they have adopted strategies to
consolidate their revision/learning techniques for tests and
exams. Your school reporting system could certainly play a
useful role in terms of tracking and confirming progress at key
internal assessment milestones e.g. comparing AS exam or
test performance.

                      Jeff Moses KSSPC Spring 2006

Students may also wish to include as evidence in their IOLP
portfolios examples of work in one or more related subjects,
which demonstrate sustained improvement over reasonable

An example of this could be exemplifying how a student has
acquired progression in GCE History in key spheres such as
improving levels of factual knowledge and understanding,
being able to effectively consider the issues surrounding
continuity    and      change,     coming      to   justifiable
conclusions/verdicts about source attribution and the role of
historiography in sustaining interpretations. For instance,
verdicts/ debates surrounding the ‘Holocaust’.

This is where being realistic becomes critical. The notion that
a student can somehow target several subjects for IOLP Key
Skills accreditation at levels 2 or 3 may well make the entire
process rather cumbersome and confusing for both teachers
and students.

Weaknesses in learning, identified in teacher assessment of
student assignments, and confirmed via the reporting or
monitoring systems, are a practical starting point in terms of
being able to chart individual IOLP. This represents a true
continuum of learning that meets the 14-19 ‘Learning
Pathways’ agenda.

                         Jeff Moses KSSPC Spring 2006


As with all the key skills, the IOLP units are presented in
two parts and addressed directly to the student.

    Part A tells the student what they need to know
      (more about this later) – the techniques that
      underpin successful performance of IOLP.

    Part B sets out what the student must do and the
      evidence they must include in their portfolio

          Differentiation across Levels 2 and 3

Level 2 builds on level 1 by requiring learners to extend their
use of basic techniques when improving own learning and
performance. It recognises their ability to take responsibility
for some decisions about how they select and apply their skills
to meet the demands of largely straightforward tasks.

Level 3 marks a decisive shift from straightforward tasks to
being capable of responding to the demands of more complex
activities. Students need to demonstrate more explicit
reasoning ability and personal responsibility in making
decisions about how tasks are organised when working with
others, how they manage their learning and how they tackle
OCA Guidance pages 6-7

                     Jeff Moses KSSPC Spring 2006

PART TWO: What Needs To Be Done (Part B of
the IOLP Standards)

What students must do at Levels One and Two.
Table 2 is based on Part B of the IOLP standards.

Table 2
Main Assignment Level 2                             Level 3
Plan     (including Help set targets                Set targets using
target-setting)     with your Personal              information     from
                    and IOLP Tutors                 teachers/tutors and
                    and    plan     how             plan how these will
                    these will be met.              be met.
Do (carrying out Take             some              Take              full
the plan)           responsibility for              responsibility for
                    some       decisions            your learning, using
                    about           your            your action plan to
                    learning,     using             help meet targets
                    your plan to help               and improve your
                    meet your targets               performance.
                    and improve your
Reflect         and Review progress                 Review progress
review (learning with your Mentor                   and         provide
from experience) and show portfolio                 portfolio evidence
                    evidence                        of            your
                    confirming                      achievements.

                       Jeff Moses KSSPC Spring 2006

At Level 2

The student says:
‘ This is what I can do. Can you help me work out how to
do it?’

The Learning Tutor says:
‘ Let’s check that your targets are realistic.’
‘Have you thought about this way of learning?’

At Level 3

The student says:
‘ This is what I want to do and I think this is how I’m going
to do it’.

‘I’ve got a problem in terms of researching information for
my Travel and Tourism Customer Care Unit?’

The Learning Tutor says:

‘ Have you remembered to take account of the possible
strategies considered in the recent talk about learning skills? ‘

‘ Can you think of a different approach to this?’

                            Jeff Moses KSSPC Spring 2006


      At Level 2, students should ‘know about different
       learning styles… try different ways of learning…. decide
       which methods seem to suit them best or are most
       appropriate to a particular context’.

      At Level 3, students should ‘choose ways of learning
       ….. identify methods that suit their preferred learning

Source: OCA Guidance 2005

                      Jeff Moses KSSPC Spring 2006

                                    LEARNING METHODS

                               Visual – methods of learning
                               styles imply that the student
                               learns predominately through
                               what he/she sees. e.g. how to
                               change gear when driving.

Verbal – methods of learning styles
imply that the student learns
predominately through the synthesis
of the spoken word. e.g. role-play of
a telephone conversation through debate/discussion.

                   Auditory – methods of learning styles imply
                   that the student learns predominately
                   through what he/she hears. e.g. the
                   student will remember well the words of a
                   meeting or lecture, or a piece of music.

Physical – methods of learning styles imply that the
student learns predominately through what he/she
experiences physically. e.g. learning how to make a

Students could be set the following IOLP task?

Think about the way you have learnt certain knowledge and
skills throughout life. Have you learnt them through visual,
verbal, auditory or physical methods?

                       Jeff Moses KSSPC Spring 2006

    Part Three: Building The IOLP Portfolio

How Much Evidence Is Needed?

Volume is certainly not always a measure of quality in
successful key skills programmes. Encourage students to be
succinct, relevant, purposeful, organised, authentic, creative
and thorough.

At Level 2 the portfolio must contain two examples of meeting
the standard for all three Part B components. This means two
distinct and separate activities, each with evidence that the
student has planned, carried out and reviewed the activity.

This is equivalent to a GCSE qualification grades *A to C, and
worth 10 points on the ‘UCAS’ tariff. Tasks should be
‘straightforward’. i.e. activities that can be broken down into
easily-managed steps and involve familiar resources and
situations. So, there is very much a need for Tutor/Mentor

A typical portfolio would include:

    Records (possibly digital images) produced by the
      student about progress on the ‘Sports Leadership’
      Award or giving as presentation in General Studies
      about climate change.

                        Jeff Moses KSSPC Spring 2006

   Recognition of what the student has learned and how
    they have used their learning in another subject or sixth
    form enrichment activity.
   Confirmation of targets met and evidence of such
   An understanding of ways they learn best and how to
    further improve their performance.


   Two action plans, each with at least two short-term
        targets, with action points, deadlines, notes of support
        needed and a date for reviewing progress. If the learner
        did not write the plan, there must be clear evidence that
        they contributed to it.

   Notes or other records that show that the student
        provided accurate information when helping to set
        targets, knew how to get support and understood the
        review arrangements.

A Learning Log with:

   Brief description of learning activities
   Evidence of at least two different ways of learning
   Dates that identified tasks/assignments were carried out
   When individual support was given and how it was
   When and how they worked without close supervision
    with entries confirmed as accurate by teachers
   Records from subject teachers who have witnessed
    student’s work and observed how they managed their

                        Jeff Moses KSSPC Spring 2006

At Level Three

At this level, the portfolio must provide at least one example
of meeting the standard for all three components in Part B,
involving at least three targets and two different ways of

Level Three is an A/S level qualification and each key skill is
awarded 20 points on the UCAS tariff. A student achieving all
six key skills at level three will have earned 120 UCAS points.
More importantly, he/she has acquired invaluable transferable
process and interpersonal skills. The term often used here to
describe Level 3 learning is that it should be sufficiently

A typical level 3 portfolio should include records that:

    Provide information on ways the student has used their
     learning to meet new demands
    Provide information on factors, such as ineffective
     reading of study packs/notes, that affected the quality of
     their learning and performance
    Identify targets the student has met and evidence of
     their achievements drawn from at least two different
     ways of learning
    Show they have consulted appropriate teachers/tutors to
     agree ways to further improve their performance.


    A detailed action plan that included at least three
        targets, with specific points, deadlines set, notes of any
        guidance required and dates for reviewing progress.
        The student should have recorded the plan, unless they
        have a particular individual need.

    Records which confirm how the student sought and
        applied information from appropriate people/sources
        and used it to set manageable targets.

                      Jeff Moses KSSPC Spring 2006

  A Learning Log explaining:

       How they learned in at least two different ways
       How they adapted their approach to meet new
       When they sought feedback and support and how
        they used this
       Records from teachers who have seen the student’s
        work and observed how they managed their time.

Reviewing progress                    and            learning   from

Why are these skills so vital?

The processes of reflection and review
underpin the whole of IOLP. They help
students to:

     Identify how they learn best
     Identify their achievements
     Revise targets, plans and time-scales if necessary
     Reflect on and learn from experience

‘Reflection’ and ‘Review’ are overlapping processes.

Reflection is about what students do during an activity,
thinking about what it is they are doing and what and how
they are learning.

                     Jeff Moses KSSPC Spring 2006

Reviewing is a more formal process that involves:

   Checking progress against an agreed action plan
   Revising targets and plans where necessary
   Carrying out a final overview of the entire activity
    and what has been learned and achieved.

Many students will want to get on with their work whether, for
example it’s Science, English, Business or Design &
Technology. Some may be resistant to change and will need
encouragement to spend time on reflection and to take the
review process seriously before they start to become aware of
changes and improvements in how they learn and in their

The main obstacle to effective feedback is that we defend
ourselves against the possibility of negative feedback and
so don’t listen.

On the other hand, feedback might be presented in a way that
results in a defensive reaction.

Ongoing or formative assessment will enable the student to
become aware of:
   When they have succeeded
   The standard they are aiming for
   What skills they need to do more work on.

                      Jeff Moses KSSPC Spring 2006

A review session with a student can be structured round a set
of simple questions.

   What have you been doing since we last met?
   What went well? Why?
   What went less well? Why?
   What was particularly challenging?
   What will you do as a result?
   What have you learned from this?
   What might you do differently next time?


The essential points are that IOLP portfolio evidence must be:

   Purposeful. The evidence should be generated as part
      of a task that the student had to carry out in the context
      of another activity. The activity must have a purpose and
      relevance of its own.

   Authentic. The student, with no more help than the unit
      allows, must have produced evidence.

   Valid. Evidence must show what it claims to show.

   Sufficient. Evidence must include all that is required by
      Part B.

   Be holistic. The portfolio must show the entire process,
      following through the three components of the unit.

   Show development over time.                      Process skills do not
      happen overnight.

   Demonstrate individual performance. It must show
      what the student achieved as an individual

                      Jeff Moses KSSPC Spring 2006

         The IOLP Portfolio

Essentially    an   IOLP    portfolio       should

   1. An index or front-sheet, showing where the evidence
      can be found in the portfolio or another location.

   2. Sufficient evidence that the learner has achieved the
      required standard in part B of the IOLP unit they were
      aiming for.

   3. Descriptions of the learning activities the student
      undertook, or an explanation of the setting (History,
      Geography, Science, Music etc.) in which the evidence
      was produced.

   4. The student’s work, including evidence of planning,
      support, feedback, questioning, development and

   5. Awarding body documentation – records as outline by
      your External Moderator.

   6. Rigorous Internal Verification systems.

Jeff Moses KSSPC       Spring 2006

Jeff Moses KSSPC Spring 2006

Jeff Moses KSSPC Spring 2006

Jeff Moses KSSPC Spring 2006

Jeff Moses KSSPC Spring 2006

Jeff Moses KSSPC Spring 2006


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