Personal Learning Checklists (PLCs) are a useful revision tool for both students and teachers because they allow both to identify areas of strength and weakness in an overall revision strategy: students, for example, have a list of everything they’re expected to know by way of preparation for their exams and teachers can identify any areas students feel they need additional help with in the weeks leading-up to the exams.
Revision help can, in this respect, be precisely targeted to individual students – some of whom need it and some of whom don’t – rather than broadly aimed at everyone.
Basically, they’re a win-win situation for all involved.
The downside to all this general positivity is that if students don’t create their PLC as they go along, it means being faced with a huge amount of work to do at the end of the course. Time that’s normally spent revising (or “staring blankly at some notes for a few weeks” as it’s sometimes sadly known).
Although I’m a fan of teachers identifying information to include in a PLC as their students encounter it during a course – I’ve previously posted a blank A-level PLC Template that can be used for just this purpose – there may be times when you really need a completed PLC. This is something I’ve posted for GCSE Sociology, but I’ve held-off doing the same for A-level for a number of reasons:
1. PLCs are Specification-specific and there are a lot of Sociology Specifications out there. While there’s always a certain amount of cross-over, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution to the problem.
2. PLCs are teaching specific. Even teachers following the same Specification are likely to use different sources and resources with their students and this can lead to Checklists that while perfectly familiar to one set of students may be decidedly less-familiar to another.
3. PLCs can go out of date quickly whenever a Specification changes.
Having duly noted the above I have managed to find a reasonable range of pre-completed PLCs that might be useful if you’re looking to see how other teachers do it or you and your students are new to the PLC idea and want some help putting together a reasonable checklist at short notice.
Most of what follows uses the standard RAG Traffic Light system to identify ideas students don’t understand (red), understand a little (amber) or completely understand (green).