In your article on seminar.net about Cooperative Education you make reference to "Individual Progress Plans". I consider NKI’s proposal very important and pertinent and, in fact, the individual perspective, for it favors individual progress, is described and there are even suggestions for improving it. What I would like to ask you is related to “Collective Progress Plans”. I would like to know if they exist at NKI and, if possible, I would also like to know how they are dealt. Is it similar to “Individual Progress Plans” but with readjustments? What is your opinion about them? (According to your own words in this article they “make cooperation easier”, which is very significant in cooperative learning.)
And here is ProfessorMorten Flate Paulsen's answer:
Institutions with collective progress plans usually have fixed dates for course start, submissions, exams and course completion. This is not flexible for the students, but it makes it more manageable for the institutions. Collective progress plans also allow students and tutors to focus on the scheduled issues and activities.
Online institution, like Universidade Aberta, often have some progress flexibility since they allow students to decide what time of the day and which days of the week they want to study. But these institutions have collective progression with deadlines for submissions. Students cannot decide when they want to start the course or how much time they need to complete it.
Even though many of these institutions use Learning Management Systems (LMS), they don't have planning systems that monitor the progress of individual students. Most of the time it is up to the tutor to check if the students follow the deadlines.
Individual progress plans
Correspondence schools introduced individual progress plans to their students, and NKI Nettstudier decided to develop its online education around individual progress plans. To support this, NKI has developed an individual planning- and follow up system that allows the students to register dates for when they plan to submit their assignments. The students can change their dates whenever they want. The plans are automatically updated every time a student submit an assignment.
Since the system, staff, tutors and students know all submission dates, it is possible to follow up each student according to their individual status an progress plans. Just imagine how many ways you can use these plans to support progression and cooperation.
Cooperation is more difficult when students have individual progress plans since few students focus on the same topics at the same times. It is however possible to utilize this model so that junior students can learn from senior students. There are also many ways senior students can learn from cooperation with junior students. It is for example possible to ask senior students to review the work of junior students.
If a company wants a group of their employees to follow an NKI course along with some face-to-face sessions using collective progress plans, it is possible to register the same progress plan for all the participants. In this way, NKI's system for individual planning could be used to monitor collective progress plans.
The scheduled exam dates is the least flexible in NKIs model. We usually offer at least two exam dates per year, and the students can decide which date that suit them best. We also have some project report exams that can be handled in whenever the student is finished with it. It is also to some extent possible to substitute exams with portfolio evaluation.