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Intentionality means exactly that – to be intentional in what you do. If you want to get the best and greatest amount of learning from your placement, you need to identify areas you wish to learn about before you begin. You also need to be able to articulate these in the form of learning objectives. The best way to do this is to write down your learning objectives and keep them with you as a reminder if you feel you are off track.

Writing learning objectives

Writing learning objectives enables you to clarify the specific areas you wish to learn about.

Objectives usually begin with an action verb (e.g. ‘to learn about’, ‘to examine’, ‘to analyse’, ‘to develop’ etc). This is followed by a content reference that describes the work to be done, and finally a performance standard to be achieved.

A written learning objective will look something like this:

To learn about the undertaking of a risk assessment in child protection to a standard that meets the standard required for professional certification. Thus the sequence is:

  1. Action verb.
  2. Content reference.
  3. Performance standard.

If you practise writing the learning objectives you aim to achieve during your placement, this task will become second nature. The learning objectives will affirm your intentions for the practicum to yourself, your teachers and your supervisor. You could even think of your learning objectives as a road map to guide your learning to where you intend it to go in the workplace context.

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