Learning contracts or plans are used in clinical education to facilitate discussion between the clinical educator and the student about the learning goals for the placement. A learning contract helps the student focus on their goals and define how they will work to achieving those goals. It is usually a written document that details the goals, objectives, strategies to achieve the goals, a time frame and the outcome measures (how the student will know when they have achieved their goal) for the placement. The learning contract is a working document that the student revisits frequently to evaluate if the learning goal is being met. It can be added to or altered to suit the progression of the student and changes in the placement.
A learning contract provides a clear framework for the placement. It makes both the student and the clinical educator aware of the expectations for the placement and can be used during the evaluation process to discuss progress.
The JCU Workplace Educators Resource Package has an excellent section on learning plans. The resource provides definitions for goals, objectives and outcomes, and has a completed learning plan.
Sample Learning Plans
Completed learning plan example 1. Speech Pathology student
Completed learning plan example 2. Speech Pathology student