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Learning Plans: An Introduction



This article covers the purpose of learning plans in Foundry and the action steps required to create and assign them. Each action step below is linked to a step-by-step guide.




Learning Plans: the Purpose

Student progress in Foundry is measured against the individual Targets (or standards, competencies, goals, etc) in your Learning Target Set.

There may be thousands of targets in your Learning Target Set, but your students may never be expected to complete all of them.  Your program may allow electives, or use different targets for different levels of rigor. 

Each student will eventually have one or more Learning Plans, which contain all the targets and/or credits needed to move on to the next 'level' of goals. Think of it as a filter that clarifies an often confusing map of the learning journey.

A Learning Plan in Foundry can take many shapes: it could measure progress from one 'grade level' to the next, and/or comprise an entire graduation plan. It could show how to move between one 'backpack' and the next, or whatever progression your program has designed.

Each student's Learning Plan can be custom-built, but most programs build individual plans from a template.


Learning Plan Template

A Learning Plan Template is a custom-designed subset of your targets and credit goals. Learning Plan Templates are used by Admin users to assign common plans for multiple students.

A secondary school using course-based core subject classes, for example, might require all 9th grade students to complete credits in Health, Physical Science, and Civics between September and June, and might require a particular set of targets to be completed in those subjects. 

By contrast, a school focused on competency-based learning might require each student individually to complete 'backpacks' of targets, moving to each next backpack at their own best pace.  

Either way, Foundry allows you to assign a Learning Plan Template, with its pre-selected targets, to all students. Once assigned, the adopted template can then be individualized for particular students. Well-designed templates save time, improve accuracy, and allow comparability across groups of students.

Learning Plan Templates are customizable: you can use them to determine how much voice and choice students have in deciding what targets to work on.


Do I Have to Use a Learning Plan?

Foundry has developed a method for measuring student progress without the use of a Learning Plan, currently called Autoplan. Sometimes, the development of learning plan templates requires a lot of thought, discussion, and revision. Organizations just beginning their adoption of Foundry may need to get started with assigning and evaluating progress against learning targets while those learning plans are still in development.  

Autoplan is an optional feature that Foundry subscribers can request be enabled. When enabled, Autoplan will display progress on the Performance Page even when no Learning Plans exist or have been assigned to a student.

If your organization has enabled Autoplan, read here for more information.


How Advisors and Students Use the Learning Plan

Admin privileges are required to set up and assign learning plans, so users without Admin privileges do not typically see the form. This is how the plan manager appears to Admins:



Where do Advisors and Students see it? The learning plan is visible in Foundry in two very important places: in the Learning Experience creation forms and on the Performance Page.


Learning Experience Planning Form

Below is a view of a learning plan while an Advisor creates a learning experience and selects a single student (Quick Actions > Create Experience):




Learning Plan Selector: Note that when an individual student is selected, the student's available learning plans are shown, and the current selected plan is highlighted. An Advisor can choose from any plan currently assigned to a student. A student designing their own experience will always see their individual Learning Plans in the selector.

Overall Requirements: Selecting a subject in the left column (Math 9-12 above) and a target group in the center column (Statistics and Probability above) displays in the right column all the requirements in the current learning plan for that subject. In the image above, this student must earn 0.5 more credits each in two groups (Functions, Statistics and Probability), and various numbers of targets both anywhere and in specific target groups. This school has built in a fair amount of choice for students when selecting learning targets.

Target Requirements: The Learning Plan Manager gives your school the option of requiring students to earn a learning target multiple times. If specific targets are required, the target chooser shows in brackets number of times the student still needs to demonstrate the target.

Color coding: Selecting a subject (left column) and opening a target group (center column) displays  color-coded individual targets: the red in the image below indicates targets that are still specifically required. The green indicates targets that have been completed for the selected plan (and a '0' in brackets).

In the below image, clicking the individual target name (center column) displays in the right column the full target description and the number of times remaining for the student to complete that target. 



When a different learning plan (or 'All Available') is selected, the colors and numbers will change to reflect the requirements of the selected plan.

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Learning Plans on the Performance Page

Just above the Performance Level graph are two filters. The first is a pair of radio buttons that switch between showing Content targets and Skills targets. 


When you switch between them, the choices in the learning plan selector also switch between your available Content or Skills learning plans. Below those is a menu that allows you to switch between showing one of several learning plans.




All active plans are shown in the dropdown, plus a choice called 'User Default Plan.' The Default Plan is set in the student's User Profile by an Admin user. It is what shows on the Performance page whenever Foundry is first opened, as well as the plan Foundry uses to create your reports and transcripts. Read here for more information about how the User Default Plan is selected.

If you are looking at a different plan and then you choose 'User Default Plan' from the dropdown, Foundry switches back to whichever plan is set as the default. 

Once you choose a learning plan to view, the pie graph to the right and the bar graphs below show what targets (or credits, if you are viewing the credits tab) have been earned, and how many more remain. 



The menus above allow you to view progress in a pie chart and bar graphs.  for various terms and for each subject.




Both are helpful for answering the student's question How much further do I have to go to be finished with this plan? The answer depends on whether you are looking at your final destination, or if you are looking at the next checkpoint on the way.

Note in the images below the difference between what the student has completed toward her 9th grade plan and her overall graduation plan.

Grade 9 plan:



Graduation Plan:


If Foundry only showed progress toward graduation, it might look like she'll never get there. Seeing greater progress towards smaller goals builds confidence.


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Action Steps

  1. Create or upload a Learning Target Set. Read our step-by-step guide here
  2. Create a Learning Plan Template. Read our step-by-step guide here.
  3. Individualize Learning Plans template for specific students (optional). Read our step-by-step guide here.
  4. Set a default learning plan for individual students. If you use only one template for all students, Foundry will set your plan as the default. Read our step-by-step guide here.

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Suggested Reading:

Note: Articles linked here under "Suggested Reading" are chosen by Foundry Support team members for their relevance and are updated as needed. The articles listed here may differ from those on the right side of the page, where the Knowledge Base AI lists "Related Articles." 


Learning Plans: A Conceptual Framework

Learning Plan Selection in the Performance Page

Labels: learning targets, Learning Plan, Template,
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