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The Professional Learning Model (PLM™)

The Professional Learning Model (PLM™)
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Author(s): David E. Leasure (Colorado Technical University, USA), Amy Peterson (Career Education Corporation, USA), Richard Kettner-Polley (Colorado Technical University, USA) and Scott Van Tonningen (Colorado Technical University, USA)
Copyright: 2009
Pages: 7
Source title: Encyclopedia of Distance Learning, Second Edition
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Patricia L. Rogers (Bemidji State University, USA), Gary A. Berg (California State University Channel Islands (Retired), USA), Judith V. Boettcher (Designing for Learning, USA), Caroline Howard (HC Consulting, USA), Lorraine Justice (Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong) and Karen D. Schenk (K. D. Schenk and Associates Consulting, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-198-8.ch247


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Late in 2003, Colorado Technical University prepared to develop a large number of programs for online delivery. As part of the planning, the university developed its professional learning model (PLM™) to ensure online and face-to-face courses would address student motivation, employ proven teaching techniques, integrate theory with practice, teach real-world knowledge and skills, and support assessment of student learning. PLM™ courses focus on mastery of professional knowledge and skills by applying what is taught in the course to the construction of authentic deliverables that are produced in the professional environment, such as project plans, software programs, or electronic devices. CTU PLM™ engages the student in complex, real-world projects and scenarios that require them to organize, research, and solve problems. Essentially, it allows students to practice skills in real world situations. Professional learning naturally answers the student question, “How will I use this in the real world?” It allows students to easily establish the connection between what they learn in the classroom and real world issues and practices. This learning method encourages students to use higher levels of thinking skills by having them look critically and creatively at problems that don’t have one right answer. Students learn about information in situations that are similar to the professional situations in which they will use the information in the future.

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