Introduction to the Work-Based Learning Plan

The Massachusetts Work-Based Learning Plan (WBLP) is designed to provide structure and depth to work-based learning experiences: to identify the skills to be focused on in the work experience; to open conversations about learning opportunities; to provide a structured approach to skill assessment; and to encourage reflection about short-term and long-term goals.  The Work-Based Learning Plan includes a job description, list of skills, and reviews.

The WBLP was developed by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education through an interagency collaboration of employers, educators and workforce development professionals.

It can be completed as a pen-and-paper document or through the online WBLP screens or the mobile WBLP screens.  The online screens, mobile version and resources are found at http://masswbl.org and/or http://massconnecting.org

Job Description and Skills:  To get started, write a brief job description and develop a list of three or more workplace and career-specific skills that will be the focus of the work-based learning experience.   This list of skills, along with the set of six employability skills, will be the basis for the evaluation reviews.   These skills are central to the Work-Based Learning Plan, valuable for structuring student reflection and learning and for documenting the skills developed through work-based learning programs across Massachusetts.  This skills list can include a mixture of broad employability skills and more-specific career-related skills.  Skill examples, along with definitions, are included in this guide and online.  You can feel free to develop your own skills and definitions as well.  

Evaluation Reviews:  A first (baseline) review should be held early in the work-based learning experience, and a final review near the end of the work experience. For longer-term work experiences, there may be additional reviews at regular intervals.   The review is a meeting between supervisor and participant, sometimes facilitated by a program coordinator.  The first review is important for providing feedback early in the work experience and for setting goals.  The second (final) review is an opportunity for the supervisor should draw attention to areas of improvement and skill gain, and to share ideas with the participant about how to continue to improve skills. The review meeting is an opportunity for discussion and reflection.   

Evaluation ratings are based on a 5-point scale, illustrating how life-long learning and skill development occurs over time, with typical ratings for a new intern or entry-level employee in the range of 2's and 3's and with 4's and 5's reserved for examples of skills used to advance the work of your organization and for high levels of initiative and learning.  

 

 

Typical ratings for new interns and entry-level workers would be in range of 2’s and 3’s.

 

4’s and 5’s are reserved for examples of skills used to advance the work of your organization and for high levels of initiative and learning.

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1=Performance Improvement Needed

2=Developing

3=Competent

4=Proficient

5=Advanced

Needs to have a strategy to improve this skill

Developing this skill; learning to address challenges related to this skill; aware of next steps needed to develop this skill

 

Regularly demonstrates this skill; aware of the importance of this skill

Consistently demonstrates this skill; exceeds expectations, showing initiative to learn about, enhance and/or apply this skill

 

Can describe accomplishments using this skill to advance the work of your organization; exceeds expectations, showing initiative to apply and extend this skill

Signatures and Copies:

·       The WBLP should be signed by the supervisor and participant, attesting that the participant had the opportunity to discuss and reflect on these skills, and the ratings that have been selected for the participant.    Either electronic or hand-signed signatures are acceptable.  

·       Copies of completed WBLPs should be given to the participant and to the program coordinator. 

The WBLP can be saved to a PDF or other convenient file type for the participant to include in a portfolio or other collection.   Note that the WBLP is a useful document for participants to refer to when working on resumes, job applications and college applications and for teachers or program staff to refer back to when writing letters of recommendation.