How to Write a Learning Contract

How to Write a Learning Contract

Knowing how to write a learning contract is important in enabling you to determine the strategies to apply in order to improve performance. With the document, you will be able to make comparisons on your current abilities with the desired goals. Read on to find out more on how to write a learning contract through the best guidelines and examples outlined herein.

A learning contract is a document that is prepared by students to highlight their learning goals, available resources for attaining them, challenges and solutions, deadlines and measurements. In some occasions, you may need to seek the help of a member of your faculty or internship instructor to prepare a learning contract. However, it would be ideal if you played the key role in writing the learning contract personally considering that you are the one with the best understanding of your ambitions in learning and life in general.

One of the benefits of mastering the art of how to write a learning contract is that the document can offer you proper guidance on what to pursue for successful results in your field of study. A learning contract will also help you to identify the most ideal process and content to focus on. Besides, it will also clearly show how the set targets will be accomplished within the given period of time.

Tips on how to write a learning contract

A learning contract is more like a guide to your success and requires a lot of input on your part as an individual. With the following tips, you can easily know how to write a learning contract within a short time.

Conduct some research on learning contracts

Just like other kinds of academic papers, learning contracts have been written for so many years now. It is therefore advisable that you take a little time to study more about learning contract just to have a grasp of what is at stake. This could at least give you a head start.

Research could also involve the analysis of thoughts. You should take time to read through your mind and know exactly what you want or your ambitions for learning.

In case you decide to approach friends or others for advice on how to go about writing a learning contract, it is important to always find those who will tell you the truth, and not those who are only after pleasing you.

Narrow down to specific goals and strategies

In order to create a good learning contract that can guarantee success, it is important that you have particular aspects to focus on. Although giving general statements may make the paper to look great when read, it might not be of much help to your performance in reality.

Settle on meaningful goals and strategies that are achievable within your means. In fact, the entire contract should highlight realistic elements that you are able to work on.

The best way to narrowing down your goals is listing down the skills or knowledge that you already have and those that you intend to achieve then comparing them. This will make your work less hectic.

Steps on how to write a learning contract

It is always important that you do not rush into writing a learning contract before drafting an outline. Besides, it is important to note that a good learning contract should contain learning objectives, strategies, methods of evaluation and summary of experience. Use the following procedures to easily master the art of how to write a learning contract.

Learning Objectives      

These are the main skills that you intend to acquire from the internship. If you are looking towards improving in a particular area, it is important that you indicate it in this section.

Since what you include here will impact your activities during the learning period, you should be clear on the specific things that you need to learn.

In setting the goals, it is also important that you reflect on what you already know, the skills you have acquired in school and other areas since that will be quite useful in your success.

In simple terms, your goals should be SMART. This means that each should be specific, measurable, achievable, results-oriented and timed.

Identify the likely challenges

Since a learning contract will help you in anticipation of the future, it is also important that you highlight some of the problems that you are likely to experience in the learning process. In this way, you will be able to determine the best strategies for overcoming them in order to be successful.


On this part, you should give a description of the avenues that you plan to pursue in order to attain the outlined goals or objectives.

You should clearly show the project that you will be working on and time spent on it.

It is also important to indicate if you will be obtaining reference materials from the supervisor. Even if you are planning to meet with professionals for more insight on your area of specialization, it should also be shown.

There are also instances whereby you may need to enroll for a course, join a study group or even find online resources to help in attaining your objectives. Those should also be clearly outlined under strategies.

In the strategies section, you should also indicate how you intend to solve the challenges outlined in the above step.

The number of strategies will depend on the set goals. On the other hand, you can always use more than one strategy to achieve an objective.

Determine a deadline

In order to effectively accomplish the goals, you must have a time frame within which each will be attained. Based on the level of involvement, the deadlines for your objectives may vary.

Choose a deadline that is realistic according to the strategies that will be used and mark it out.

Methods of Evaluation

This section will require you to explain how you intend to measure the progress of every goal. Besides, you should also outline how to determine whether the set goals have been attained or not, in a way that others can also be able to see.

In case you will keep a record or prepare a log detailing all the activities during the internship period, it is important to point it out.

If you are planning to do a test by performing a particular task or operation, it should be clearly noted. Besides, you should also indicate the person that you would like to evaluate you.

In the evaluation, it is also critical that you spend time to evaluate yourself on a personal level in order to prove that you have attained the set objectives or not. Others may evaluate you too but doing a personal interrogation will make the outcomes to seem more realistic based on your feelings about the experience.

Many students do not usually spend time to read through what they have written. However, that leads to lots of mistakes. It is advisable that you carefully read the learning contract after writing to make sure that it meets your expectations.

Examples of learning contracts

Samples of contracts are also a crucial resource that can assist you in knowing how to write a learning contract. The following are learning contract excerpts that you can refer to for motivation in writing.

Example 1
Core Competency Course objectives Activities Due Dates
Identify as a professional social worker and behave accordingly Advocate for clients to gain access to social work services
  • In 2 cases, the intern will pick an agency to offer the services free of charge and encourage clients to visit.
  • Student will use resources and professionals in advocacy for the acquisition of quality services by families.

Click here to view the whole learning contract.

Example 2
Learning Objectives Learning Strategies Evidence of Accomplishment
To develop basic skills for working with people from diverse backgrounds
  • Student to be assigned 3 to 4 clients who are different in ethnicity, culture, age, gender and sexual orientation
  • Student will observe field instructor and other staff members as they interact with different clients
  • During supervision, students will show awareness of how matters of diversity impact communication and understanding between himself and others.
  • Student process recordings will involve the use of questions for clarification and lack of assumptions in response to clients who are different from him and come from diverse backgrounds.

Read the whole of this sample learning contract here.

Example 3
Learning Objectives Assignments, strategies and Resources for attaining the goals Evidence for accomplishment of objectives Deadline
  1. Professional Behavior
  • Learning the NASW code of ethics
  • Attending relevant workshops and training
The student will demonstrate compliance with the NASW code of ethics End of Spring semester
  1. Cultural Competence and Social Diversity

Find the rest of this sample learning contract here.

It’s our hope that from the guidelines and examples above, you now know how to write a learning contract with ease. 

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