How to do PLAR?

Report
The Recognition of
Prior Learning
Dr. Christine Wihak
Director, PLAR
Overview
•
•
•
•
•
Intro to PLAR at TRU
Why do PLAR?
How to do PLAR
Quality assurance in PLAR
Questions; general discussion
Prior Learning Assessment & Recognition
at TRU - OL
PLAR at TRU
Thompson Rivers University (TRU) Act:
3 (1) The purposes of the university are …
(d) to provide an open learning educational credit
bank for students.
TRU’ s Open Learning
Credit Bank
• Generous transfer credit policy, low
residency requirements
• PLAR Department – evaluation of nonformal and informal learning
– Open Learning and campus
TRU PLAR Department
• PLAR Director – based in Open Learning
division
• PLAR Advisor (full-time)
• PLAR Assessors (as needed)
 TRU - OL Faculty Members
 TRU Faculty
 External assessors
Prior Learning
International Research Centre
• Mission: stimulate innovative and
provocative research concerning prior
learning and related theory, policy and
practice
Prior Learning
International Research Centre
• Researching the Recognition of Prior
Learning (NIACE publication)
Prior Learning
International Research Centre
• Research projects
– Intercultural communication
– Academic misconduct
– Cognitive complexity of portfolio preparation
– Evaluating learning from OERs (Open
Educational Resources)
Why do PLAR?
•
•
•
•
Government perspectives
Institutional perspectives
Student perspectives
Instructor perspectives
Why do PLAR?
• Gov’t Perspective
– Major feature of EC Lifelong Learning
policy
– Major focus of Obama’s higher ed
initiatives
– Required at universities in Australia,
France
– Being introduced in China, Malaysia
Why do PLAR?
• Student perspectives?
• Institutional perspectives?
Why do PLAR?
• Student Perspectives?
Why do PLAR?
• Save time
• Save money
• Good adult learning practice
(eg. Peruniak & Powell, 2007)
Why do PLAR?
• Institutional Perspectives?
Institutional Perspective
2010 CAEL study of PLAR outcomes
• 62,000 adult undergraduates at 48
colleges
• PLAR students compared to non-PLAR
students
– GPA higher
– Higher degree completion rates
– Took more courses
Institutional Perspective
EduVentures 2011 study
• 20, 000 perspective students
• Availability of PLAR significant factor
in choice of institution
How to do PLAR?
How to do PLAR?
How to do PLAR?
• Quality Assurance in PLAR: A Guide for
Institutions (Van Kleef et al., 2007)
• Criteria for Managing the Assessment Process
– Need clear learning standards (outcomes) available for
learners, assessors
– Need criteria for assessors to judge prior learning
(relevance, breadth, depth, currency, sufficiency,
authenticity)
– Need criteria for assessors to select assessment tools
(e.g. “fitness for purpose”)
– Ensure assessment processes are reliable and valid
How to do PLAR?
• Need clear learning standards (outcomes)
available for learners, assessors
• Need criteria for assessors to judge prior
learning (relevance, breadth, depth, currency,
sufficiency, authenticity)
• Need criteria for assessors to select assessment
tools (e.g. “fitness for purpose”)
• Ensure assessment processes are reliable and
valid
How to do PLAR?
• Samples
– Successful LL, UL modules
– Unsuccessful LL, UL modules
– Business communications course
Quality Assurance
CAEL Standards for
PLAR “best practices”
• CAEL (Council for Adult and
Experiential Learning) highly
influential in global spread of PLAR
• Published Principles of good practice
in assessing experiential learning
(Willingham, 1977) and Assessing
prior learning – A CAEL handbook
(Knapp, 1977)
CAEL Standards for
PLAR “best practices”
• Assessing Learning: Standards, Principles
& Procedures (Fiddler, Marineau &
Whitaker, 2006) provided revised PLAR
standards
• CAEL standards being used as basis for
PLAR policies in a number of American
universities (e.g. Middle States
Association of Colleges and Schools) and
Canadian universities (e.g. Athabasca
University, Brandon University, Ryerson
University, University of Prince Edward
Island)
Quality Assurance
in PLAR
• Published in 2007
• Authors all active PLAR practitioners in
Canada: Amichand, Ireland, Orynik,
Potter, Van Klee
• Based on Canada-wide research, funded
by Canadian Council on Learning
• Three volumes available from
http://www.cirl.org/
Quality Assurance
in PLAR
• Foundational Policies
– Should reflect CAEL principles or other
QA principles
– Incorporate PLAR into existing QA
mechanisms, including periodic
program reviews, external peer review
and student feedback
– Develop specific QA mechanisms for
PLAR Link PLAR to educational planning
Quality Assurance
in PLAR
• Foundational Policies (cont’d)
– Provide PLAR support services for
learners and assessors
– Have clear, transparent definitions of
PLAR and QA processes and
communicate these clearly to learners
and internal/external stakeholders
– Include records management systems
for PLAR in QA reviews

similar documents