A Tale of Two Continents: Cross cultural perspectives in using experiential learning as a foundation for negotiated programs.

Report
A Tale of Two Continents:
Cross cultural perspectives in using
experiential learning as a foundation for
negotiated programs
SUNY Empire State College
• Founded 1971 to meet the needs
of the Adult Learner
• > 20,000 students - Associate,
Bachelor’s, & Master’s degrees
35 Face to Face locations in New York State, plus
Center for Distance Learning ≥ 40% of enrollment
(Students in all 50 states and across 50 countries)
www.esc.edu
Undergraduate Program - Open Curriculum
– Individualized degree design to connect studies with
students’ personal learning goals across 13 Areas of
Study
– Credit for college-level experiential learning:
– Standardized exams: CLEP, DANTES, TECEP, NYU,
Excelsior
– Military, Training Program or Course evaluations: ACE,
NCCRS
– ESC Generic/Partnerships
– Individualized Prior Learning Assessment (PLA)
– PLA: Students prepare a reflective, narrative selfassessment and is interviewed by a content expert
(faculty or equivalent)
Prior Learning Assessment (PLA)
“Prior Learning Assessment is a term used
to describe learning gained outside a
traditional academic environment. Put
another way, it’s learning and
knowledge your students acquire while
living their lives: working, participating in
employer training programs, serving in
the military, studying independently,
volunteering or doing community service,
and studying open source courseware”
(CAEL).
Life
Experiences
Prior
Learning
Assessment
Professional
Training
Personal
Learning
“In short, PLA is the evaluation and
assessment of an individual’s life
learning for college credit, certification, or
advanced standing toward further
education or training” (CAEL).
4
Why Prior Learning Assessment?
Traditional
Transfer
Credit
NonTraditional
Transfer &
Testing (ACE
Credit, CLEP,
etc).
Prior
Learning
Portfolio
Assessment
• Prior learning assessment
has been a practice for over
40 years at Empire State
College.
• PLA offers all learners,
especially adult learners the
ability to:
– Earn credit for learning
outside of the classroom.
– Complete their degrees
sooner at a lower cost.
•
SUNY Empire State College follows the
Council on Adult Learning Education’s
and the Middle States Accreditation
guidelines for the individualized
assessment of learning.
Evaluation
Criteria:
Application of
Credits:
Course Match
vs. Non-Course
Match
Restrictive vs.
NonRestrictive
Evaluators:
Variations
in PLA
Practices
Faculty vs.
Outside
Experts
Policies &
Support
Integrated vs.
Add On
Assessment
Process:
Blind Review
vs. Interviews
How PLA works at Empire State College
• Students meet with a faculty mentor
• Students take 1 required course – Educational Planning
• Students design their own degree program plan using
prior learning as a basis
• Students develop PLA requests as part of their degree
plan
• The PLA recommendation is part of the final degree
program plan portfolio
• The PLA credits are approved as part of the degree
program approval process.
Assessment of Prior Learning at
Empire State College
1. A course and
some attend a
workshop
2. Learning essay
Students are
interviewed in
PLA Process
3. Supporting
documentation
4. Portfolio
Shifts in Our Lifetimes
Industrial Age
18th Century – late 1970’s
Informational Age
Late 1097’s - 2000
Relational Age
2000 - present
• Technology – increase productivity & replace human tasks
• Communication – constrained by time & place
• Knowledge Acquisition – well defined, delivered
• Technology – capture, process & share information
• Communication – wired & networked
• Knowledge Acquisition – begins to extend globally
• Technology – amplifies connections & relationships
• Communication – unplugged, anytime/anywhere
• Knowledge Acquisition – self-organized
Today’s Learning Environments
Higher
Education
• Classrooms
• Online Courses
• ePortfolios
Internet
•
•
•
•
Websites, Blogs,
Wikipedia
Mobile Aps
Social Media
Web Videos –
YouTube, iTunes
Open
Education
• Open CourseWare
Consortium
• Open University
Network
• Kahn Academy
• Peer-to-Peer
University
• Badges
Shifts in Higher Education
Past Role
Current Role
Connect Learning to big picture; context,
historical and future implications.
Deliver Courses and Information
Help students to be well-rounded,
liberal arts educated persons
Provide specific skills for specific
fields
Confer Degrees
Connect Liberal Arts Education, Global
Learning, and Workplace Learning and blend
skills for evolving employment
Help students to Learn to Learn
Help students to Present their Learning
Assessment of Learning
Become partners in learning
Provide Stackable Credentials
SRL
Research
Brain
Research
Student’s Role
•Self-Assess their Learning
•Reflect Upon their Learning
•Articulate their Learning
PLA
Research
Assessing
Learning
Institutional Role:
• Confirm College-Level Learning
• Credential the Learning
Questions?
•
•
•
•
Will an institution assess students emergent learning acquired while attending the
institution or only time bound learning prior to attendance? Will PLA policies provide
for students to add on assessed learning as they move through their degree?
Will institutions be willing to expand their PLA policies to allow more assessed
learning credits be recognition toward degree requirements? How will the additional
learning be recognized when it expands beyond degree requirements? When
learning doesn’t fit a degree, will institutions expand their offerings, such certificates,
to capture students’ learning? Will institutions accept badges for credit? Can the
peer-review system be developed within academic settings for prior learning?
Will institutions be able to embrace the variety of verifiable college level learning
posed by students?
Is the essay the only way that students can demonstrate verifiable college-level
learning? Originally, there was belief that the writing process required college-level
skills and was important in documenting academic equivalent learning. Is this true?
Could greater depth and breadth of learning be documented by using relational tools?
What would happen if these tools were combined? Are there other practices that
demonstrate learning that could be used in the documenting process?
Your Questions?

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