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Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition

Resources for Faculty and Staff

Recommended Web Resources

Canadian Association for Prior Learning Assessment (CAPLA)

CAPLA's members have become modern-day pioneers in the field of PLAR. Since the early 1990's, those interested in the recognition of adult learning have come together to share practices connected to experiential learning and how it can be articulated against academic credit or industry standards. Experts from across Canada and abroad have helped shape the look and substance of what PLA in Canada has become.

Canadian Council on Learning - State of Learning 2007

CCL is a national, independent, non-profit organization that is committed to improving learning opportunities across the country. CCL develops and supports research initiatives and promotes adult and experiential learning best practices and frameworks for national policy. CCL’s “State of Learning” (2007) reports on Canadian literacy challenges.

The Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL)

CAEL is a national non-profit organization, which creates and manages effective learning strategies for working adults through partnerships with employers, higher education, government and labor.

Recognition for Learning

Across Canada, there are people applying PLAR knowledge and skills in human resources, in community agencies, in professional associations and regulatory bodies and in academic settings. In Canada's 20-year history of developing and implementing a wide range of Prior Learning Assessment and Qualifications Recognition services, the field of practice and the role of the practitioners have been evolving.

Recognizing the Prior Learning of Immigrants to Canada

The study clarifies and articulates the process of RPL (Recognition of Prior Learning) and identifies some exemplary practices in which it is used.

Van Kleef, J., et al. Quality Assurance in PLAR: Issues and Strategies for Post-secondary Institutions (Volume I). (2007)An informative and easy to read summary of research related to Quality Assurance in PLAR in Canada and internationally. Volume I explains the definition, importance, and pattern of quality assurance in PLAR. It also includes a table detailing the benefits and challenges of PLAR methods. The conclusions in Volume I are linked to strategies to refine current PLAR policies and practices to benefit students and post-secondary institutions.

Van Kleef, J., et al. Quality Assurance in PLAR: A Guide for Institutions (Volume II). (2007) This Guide offers practical ideas for implementing PLAR principles, policies and assessment practices at an institutional level. It is a great resource for people who would like practical information on how to advise students in PLAR or how to assess PLAR submissions in addition to explaining how PLAR policies and practices should be monitored and evaluated to maintain PLAR standards.

Van Kleef, J., et al. Quality Assurance in PLAR: Annotated Bibliography (Volume III). (2007) The annotated bibliography is divided into two sections. Section One presents literature on quality assurance in PLAR in ten countries as well as a number of multi-national initiatives. Section Two presents literature on quality assurance in higher education and assessment in seven countries in addition to some multi-national initiatives. The literature in Volume III represents a small sample of what exists and was selected based on potential utility and interest to readers in relation to the assessment of prior learning.

Recommended Print Resources

Colvin, Janet. Earn College Credit for What You Know. Chicago: Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company, 2006.

Informative question and answer format, which includes exercises for understanding and applying prior learning assessment and recognition principles. The book also includes profiles of successful adult students using prior learning assessment to complete their degrees and explanations of the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL) standards for quality prior learning assessment. Earn College Credit for What You Know is in stock at UFV’s library.

Fiddler, Morry, Catherine Marienau, Urban Whitaker. Assessing Learning: Standards, Principles, & Procedures. Chicago: Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company, 2006.

This book provides detailed descriptions and explanations of each of the CAEL “Ten Standards for Quality Assurance” and their application in prior learning situations. The standards can be used to help faculty assess an adult learner’s knowledge while University or College administrators can use the standards to ensure consistency in compliance with institutional policies and practices.

Portfolio Samples

Athabasca University

Search for Virtual Portfolio on AU homepage

LaGuardia Community College This website includes a collection of links to e-Portfolio sites throughout the United States that have a variety of portfolio samples and “how to” information. The examples and information are useful for organizing your portfolio and seeing the variety of ways a portfolio can be constructed.

Portfolio Library

Martin Kimeldorf is a teacher and an author. He has written several books and articles on the topics of work, leisure, journal writing, community service and portfolios. His website illustrates several types of portfolios including career and professional portfolios in addition to explaining how PLAR candidates can resolve challenges they may experience on their way to portfolio completion.

St Olaf College

Search for archived web portfolios

University of British Columbia
Graduates of the Department of Educational and Counselling Psychology and Special Education created professional E-portfolios.