Implementation of PLAR in Formal Education
Secondary Schools

Institute for Behavioral Research in Creativity. (October 1992) Student, Educator, and Parental Views on Proficiency-Based Credit Assessment. Salt Lake City: Utah State Office of Education.

74 pages. Document Type: evaluative report; test, questionnaire. This report presents results from Phase 2 of an ongoing Utah State Office of Education project titled "Preliminary Study of Proficiency Based Credit Testing in Utah Public Schools." Proficiency-based credit assessment (PBCA) means awarding secondary school academic credit to students considered proficient in the area without having taken the designated academic course. Phase 1 of the study examined the literature on PBCA, PBCA use in other states, and PCBA use in Utah. Recommendations from phase 1 supported development of PBCA on a state-wide basis. In phase 2, a catalogue of PBCA resources and learning opportunities was compiled to help students become aware of possibilities. A major component of phase 2 was the surveying of 1,296 students, approximately 400 parents, and 114 educators in a small rural district and a large suburban district. Findings demonstrate that students, parents, and educators are aware of and support learning outside the classroom. They are also in favour of granting credit for such learning. From 46 to 64 percent of students expressed an interest in PBCA. Recommendations are made for the Phase 3 development of PBCA assessment. Four exhibits present study findings. Five appendices include the catalogue of resources; the three surveys given to students, parents, and educators; and student comments. Descriptors: Academic Achievement; Acceleration (Education); Advanced Courses; Advanced Placement; Equivalency Tests; Experiential Learning; High School Equivalency Programs; High Schools; High School Students; Parents; Prior Learning; Program Evaluation; Public Schools; Questionnaires; Rural Schools; Student Attitudes; Suburban Schools; Surveys; Teacher Attitudes; Teachers. Identifiers: Proficiency Based Credit Assessment; Utah.

Institute for Behavioral Research in Creativity. (October 1991) Proficiency-Based Credit Assessment: A National and Statewide Survey of Use. Salt Lake City: Utah State Office of Education.

50 pages. Document Type: research report; test; questionnaire. In recent years a movement has developed at the high school level to address issues of cost and educational improvement through Proficiency-Based Credit Assessment (PBCA). With PBCA, students can receive credit by demonstrating their proficiency without actually taking a course. A national mail survey conducted by the Utah State Office of Education to determine the current scope and use of PBCA in secondary school education found that 16 states (40% of the 40 respondents) had a policy that provided direction for use of PBCA for high school credit, but only five states had specified tests or evaluation procedures. In general, the responsibility for determining how credit could be earned was left to the districts. A survey of the 40 Utah school districts (80% response rate) determined that seven districts were currently using PBCA, and three had developed assessment instruments independently of state resources. Recommendations include: (1) centralized PBCA assessment procedures; (2) a system development committee; (3) use of end-of-course tests and item pools to create assessments; (4) emphasis on subject methodology over subject-matter content; (5) a needs assessment/marketing component; (6) making PBCA attractive to district educators; (7) making PBCA attractive to students; and (8) recognizing and promoting external resources in developing programs. Ten references are listed, and three appendices provide the surveys used in the study. Descriptors: Competency Based Education; Educational Assessment; Educational Improvement; Equivalency Tests; Experiential Learning; High School Equivalency Programs; High Schools; Mail Surveys; National Surveys; Prior Learning; School Districts; State Surveys; Student Evaluation; Student Placement; Testing Problems; Test Use; Use Studies Identifiers: Proficiency Based Credit Assessment; United States; Utah.

Larabee, Pauline. (No date) Recognition of Prior Learning: Pilot Project of the Ottawa Board of Education. Workshop materials.

Nickse, R. (1980) "A Comparison and Analysis of Four Alternative High Schools' Credentialing Programs." National Association of Public and Continuing Adult Education Exchange 3(2), 11-13.

Porter, Kathleen, and Norma S. Feldman. (December 1980) New York State External High School Diploma Program. Assessment Procedures and Sample Assessment Materials. Syracuse, NY: Syracuse Research Corp. 

81 pages. Sponsoring Agency: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC. National Diffusion Network. Document Type: project description. In order to satisfy the needs of the many adults without a high school diploma, the New York State External High School Diploma Program was developed in 1972 as an alternative high school credentialing program for adults who have acquired skills through their life experiences and can demonstrate these skills in applied performance tests. The program's objective is to validate these skills by providing an assessment and credentialing process that is an alternative to traditional high school equivalency testing programs. This booklet provides a detailed account of the assessment procedures and materials used in the program. Following a brief description of the program in the Introduction, part 1 describes the diagnostic procedures and contains a synopsis of each of the diagnostic instruments. Part 2 describes the procedures used to assess the generalized life skills competencies. It also provides a synopsis of the original set of tasks, a brief description of the new set of tasks, and a sample task which illustrates the sorts of activities completed by candidates in the program, as well as the evaluative procedures used to assess candidate performance in each phase of the task. Part 3 describes the procedures used to determine which individualized competency should be used to assess a candidate, and gives a sample performance interview used for assessing security guard skills. Descriptors: Adult Students; Credentials; Educational Assessment; Evaluation Criteria; Evaluation Methods; Experiential Learning; High School Equivalency Programs; Measures (Individuals); Minimum Competency Testing; Prior Learning; Student Evaluation. Identifiers: National Diffusion Network Programs; New York State External High School Diploma Prog.

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