Implementation of PLAR in Formal Education
Distance Learning

Butterworth, Christine, and Richard Edwards. (November 1993) "Accrediting Prior Learning at a Distance." Open Learning 8(3), 36-43.

Document Type: position paper; project description; journal article. Discusses the Assessment of Prior Learning (APL) and describes a pilot project at the Open University (United Kingdom) that introduced credit for APL in one course. Steps in the assessment process are outlined, including constructing a student portfolio; and workload, staff development, and costs are considered. Descriptors: College Credits; Costs; Distance Education; Evaluation Methods; Foreign Countries; Higher Education; Measures (Individuals); Open Education; Pilot Projects; Portfolios (Background Materials); Prior Learning; Staff Development. Identifiers: Open University (Great Britain); United Kingdom; Workload. ISSN: 0268-0513.

Dance, Muriel, et al. (1997) Student Handbook on Prior Learning Assessment: Instructions for Portfolio Development. External Doctor of Pharmacy Degree Program at the University of Washington and Washington State University.

Haponski, William C., and others. (1983) Your College Degree: The External Degree Way. Oneida, NY: ETC Associates.

37 pages. Document Type: non-classroom material. Information on undertaking an external degree program to obtain a college education is presented. An external degree program is one that has no, or minimal, requirements for residence (on-campus attendance). Most often it can be entered at any time of the year and usually grants credit for documented learning already acquired. An external degree program does not preclude attending some classes on campus. The following topics are addressed: the value of an undergraduate, professional, or graduate degree; earning a college degree at home and on the job; the quality of external degrees; transfer of external degree credits; the importance of accreditation; types of institutions that offer external degrees; types of external degree programs; fields of study available in external degree programs; the geographics of external degrees; levels of external degree programs and options; considerations for choosing a field of study; the residency question; the much lower cost of external degrees; some reasons for choosing or not choosing an external degree program; the appropriateness of external degrees for adults 25 years old and over and for younger people; some degree opportunities available through external programs; and program details for Thomas A. Edison State College. Descriptors: Accreditation (Institutions); Adult Students; College Attendance; Degrees (Academic); Enrollment Influences; External Degree Programs; Higher Education; Nontraditional Education; Nontraditional Students; Prior Learning.

Keeton, Morris T. (April 1979) "Building Experiential Learning into External Degree Programs." Peabody Journal of Education 56(3), 239-47. 

The need to build experiential learning into external degree programs is examined in terms of the framework identifying the functions of experiential elements of a program. Successful forms are defined and models of these are described. Descriptors: Coordination; Educational Cooperation; Experiential Learning; Models; Objectives; Special Degree Programs; Students; Academic Standards; Governance; Opinions; Post-secondary Education; Program Descriptions.

Kray, Eugene J., and Bruce T. Wyman. (1975) Policies, Procedures and Politics Effecting Experiental Learning. Ed.D. Practicum, Nova University.

107 pages. Delaware County Community College (DCCC) in Pennsylvania is in the process of developing an external degree program for working adults. This study was designed to examine the internal political structures within which the policies and procedures of assessing experiential learning were developed by other colleges, and to recommend a course of action for DCCC. Questionnaires were sent to 30 institutions belonging to the Cooperative Assessment of Experiential Learning (CAEL) Assembly; of the 15 institutions responding, six -- New College of California, Northeastern Illinois University; Sterling College, Webster College, College of Saint Rose, and State Technical Institute of Memphis -- were chosen for case studies. Using these case studies, plus applicable data obtained from other respondents, the policies, procedures, and politics are summarized in terms of the following problems: Faculty Related, Business Office, Registrar, Admissions, Accrediting and Transfer, Publicity, and Obtaining a Program Director. Involvement and articulation of all parties from the earliest possible time, plus a participatory governance structure to shape and develop policy revisions, seems to be the key to early acceptance and successful development of a system of assessing experiential learning. A literature review, the six case studies, a chronological list of the steps to be taken by DCCC, the questionnaire, a summary of responses, and two tables describing program costs are also included. Descriptors: Educational Policy; External Degree-Programs; Student Experience; Two-Year Colleges. Administrative Organization; Administrative Policy; Adult Education; Case Studies; Experiential Learning; Governance; Higher Education; Learning Experience; Program Costs; Student Evaluation; Work-Experience.

Prior Learning Assessment: Live and Learn -- A Distance Learning Portfolio Development Course. (1994) Videorecording produced by TV Ontario, Seneca College and Mohawk College. 

Strain, John. (1989) "Policies in American External Study: Credit for Extra-Institutional Learning." Distance Education 10(2), 230-241.

Document Type: journal article; review literature; project description. Discussion of the development of distance education programs in the United States, Australia, Canada, and Great Britain focuses primarily on six programs in the United States. External degree programs are discussed, standard examinations that assess prior learning are described, and credit policies for extra-institutional learning are examined. Descriptors: College Credits; Distance Education; Equivalency Tests; External Degree Programs; Foreign Countries; Higher Education; Prior Learning; Standardized Tests. Identifiers: Australia; Canada; Great Britain; United States.

Wagemans, Leo, and Filip Dochy. (1991) "Principles in the Use of Experiential Learning as a Source of Prior Knowledge." Distance Education 12(1), 85-108.

Document Type: journal article; position paper; research report. Discusses the importance of experience and experiential learning in distance education. Models of prior knowledge and experiential learning are discussed, the measurement of experiential learning is described, a model of the portfolio assessment method is explained, and implications for Dutch higher education and the Open University are suggested. Descriptors: College Credits; Curriculum Development; Distance Education; Experiential Learning; Foreign Countries; Higher Education; Measurement Techniques; Measures (Individuals); Models; Portfolios (Background Materials); Prior Learning. Identifiers: Conceptual Models; Netherlands; Open University (Netherlands). ISSN: 0158-7919.

Wylie, Nancy. (September 1976) Implementing Competency-Based Assessment of Prior Learning. CAEL Institutional Report. Florida International University. Princeton, NJ: Cooperative Assessment of Experiential Learning Project.

58 pages. Sponsoring Agency: Ford Foundation, New York, N.Y.; Fund for the Improvement of Post-secondary Education (DHEW), Washington, D.C.; Lilly Endowment, Inc., Indianapolis, Ind. Document Type: research report. Evaluation of prior learning for the External Degree Program at Florida International University is described. Efforts in the following areas are presented: (1) implementation and evaluation of the competency-based assessment tool, (2) integration of the assessment process with other processes of the External Degree Program and the entire university, (3) establishment of disciplinary competencies to be used as indicators in the assessment of learning from work experiences, and (4) reconciliation of the assessment process with the need for predetermined competencies in academic disciplines. Emphasis is also given to the characteristics, application, and implications of the standards used in the assessment of student learning. Descriptors: College Credits; College Students; Competency Based Education; Educational Objectives; Equivalency Tests; Evaluation Methods; Experiential Learning; External Degree Programs; Higher Education; Independent Study; Individualized Programs; Informal Assessment; Models; Nontraditional Education; Performance Contracts; Post-secondary Education; Prior Learning; Program Development; Standards; Student Records. Identifiers: Florida International University; Performance Based Certification.

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