PLA Assessor Training Prepared by the PLA Assessors Group

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PLA Assessor Training
Prepared by the PLA
Assessors Group
Assessing
Experience-Based Learning
Learning
 Focus on learning
– not just experience
 Learning based on:
- experience and
- academic theory
Experience
Theory
2
Review: PLA Documentation
 Prior Learning must be documented
 Documentation provides
alternative formats
for candidates to provide evidence
they have the knowledge and skills
for a specific course’s learning outcomes.
3
Concerns for Assessors
 Academic rigor
 Ownership
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Targeted courses
Content and academic freedom
Assessment
Retake options
 Validity issues
 Experience
 Documentation of learning
4
Academic Rigor
 Assessors are content experts
 PLA portfolio aligned with learning
objectives for existing courses
 Critical: Learning outcomes in syllabi
must clearly define what is valued.
5
Ownership Issues
 Departments determine which
courses may be taken for PLA
credit
 This may depend on
 Electives v major courses
 Foundation v upper level courses
 Transfer courses (e.g. preMedicine)
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Ownership Issues
 Departments or assessors
determine
 Prerequisite prior experiences
 Extent of contact between assessor
and student
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Ownership Issues
 Departments determine retake
policies:
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Retake entire submission
Retake selected parts
Retake maximum portion (%)
No retake
8
Ownership Issues
 Assessors determine
 Content
 Accepted forms of evidence
 Form of assessment
 Common VSU-PLA format for
consistency in communicating
expectations and outcomes
9
Validity Issues
 Validity of experience:
 Serves as entry gatekeeper
 Documentation of experience is
supervised during PLA 2000
 Focus on formal evidence
 Validity of learning:
 Focus on personal performance
 Focus on applications of content and
theory in personal experience
10
Criteria for Quality Assurance
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Credit or its equivalent will be awarded only for
learning, and not for experience.
Assessment should be based on standards and criteria
for the level of acceptable learning.
Assessment should be treated as an integral part of
learning, not separate from it, and should be based on
an understanding of learning processes.
The determination of credit awards and competence
levels must be made by appropriate subject matter and
academic or credentialing experts.
Credit or other credentialing will be appropriate to the
academic context in which it is awarded and accepted.
The program of study and the student’s major, i.e., core,
upper-division, or graduate, of the student determines
the “academic context.”
Adapted From: Morry Fiddler, Catherine Marieneau & Urban Whitaker. Assessing Learning: Standards,
Principles, & Procedures. Chicago: CAEL (Council for Adult and Experiential Learning), 2006.
For more information visit: The Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL) at http://www.cael.org/.
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What Students Do
Students must convince assessors that
 They have relevant and appropriate
experiences
 They learned from those experiences
 Learning is aligned with learning outcomes
for the target course
 Learning is grounded in relevant theory
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Students Step 1:
Sources of Learning
 Assess experience background
 PLA 2000 instructor guides
student in collecting and
evaluating documentation of
experiences as potential sources
of leraning
13
Evidence of Relevant Experience
Students provide evidence to
document relevant experiences.
Relevant experiences could include:
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Courses
Training programs (e.g. military)
Work experience
Community service
Personal study
14
Students Step 2:
Index of Learning
 PLA 2000 instructor guides
student to examine syllabi and
learning outcomes of relevant
course(s)
 Student aligns prior learning with
learning outcomes of target
course(s)
15
Students Step 3:
Assessor Guidelines
 Obtain assessor’s guidelines:
 Learning outcomes
 Defined levels of performance
 Accepted/required forms of
documentation
 Suggestions for student
16
Evidence of Learning
Many ways to provide evidence of
learning from experience:
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Work products
Performance simulations
Interviews
Oral or written exams
Skills demonstrations
Original fine art
Computer software
Poems, books, stories
17
Students Step 5:
Portfolio Development
 Students prepare portfolio
 Align learning with learning
outcomes for the course
 Align learning with relevant theory
 Align learning with grounding
experience
 Address assessment guidelines
18
Students Step 6:
Assessment
 Assessors rate learning for each of
the learning outcomes and defined
criteria
 ?? Students must receive a
satisfactory rating on each
component
 ?? If rating for any component is
not satisfactory, the student may be
allowed one opportunity for revision
and rescoring
19
Role of Faculty Assessors
 Help determine appropriate courses based
on backgrounds of students
 Develop assessment methods appropriate
for the course
 Provide syllabus and assessment
guidelines
 Evaluate student documentation,
portfolios, etc.
20
Assessors Step 1:
Revise Course Syllabus
 Provide Course Syllabus:
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Course title and number of credits
Course description (from catalog)
Learning outcomes
Additional resources (if appropriate)
21
Learning Outcomes Are Critical
Learning outcomes:
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Define expectations for the target course
Define observable behaviors
Must be clear and explicit
Should include all valued components
(including process skills)
If learning outcomes are not explicit,
students cannot be held accountable.
22
Learning Outcomes
 Define observable behaviors
 Yes: The student will demonstrate
effective planning of ….
 No: The student will know how to
plan …
 No: Planning instruction …
 Define levels of performance
 Low: knowledge, comprehension
 High: analysis, synthesis, evaluation
23
Assessors Step 2:
Analyze Course Requirements
 What prerequisite experience?
 Gatekeeper to entry
 Appropriate, equitable and defensible
 What learning?
 Elaboration of learning outcomes
 Components to include in evaluation
 What sources of evidence of learning?
 What minimum levels for credit?
 What retake policies?
24
Assessors Step 3:
Define the Assessment Method
Assessment method depends on the course
Traditional
Behavioral
Exam e.g. Mathematics
Essay e.g. English
Portfolio e.g. Science
Performance e.g. Fine Arts
25
Assessors Step 4:
Develop Evaluation Instrument
Mastery
Satisfactory
Unsatisfactory
Sources of Learning
Evidence of Learning
Objective 1
Objective 2
Objective 3, etc
Alignments etc
Quality of Presentation
Breadth and Depth
Organization
Writing quality, etc
26
Possible Scoring Categories
 Sources of Learning (Experiences)
 Evidence of Learning
 Learning aligned with Learning Outcomes
 Learning aligned with Experiences
 Learning aligned with Theory
 Presentation:
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Breadth / Depth / Significance
Introduction / Conclusion
Documentation / Citation of Source Material
Writing quality
27
Assessors Step 5:
Communicate Expectations
 Ensuring rigor (breadth/depth)
 Careful wording of learning objectives
 Defining components of evaluation rubric
 Ensuring validity of learning
 Grounding in personal experience
 Suggestions for students
 What is valued
 What is expected
28
Questions?
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