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D. Dzega, G. Maniak, J. Osuch

West Pomeranian Business School - University of Applied Science (POLAND)
The overall objective of the presentation is to present a process of designing a decision support system for teams responsible for the planning and implementation of Lifelong Learning programmes within higher education institutions (HEIs).

Paying attention to recognition and accreditation of prior learning will be the core of the presentation. The main issues that will be addressed in the presentation are as follows:
1. the role of decision support systems for developing Lifelong Learning programmes’ curriculum

2. the main challenges for crystalizing the decision process in the field of recognition of prior learning:
a) Challenges for higher educational institutions:
­ methods of mass qualitative data processing
­ managing incomplete information collected from LL-learners
­ the growing importance of information exchange systems between HEIs and LL-learners
b) challenges for LL-learners:
­ correctly understanding the process of recognition and accreditation of prior learning
­ finding paths of accreditation gained prior to informal learning effects
­ building their own documents and experience repository
c) challenges for the decision support systems:
­ collecting and processing large amounts of information
­ fulfilling the need of information exchange automatisation between HEI and external stakeholders (e.g. employers, training institutions)
­ monitoring activities and effects collected during formal and informal learning (e.g. on the job development, voluntary activities, research projects)

3. The main stage of the decision-making process: applying, guidance, validation, creation of individual learning paths and additional support

4. Designing functional requirement specifications for decision support systems – recognising main actors of the process (LL-learners, HEIs, tertiary stakeholders); recognising the main elements of system architecture:
a) knowledge base, including expertise base
b) decision models, including the creation of individual learning paths, assigning optimal conditions for recognition and accreditation of prior learning
c) a user friendly interface that includes: application form module, guidance module, individual paths module, communication module (HEI-LL-learners-tertiary stakeholders)

All issues raise in the presentation are fulfilling the idea of HEI acting as Lifelong integrator hub.