AN EXPLORATION OF STUDENT FOCUSED INITIATIVES TO SUPPORT RECOGNITION OF PRIOR LEARNING CASE PREPARATION

P. O'Leary, S. O'Sullivan

Cork Institute of Technology (IRELAND)
Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) is where recognition is given for relevant learning, regardless of how it was gained, prior to starting on a programme or module. This research explores a number of student focused initiatives to support RPL case preparation. An action research methodology was used where existing procedures in our institute were examined and evaluated, new procedures introduced to students, followed by further evaluation and reflection. The aim of the research was to create a positive environment for RPL case preparation. The initial survey captured the existing picture of RPL in 2011. This was followed with an exploration of reflection using focus groups. Changes to the existing processes include development and evaluation of website after which an additional page was added to the site, that of ‘Valuing Learning’. The Valuing Learning space was added to encourage documentation of competencies and this was followed with a trial of e portfolios using Google sites. The last element in the research was an evaluation of the e portfolio trial. The findings contribute valuable insight to a complex field in education.