Beyond boundaries: valuing experiential learning outside module templates.

Workman, Barbara (2008) Beyond boundaries: valuing experiential learning outside module templates. In: Society for Research into Higher Education., 9-11 December 2008., Liverpool.. . [Conference or Workshop Item]


This paper presents part of an action research project which developed a model for assessing credit volume of experiential learning claims. APEL is usually claimed against validated University modules with pre-determined credit level and amount, and used to enable access or progression within standard programmes. WBL students make APEL claims for general credit as a starting point in their WBL programme, which is assessed against a framework of Level Descriptors (Garnett 1998). This research generated criteria to assess credit volume, and the resulting differing value judgements that the academic, the claimant and the university impose upon it are explored in this paper.

The project sought to identify the tacit knowledge (Jarvis 1999) that experienced assessors of general credit use when assessing APEL credit. Usual practice of the notion of 1 credit per 10 hours of study (Walsh & Johnson 2001) does not equate with experiential learning as learning can take an indeterminate length of time, nor do standard modules offer an exact match of learning outcomes against experiential learning from a range of work sources, thus potentially undervaluing the claimant’s experience. The WBL approach to APEL aims to widen participation, but boundaries and limits upon learning exist which rely on academic value judgements rather than that of the claimants, who have to negotiate invisible hurdles to gain credit.

This paper discusses the contested nature of such learning (Armsby et al 2006). While APEL may not be perceived as traditional knowledge, valued as equivalent to HE taught programmes, it may represent significant personal learning for an individual.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Research Areas: A. > Work and Learning Research Centre
Item ID: 5421
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Depositing User: Devika Mohan
Date Deposited: 29 Apr 2010 07:41
Last Modified: 13 Oct 2016 14:19

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