Smith, Karen (2002) A phenomenological study conducted to further develop the base of knowledge related to post-secondary student experiences with prior learning assessment and recognition (PLAR). Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.
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Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR) is a strategy that was developed to improve access and increase participation rates of adult learners, and to empower these individuals by recognizing the legitimate value of past learning experiences. The purpose of this phenomenological study was to ascertain and construct through the description and perceptions of adult learners, an interpretive account of the meaning and significance of utilizing the PLAR process for the awarding of academic credit. Findings from this study should provide a description of the nature of the lived experience of post-secondary students and insight into the essence of the phenomenon. -- A phenomenological method was used to conduct this study. The participants included eleven post-secondary students who had utilized PLAR. Four of the participants had experiences with PLAR at both the college and university levels, six had utilized PLAR at the college level only, and one participant had utilized PLAR at two universities. The data were collected through unstructured interviews. -- The selective, or highlighting approach, as described by van Manen (1997). was used for data analysis. Five broad themes were identified and two themes were further subdivided as indicated: 1. Validating the Learning 2. Valuing the Past a. Providing Personal Affirmation b. Demonstrating Self-Recognition c. Experiencing Inequity 3. Encountering Support 4. Facilitating Personal Growth 5. Confronting and Embracing Time a. Adhering to Personal Schedules b. Facilitating Adjustment c. Balancing Roles d. Coping with Portfolio Development e. Organizing Time -- The essence of the participants' experiences with PLAR was described as opening doors to the future. They acknowledged how PLAR had provided educational opportunities that had opened doors for them, in very individualized and meaningful ways, into the world of lifelong learning.
|Item Type:||Thesis (Masters)|
|Additional Information:||Bibliography: leaves 170-182.|
|Department(s):||Education, Faculty of|
|Library of Congress Subject Heading:||College credits--Outside work--Evaluation; Experiential learning--Evaluation; Non-formal education--Evaluation;|
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