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Second, it must enable success. Finally, it must use available resources efficiently. The tools and resources developed according to these criteria fall into two categories: PLA programs can use both to ensure that all departments provide consistent communication to learners about the PLA process, which will foster a positive experience.
The PLA online lab houses centralized resources and offers one-on-one interaction with a facilitator to assist learners step-by-step in the development of their petitions. Each unit contains resources, examples, and optional assignments that help learners to develop specific aspects of the petition.
By following the examples and recommendations, learners are able to submit polished petitions after they complete the units. The lab facilitator supports learners throughout the units by answering questions and providing recommendations.
When learners submit their petitions, the facilitator reviews it entirely and provides feedback to strengthen the final submission that goes to a faculty reviewer for an official evaluation. All of these individuals and tools work together to help create a positive experience for learners who submit a PLA petition.
This article shares these resources with the goal of strengthening PLA as a field. Prior learning assessment PLA ; student experience; barriers; positive experience; learner experience;; facilitator; practitioner experience; practitioner learning; learning narrative; prior learning assessment and recognition PLAR ; ARCS model; practitioner knowledge; Capella University; competency-based; Council for Adult and Experiential Learning CAEL ; standards for assessing learning Creating a Positive PLA Experience Learners know that prior learning assessment PLA can help them meet their program requirements in less time and at a reduced cost, but they are uncertain about the PLA process and nervous about their petition being denied.
Learners generally understand how to be successful in a classroom setting, but working through a PLA is a more challenging task. Learners are often able to describe their practitioner experience, but do not know how to write an academic description of their knowledge.
Critics might wonder why it is necessary to create a positive PLA experience. First, the PLA must motivate learners. By its very nature, a PLA requires self-reflection, in-depth writing, and a significant time investment, all of which can be challenging to learners, causing them to reconsider the decision to challenge a course.
First, attention is related to curiosity and engagement in a task. Because a PLA helps learners meet the goal of finishing a degree program faster at a reduced cost, the relevance of working through it is clear.
Third, confidence is the belief that one will successfully complete the task. To improve confidence, the PLA team provides the necessary resources at appropriate times. Finally, satisfaction reflects positive feelings derived from an experience and an interest in continuing that experience.
Satisfaction is influenced by the appropriateness of the amount of work as well as consistency between goals and required tasks.
The remainder of this article will describe the efforts to address each aspect of motivation. The second criterion is that the PLA experience must enable the learner to succeed. It is critical for the PLA program to anticipate common problems and provide useful resources at appropriate times.
These resources clarify expectations, give positive examples to emulate, and provide flexible support. One important part of this is to encourage learners to be realistic about the PLA they attempt, to accurately assess their own competence as compared to the expectations of the faculty.
The PLA team works hard to eliminate barriers to learner success. From the perspective of PLA practitioners, the overall goal is an accurate assessment of prior learning.
Eliminating any barriers to accurate assessment ensures that learners can focus their energy on meaningful assessment activities rather than extraneous requirements. This efficiency enables the PLA team to support many learners while maintaining the motivational and supportive aspects of the PLA.
The tools and resources for creating a positive PLA experience fall into two categories, staff and online resources. After a literature review and brief introduction to Capella, the authors address the departments across the university that interact with learners and describe how the PLA team enables those departments to counsel them.
Then they explore the online resources that allow PLA staff to efficiently support learners as they write their assessments. However, the written portion of the assessment is highly challenging for many learners. Michelson and Mandell provide several examples to illustrate how creating a PLA portfolio may be the most difficult challenge for the very students the PLA intends to serve.
Creating a portfolio is time-intensive, and therefore learners who have multiple roles find it hard to give time to the sustained effort required to build the portfolio.
Adults who have been out of school for some time may also have difficulty conforming to academic norms and writing standards. Thus, while learners are motivated by the potential rewards of a PLA, they are also apprehensive about their abilities to successfully challenge a required course. This process requires learners to break their knowledge down into constituent parts.
In many instances, this is the first time learners are required to analyze their own learning and identify how they have acquired knowledge. This can be a very difficult process as it requires the learner to identify common themes in work experience and the academic requirements of the courses he or she is challenging.Credit for Prior Learning.
For more than 60 years, ACE has been a nationally recognized leader in the evaluation of workforce and military training, providing standards, practices, and tools that higher education institutions can rely on. The granting of college credit for knowledge gained outside the traditional academic setting – prior learning assessment – appears poised to take off in higher education.
With a lift from the “completion agenda,” more colleges appear to be warming to prior learning, which can help adult students earn degrees quicker and more cheaply.
The Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) administers the experiential essay program and approves submitted essays for college credit. The program format is based on Kolb’s experiential learning model, which considers experience a source of learning. The incorporation of the Prior Learning Assessment Process in the FLEX Program confirms The Lincoln University’s educational philosophy that recognizes the potential learning value of experience.
PLAR Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition is a process that involves the identification, documentation, assessment, and recognition of learning acquired through formal or informal study. This may include work, life experience, training, independent study, volunteering, travel, hobbies, and .
Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) is an academic process that enables a student to gain credit for what he/she has already learned through professional training, life experiences, job- .