Series: State of the Field Report
Authors: Christine Wihak
Collection: Research Materials
Prior learning assessment and recognition (PLAR) is the practice of acknowledging the information, skills, and understanding that adult learners have gained through paths other than formal education.
This review, commissioned by the Canadian Council on Learning, looks at the generalizations that can be drawn from the empirical evidence about PLAR; identifies major gaps in knowledge about it; and discusses the most profitable lines of inquiry with regard to PLAR. It is based on more than 175 sources from 2000-2005, supplemented by interviews with known Canadian experts in the PLAR field.
Common themes that emerged in the research include the need to link PLAR to broader adult learning policy and program initiatives; non-acceptance of PLAR within universities; transferability of PLAR credits across jurisdictions; and quality assurance concerns.
Gaps in knowledge include the absence of a synthesis of the available international information about PLAR, including factors that lead to a higher uptake and the relationship of PLAR to the evaluation of credentials. The most profitable lines of inquiry would be aimed at filling that knowledge gap.