The University of Wolverhampton is recognised as a world-leader in its development and use of eportfolios within the curriculum, including use for pre-course advice and induction. An eportfolio can be used as a personal learning space to record and store a range of data, to reflect on that data and to repurpose it into a range of new uses e.g. CVs, job applications, reflection, portfolios of work etc and is a suitable environment through which we can provide initial assessment, structured support and guidance to students who may be able to make a claim for Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL).
APL is a structured process where students can achieve University level credits for informal and non-formal learning, i.e. what they have learnt from their experiences, and for formal learning they have completed in another institution, or elsewhere. The two types of learning are referred to as ‘Experiential Learning’, from informal and non-formal learning, and ‘Certificated Learning’, for formal learning; APEL and APCL, respectively.
In 2010 the University of Wolverhampton was awarded funding from the Staffordshire, Stoke-on-Trent, Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin Lifelong Learning Network to run a small pilot project to develop an eportfolio based on-line application facility for submission of claims for Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning (APEL) and to access advice and guidance in connection with making such a claim.
The tool was developed by Pebble Learning Ltd. and covers both Experiential and Certificated Learning. It has been tested by a group of academic and support staff and a group of work-based learners in the School of Health and Wellbeing. Potential applicants and existing students access the tool via a website hosted by Pebble Learning Ltd.
The applicant creates an account and completes a number of pre-set questions that are assessed by an academic tutor, through a webfolio that is automatically created on a Pebble gateway. Initial advice and guidance is given and where there is a potential claim for credits the applicant is told what additional information needs to be provided, again through the web interface. Once the advice has been given the applicant’s account is unlocked and additional information can be added and a claim submitted.
Testing of the tool showed that the staged process and the use of gateways and the on-line entry were successful. Further work is necessary before the tool can be made accessible outside of the project pilot.
For more information on this project contact: Alison Felce - firstname.lastname@example.org