Domain: Group Two - Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR)
Project: A Review of the Current State of the Use of PLAR in Canada and
April 1, 1997
Academic Co-investigators: Dr. Alan Thomas (OISE/UT), Monica Collins (U.
Student Researchers: Sue Vanstone (OISE/UT), Luis Barnola (OISE/UT)
The object of this
proposal is to establish and maintain a current "portrait" of the use
of PLAR by potential students and providing agencies in Canada and to a lesser
degree in other countries.
There have been two
national surveys of the use of PLAR in Canada, (Thomas and Klaiman, 1991, SSHRC,
and Isabelle & Associates, 1993, HRDC). Since that time many new agencies
have appeared with an active interest in PLAR; eg, Human Resources Development
(Canada); the Canadian Labour Force Development Board; The Canadian Association
for Prior Learning Assessment, the Ontario Prior Learning Assessment Network,
and various other provincial and regional bodies, public and private. In
addition, with the assistance of O-PLAN, and the Ontario Council of Regents of
Colleges of Applied Arts and Technology, the OISE/UT library has begun a major
collection of PLAR material, to our knowledge the only such collection and
centre in Canada.
The present proposal
aims to try to coordinate the information held by the various bodies mentioned,
plus those that are not yet known about, and produce a unified portrait of the
present state of usage in Canada. An additional objective will be to try to
maintain that portrait by establishing systematic links across the country,
perhaps similar to the way that ERIC has maintained the various educational
indices in recent years.
The final product,
made up of publications, brochures, oral information, and statistics, where they
are available, remains to be designed, but will be designed with not only NALL
and its participants in mind, but future generations as well. Association with
the NALL Newsletter, and the production of other regular sources of information
will be considered.
are, the OISE/UT library, other libraries and data bases, and ONTERIS, the
Ontario Centred Document Collection at OISE/UT, the Information Centre of the
Canadian Association for Prior Learning Assessment. We also plan to make as much
use as possible of the data collection resources of the agencies already
Most of the work will
be concentrated in the first year, with the initial establishment of links with
other agencies, the collection of information and establishment of means of
dissemination. A small amount of resource will be needed in the subsequent three
years to maintain the links and the documentation.
project for the development of an electronic network has been presented by CAPLA
and the University of Maryland to the Kellog Foundation. We have already
indicated our support for that project and our wish to participate actively in
it. We have no clear idea at the moment what the real prospects of that project
are, or what our participation might involve.
However, there seems
no reason for us not to experiment with the establishment of E-Mail links around
the world based on interest in PLAR. A Canadian network, centred in Ontario is
already in existence; an attempt an a short-term network devoted to PLAR was
launched from South Africa in the summer of 1996. We are proposing to use the
considerable resources of OISE/UT in the form of a graduate assistant to explore
the creation of such a network, which could then by linked with or folded into
the CAPLA project if it materializes. Our efforts will be coordinated with
theirs as fully as possible.