Presentation on theme: "Demystifying PLA: Turning Concern (or Mystery) into Action Darlene G. Miller, Ed.D. Executive Director NCWE Ellen Hewett, MS Director NCTN at World Education,"— Presentation transcript:
Demystifying PLA: Turning Concern (or Mystery) into Action Darlene G. Miller, Ed.D. Executive Director NCWE Ellen Hewett, MS Director NCTN at World Education, Inc.
Workshop - Goal and Objectives Overall Goal: To build institutional and regional capacity to boost adult learners’ completion through Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) policies and practice. Main Objectives: O To better understand why PLA is important to adult learners and the completion agenda. O To increase understanding about how to use assessment and learning outcomes in the development of challenge exams. O To strengthen the connection between PLA and industry certification.
Agenda Review Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) Approaches and Concepts Confirm the Critical Role of Faculty Engage Faculty and Address PLA Concerns Consider ways to Develop Assessments using Course Learning Objectives Connect Industry-based Certifications and PLA Understand Transcription and Grading Best Practices Articulate Next Steps
Overview PLA is an acceleration and completion strategy to recognize and award credit for college-level learning. Retraining the Gulf Coast Workforce through IT Pathways Consortium of Louisiana and Mississippi is implementing and promoting PLA. The National College Transition Network’s (NCTN) is a national partner guiding this effort.
What is PLA? O Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) is a process that enables learners to demonstrate what they have learned and translate that learning into college credit. O PLA validates knowledge acquired through life experience, work experience, military experience, civic engagement, individual study and reading, and participation in classes or training sponsored by business and industry, professional organizations or government agencies. O Credit is awarded for college-level knowledge gained from experience and not for the experience itself.
Where have Adults Earned Credit for College-Level Experiential Learning?
Ways to Award PLA O CLEP, DSST, IB, AP O Portfolio O Credit by Examination O Certification Crosswalk
What Does the Research Say About PLA? O PLA is both an Acceleration and Completion strategy. O 2010 Council on Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL) study of 62,000 students across 48 states found that students who received PLA credit had higher completion rates and lower time to degree than students who did not get PLA credit. O Adults who were awarded PLA were 2.5 times more likely to persist to completion than those who did not.
Small Group Discussion A Prioritize the areas that you think are of the most concern for you, your college, and your colleagues such as: O Understanding of PLA O Belief in PLA O Giving away credits O Compensation O Industry partners’ lack of support or knowledge O Enrollment O Worry about college processes O Others?
Articulate and Discuss PLA Concerns O If they are not in my class, how can I be sure they really learned what I think is necessary. O Does awarding PLA lead to low-enrollment in courses? O Give the research on adults, awarding PLA for entry-level courses actually increases enrollment in higher-level courses due to improved retention rates for adults O How should faculty be compensated for overseeing PLA exams and for developing exams? O Who is going to guide the student to the right place and make sure the right forms are filled out? O Other?
Role of Faculty Integrity of the Curriculum O College-level learning is validated through PLA when learners prove their mastery of the knowledge, skills, competencies, and abilities in a specific area of study offered by the college. O Faculty is responsible for the academic integrity of the curriculum. Thus, the determination of credit awards or competency levels must be made by faculty or a subject matter expert whose experience and credentials are appropriate to a faculty position.
Role of Faculty Integrity of the Curriculum O All work assessed for PLA must meet a minimum of ”C” level proficiency for all of the course learning outcomes and/or technical competencies. This “C” level must be determined by the faculty to maintain academic integrity and rigor. O Assessment must be directly related to the publicly identified course learning outcomes. O Academic credit must only be awarded for those courses directly applicable to curriculum requirements in the student’s declared certificate or degree program as outlined in college publications (including website).
Role of the Chief Academic Officer The Chief Academic Officer is responsible for ensuring the academic integrity of the curriculum: O The CAO must ensure that the assessments are directly related to the course’s identified and publicized learning outcomes. O The CAO must ensure that the college policy and practices are followed. O The CAO must also work with the faculty to ensure that the assessments and assessment criteria are not overinflated by the faculty. If a challenge exam is administered by someone at the college other than a faculty member, the CAO is responsible for ensuring the integrity of the process and that all policies are followed.
Small Group Discussion B What is the current state of PLA at your college? O Have faculty developed any challenge exams? O How were the exams developed? O Has anyone analyzed the results of PLA on a program? O Are there some faculty in a department that believe in PLA but are not able to do it because of concerns of their colleagues?
Small Group Discussion C What is the current state of assessment at your college? O Has your program or department gone through the process of analyzing course outcomes (accreditation review)? O As a result, have you discussed the accuracy of these assessments and have you used this analysis to change your course learning outcomes or assessment?
Course Learning Outcomes Demonstrate what students are able to demonstrate in terms of knowledge, skills and abilities: O Cognitive Learning O Affective Learning O Kinesthetic Learning Comprised of three components: O Student Learning Behavior O Assessment Method O Criteria for Success
Components of Learning Outcomes O Student Learning Behavior O Students will be able to…. O Assessment Methods O Tools and techniques used to determine the extent to which the student learning outcomes are achieved O Direct measure of learning: exams, portfolios, performance of a skill
Components of Learning Outcomes O Criteria for Success or Desired Performance Criteria O Students will be able to ___ as exhibited by _____ O Scoring Rubric that identifies critical components of the work and discriminates differing levels of proficiency
Assessment Utilizing Bloom’s Taxonomy Learning OutcomesLevel of Cognition Knowledge of major ideas or mastery of subject matter20% Understanding, grasping meaning, interpretation5% Use information to solve problems using required skills or knowledge 25% Generate or produce a product50% 50% is Cognitive Learning 50% is Kinesthetic Learning
Structure of the Portfolio or Challenge Exam For Example: O 50% is Cognitive - 100 Written Exam Questions O 50% is Kinesthetic - Practical Exam rated on a 100 point scale
Cognitive Assessment Learning OutcomesLevel of CognitionWritten Portion Knowledge of major ideas or mastery of subject matter 20%40% Understanding, grasping meaning, interpretation 5%10% Use information to solve problems using required skills or knowledge 25%50% 100 Point Written Examination/ 50% of Course
Ranking Learning Outcomes Course Frequency OutcomesPercentage of Quantity in Course Number of Exam Questions Learning Outcome A30%30 Learning Outcome B40%40 Learning Outcome C20%20 Learning Outcome D10%10 100 Question Written Examination
Assessment Rubric Learning Outcome APortion of Written ExaminationNumber of Written Questions Knowledge of major ideas or mastery of subject matter 40%12 Understanding, grasping meaning, interpretation 10%3 Use information to solve problems using required skills or knowledge 50%15 30 of 100 Written Examination Questions
Example from Northeast Mississippi Community College
Learning Outcome% of ClassNumber or questions as related to Bloom’s Taxonomy Demonstrate calculations with decimal and Fractional numbers 40%40% of 200 = 80 questions needed 60%-Knowledge (48) 30% Interpretation (24) 10% Analysis (8) Demonstrate basic geometric and trigonometric functions 40%40% of 200 = 80 questions needed 60%-Knowledge (48) 30% Interpretation (24) 10% Analysis (8) Demonstrate the use of measuring tools using English and /or metric measuring system. 20%20% of 200 = 40 questions needed 60% knowledge (24) 30% Interpretation (12) 10% Analysis (4)
Skills Check Off Example from Northeast Mississippi Community College Given a steel ruler measure the following objects to the nearest 1/16 th of an inch: Object one Object two Object three Object four Object five Given a steel ruler measure the following objects to the nearest 1 millimeter: Object one Object two Object three Object four Object five Skills were written around equipment and materials common to all of the programs laboratories
NEMCC Challenge Exam Procedures O After the exam is graded, students that pass the written portion can ask to take the skills portion. Arrangements are made with the instructor. O The instructor submits the grade to the Dean of Instruction’s office.
Portfolio and PLA O A PLA portfolio is a detailed documentation illustrating college-level learning. The documentation varies by course and may include: O examples of documents developed or materials made (like a machined part) at work or during a community or professional project. O a self-assessment, an essay or oral interview explaining knowledge and experience, awards and honors, and certifications showing completion of workshops or seminars offered by professional organizations, business, and industry or government agencies.
Portfolio Assessment O Preparation and content of the portfolio are the responsibility of the student and must be of sufficient in breadth and depth to validate the student’s stated learning and provide the evaluator(s) with qualitative evidence for evaluation. O The portfolio must be evaluated by the designated faculty member.
Industry Certification Crosswalks O Colleges that utilize professional certifications as an assessment tool in courses should create a Certification Crosswalk. O To challenge a course based on possessing a professional certificate, the student must provide the college with the appropriate documentation to validate the industry certification award.
Industry Certification Crosswalk Concerns In some cases, faculty may not feel that a professional certification exam only proves mastery of course cognitive learning outcomes. O i.e., if the professional certification is a paper examination and the course requires hands-on skill development, then college may require that students complete a practical challenge examination in tandem with the professional certification crosswalk. O A+ is a good example
Example of Industry Certification Crosswalk – Bossier Parish Community College EQUIVALENT BPCC COURSECLEP ExamHours ACCT 205 Elementary Accounting IFinancial Accounting3 EQUIVALENT BPCC COURSEDSST (DANTES) ExamHours BADM 105 General Business AdministrationIntroduction to Business3 EQUIVALENT BPCC COURSENational Information Technology (IT) Certificates Hours CIT 114 Microsoft Windows 72-680 TS: Windows 7, Configuring OR 72-620 TS: Configuring Microsoft Windows Vista Client 3
Example of Industry Certification Crosswalk – Ivy Tech Community College Accounting CertificationsIvy Tech Courses American Institute of Banking (AIB) Course 1000 Accounting 1 AND AIB Course 1010 Accounting II ACCT 101 Financial Accounting American Institute of Professional Bookkeeping (AIPB) - Certified Bookkeeper ACCT 101 Financial Accounting I ACCT 106 Payroll Accounting
Transcription of PLA Credits O Best Practices recommend that the college determines methods to award a letter grade for PLA credit. O Best Practices also recommend that PLA courses not be designated on the transcript as being “nontraditional credit.” Both of these practices raise a red flag for employers and for receiving institutions, if a student needs to transfer.
Determining a Grade in PLA Develop a matrix or rubric that clearly identifies the learning outcomes and techniques for assessing mastery at the 100, 90, 80, and 70% levels. O Course X has 12 identified learning outcomes O Develop a challenge exam based on learning outcomes and ranking O If the student takes the challenge exam or submits a portfolio that shows a mastery of nine of those learning outcomes, this translates to 70% mastery and a letter grade of a “C”. Assessing a learner’s mastery of course learning outcomes
Using Assessment Tool to Assign Written Grade Learning Outcome A – 30% of LearningNumber of Written Questions Mastery on Examination Knowledge of major ideas or mastery of subject matter 1210 Understanding, grasping meaning, interpretation 32 Use information to solve problems using required skills or knowledge 1514 302686.7%
Using Assessment Tool to Assign Written Grade Learning OutcomePercentage of Questions MasteryTotal Learning Outcome A30%86.7%26 Learning Outcome B40%75%30 Learning Outcome C20%90%18 Learning Outcome D10%60%6 80%
Final Grade O Written Examination – 80% O 50% of grade O Practical Examination – 71% O 50% of grade (80 *.5) + (71 *.5) = 75.5%
Analyzing Group Syllabi, Learning Outcomes, and Assessments
Small Group Discussion D O With your colleagues, discuss your thinking about ways to develop challenge exams, portfolios or industry-based certifications for PLA in your program: O Discuss your syllabi and learning objectives O Are your learning outcomes cognitive, kinesthetic or both? O How might you turn learning objectives into assessments? O What role should/does your advisory committee play?
Thank you! Darlene Miller, Ed.D. National Council for Workforce Education email@example.com Ellen Hewett National College Transition Network World Education, Inc. firstname.lastname@example.org April 2015