Recognition and accreditation of experiential learning – a way for better accessibility of adult education

2005-2007; No. 223855-CP-1-2005-1-LT-GRUNDTVIG-G1

Why was the project initiated / what triggered the start of the project?
Higher education in this stage of development faces a new task – to develop a credit based system of life long learning, which takes into consideration competencies, and which is in congruence with the world of work. Both universities and colleges have to review the requirements  for adults who want to join higher education.  The need to make adult education more visible in higher education, and to implement specific procedures.
What was the intention of the project / what did it want to achieve and for whom (target group/groups)?

The main aims and objectives of the project would be following:
• To gather information on existing practices on recognition and accreditation of adults’ experiential learning enabling access to tertiary education;
• To identify common principles for evaluation of experiential learning;
• To create a model that would enable tertiary education institutions to validate and recognise an individuals knowledge, gained through experiential learning
• To create a model for validation of the experience gained in non-formal adult education institutions;
• To encourage closer co-operation between formal and non-formal adult education sectors.
It was aimed to provide models, and to suggest procedures for recognition (validation included) for learning outcomes gained non-formally and informally in higher education either via NGO’s or individually based.

Project target groups
Experienced adults wanting to enter tertiary education; academic staff in tertiary education; non-formal adult education providers; policy and decision makers.

What are the achievements / results so far?
The models are being used in contexts of almost all partners involved, and certainly by a coordinating institution, where a centre successfully operates since the end of the REACTION project

What are the main learning points of the project?
As it was indicated in project proposal all the target groups were approached or directly involved:
• Experienced adults wanting to enter tertiary education have been addressed and reached out a) directly meeting them in seminars, conferences, meetings with the communities of teachers, administrators, workers, people after detention, drivers, managers in the communities of partner –organisations; b) directly by distributing dissemination materials (i) developed by partners, such as short information, contacts, web-page address, PowerPoint presentations, ect; (ii) developed professionally, such as leaflets; web-page; c) indirectly, by producing a set of outcomes/products in the framework of this project that enable evaluators at universities consider their further learning needs.
• Academic staff in tertiary education were reached out a) directly, meeting them in numerous seminars, conferences, during piloting courses (two courses, two seminars); b) indirectly by developing short memo-type  publications in partner-organisation’s newspapers, bulletins, web-pages, and publications in academic journals.
• Non-formal adult education providers a) directly, by meeting them in seminars and conferences, meetings of partners and participants in other projects; b) indirectly, by distributing dissemination materials (leaflets) and products (handbooks, Final book) to different organisations;
• Policy and decision makers a) directly, by inviting them to seminars, conferences; b) indirectly, by distributing dissemination materials and products.

We also learnt that the procedure and the opportunities is provided will have to be marketed properly in order to help adult candidates to use it.

What experience could be transferable? How could the project experience inspire other organizations / countries?
Models, procedures are of general nature, therefore with some adjustment, the whole system might be used successfully

Information about the coordinator:
Vytautas Magnus University, Kaunas, Lithuania,
Prof. Dr. Vaiva Zuzeviciute

Validation and recognition of experiential learning outcomes: challenges, initiatives, results. Lessons of the REACTION project.

Presentation Prof. Dr. Vaiva Zuzeviciute: PDF, part 1 - PDF, part 2 - PDF, part 3 - PDF, part 4