About Forums RPL Network Does the existence of RPL change delivery practices in institutions?

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    • #773

      Angela Higgins

      Does anyone have experience of whether the existence of RPL policy and practice in an institution has had an impact on delivery practices – for example, how do they manage situations where learners have been proven definitively to already possess knowledge which is included in the content of the course? How does this manifest for example in the Post-leaving Certificate Colleges?
      Are there situations where learners who already have skills in some aspects of an award are forced to sit through classes because there is an attendance requirement, but are not extending their level of knowledge and competence during this time? Does this cause learners to become disenfranchised? How do learners cope with this? How do teachers/tutors/lecturers adapt their delivery to keep those learners committed and engaged?

    • #867

      Andrina Wafer

      That’s a really interesting question Angela- and I’m just thinking about whether the existence of a service impacts on delivery practices. It would be a good one to ask in the context of the TOBAR project. I think the emerging RPL service must change provision and it would be great if within a service someone was to log their perception of that, and to undertake to reflect on that. Could the question be asked within that community of practice? Or now that it has kicked off should we let the project ‘breathe’ a little and then e.g. in July ask about the identification of 2 or 3 questions that we might look at qualitatively in evaluation terms when we all come together again in late Autumn?

      For myself in ‘forced revision’ contexts I cant say that I didn’t learn something new, or see things differently- but was it worth it? Financially, time wise, all the hidden costs? This is also a question for RPL practice- what is the tipping point, and who makes the decision? Who has agency and power, and what is the impact on ‘transfer’? For me, this is important in the context of thinking about policy on transfer. We ask a lot lately about the transferability of common minor awards because the context of learning does impact. So when do you lose by not participating in all parts of a course, and how much non-participation is too much- really?

      Great questions…

    • #983

      Leo Casey

      Hi Angela, Andrina, I agree this is a great question and it opens all sorts of issues. Essentially, as I see it, RPEL works best when it provides the student with an insight on what they have accomplished in life and how it compares with learning outcomes from structured programmes. Many programmes have pre-entry requirements stated in terms of academic level (e.g. a Level 5 award) and are silent on the life experience side. Even where we indicate RPEL pathways they are perceived as an alternative to the ‘real thing’. Personally, I think we get this the wrong way round. I would like to be able to say something like ‘this course is for those with four years experience and a qualification is an acceptable alternative’.
      With respect to delivery, there should be an impact. When we teach RPEL entrants we have an addition resource (their life experiences) that can be harnessed in the classroom. I have found that with good teaching, this benefits everyone in class.
      On the question of replication, I agree with Andrina, there is always something new to learn even where we consider ourselves experienced. One of the best examples of this is when an experienced student intervenes with a comment like ‘yes but that’s not the way it works in the real world…’. That’s a big teaching moment that can be embraced. As I see it the questioner is learning too and hopefully would not feel disenfranchised. Great topic I’m sure there’s more in this…

    • #997

      Andrina Wafer

      Leo, you are right. At the recent EQF ten year celebration, one of the Turkish delegates described RPL practice as apprenticeship for institutions, a way of closing the QA loop, keeping our thinking and practice in classrooms fresh- in other words a gift and not a disruptor. Would you produce a poster on your RPL practice for the next RPL event? We have a template. Email me if so! awafer@qqi.ie

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