If a PLAR process is approved, assessment may take the form of a portfolio review or a challenge exam:
PLAR candidates should contact the PLAR office for guidance prior to registering for the PLAR process. The PLAR office assesses each candidate’s needs and provides information relevant to the individual’s goals and circumstances.
*NOTE: An exam is the only method available to receive credit for a computer course. Portfolios are not acceptable.
1. Portfolio Development
A Portfolio is an organized collection of materials which records and verifies an adult's learning achievements and relates them to the requirements of an education or training program, a work standard, or a professional qualification.
Portfolio development produces a valuable product, but the process is also important in helping learners analyze, understand and be able to explain to others what they know and can do as well as what they still need to learn. The process of portfolio development proves to be a long process but provides a structured opportunity for learners to review and evaluate their past experiences and the learning which has resulted from them. PLAR candidates must seek their Program Coordinators’ approval and guidance to develop a portfolio.
These are the components usually contained in a portfolio:
- A paper outlining the learner's education and career goals
- Learning outcomes and competency statements
- Documentation verifying the learning claimed
- Letters of attestation from employers and/or associates that support claim of competency
- Photos and/or videos that demonstrate skills/competence or products of learning
- References from relevant professionals who support claims of skill mastery within the appropriate context
- Annotated summary of group projects with clear delineation of individual skills mastered
- Performance/assessment reports from past or current employers
- Review of Employer-Based Training: Review of private or public sector-sponsored training programs
- A chronological record of significant learning experiences
- A resume
- Formal and informal records of past learning achievements
Portfolio assessment is a method of assessment, supervised and guided by the subject-expert faculty, which evaluates the candidate’s collection of documented evidence related to education (formal/informal) and non-formal learning. The portfolio assessment method measures the candidate’s learning against the course outcomes for the purpose of obtaining course credit.
Portfolio assessment at Conestoga may also take the form of evaluation of:
- essays, research reports, project reports
- performance testing and demonstrations
- standardized tests and program reviews of employer-based training
- product assessment (products made/developed by the applicant)
- other strategies as determined by Faculty Assessors, that enable a comparison of learning outcomes/competencies and specific course curricula
2. The Challenge Exam
The challenge exam is a method of assessment, developed and evaluated by subject-expert faculty, which evaluates the candidate’s learning achievement against course outcomes. The challenge exam method measures learning through a written/oral exam and/or demonstration for the purpose of awarding course credit.