We are thrilled to share the news that Thomas Edison State College (TESC) has made two prior learning assessment (PLA) courses available under a Creative Commons Attribution-only license (CC-BY 4.0). These courses can be used by students hoping to demonstrate prior learning towards TESC credits and can be adapted by other parties and institutions interested in PLA assessment.
If you’re scratching your head wondering what the heck a PLA course is anyway, here’s the gist: the PLA 100/200 courses familiarize students with the process of building a portfolio toward demonstrating — and earning college credit for — what they already know. Students’ work is assessed by subject matter experts.
In PLA-100: Introduction to Prior Learning Assessment, students are introduced to portfolio development and what it means to earn college credit for their current skills. In PLA-200: Introduction to Portfolio Development, students get their hands dirty identifying, demonstrating, and organizing their skills to build a portfolio.
Both courses are required for students working through the open course option of TESC’s Associate in Science in Business Administration (ASBA) degree; they facilitate evaluation for credit of tuition-free Saylor Academy courses. The PLA100 and PLA200 courses are also available as regular, fee-based and credit-bearing courses. The free, open-licensed versions allow students to hone their portfolio-making skills at no cost but do not themselves contribute credit toward a degree.
How to use these courses toward the ASBA degree:
- use them to get a head start on understanding PLA and creating portfolios before enrolling in the for-credit versions of the courses
- use the open courses to prepare portfolios for assessment and forgo the for-credit versions (you can take another Saylor Academy elective to make up the credits)
- join with other students in the course discussion forums (PLA-100 and PLA-200), hosted by the Saylor Academy.
If we have piqued your interest in the ASBA degree program or in prior learning assessment in general, feel free to get in touch. If you have a moment or two now, these remarks by Vice Provost of Thomas Edison State College Marc Singer are well worth a look.