Here is some guidance and useful information that will help you organize assessment of the results of informal learning, using the Self-acquired learning validation toolkit and the other products of CREATE project. The current materials are designed for two subjects – “Computer animation” and “Web design”. However, this model could be further developed by each organization for other subjects using the methodology described.
Step 1: Acquaint yourselves with the documents in the frame of the project
1. Manual “Validation of self-acquired learning and creative professions possible”
The project concept, main ideas, methodology and products are described in it. It will guide you in your work on validation of the results of informal learning in web design and computer animation.
Download the manual “Validation of self-acquired learning and creative professions possible” (coming soon)
2. Self-acquired learning validation model
It describes what self-acquired (informal learning) is, the methods used for its assessment and how to assign the most appropriate methods to the units of learning outcomes.
Download the “Self-acquired learning validation model”
3. “Guidelines for allocation of ECVET points to the units of learning outcomes, developed for qualifications computer animation and web design”
Provides information on what ECVET is, how it works and its advantages in recognition of informal learning. It also gives step-by-step guidelines for assigning ECVET points to the units of learning outcomes. It is obligatory to read the document and follow the instructions there, if you intend to change the units’ weights in the toolkit.
Download the “Guidelines for allocation of ECVET points to the units of learning outcomes, developed for qualifications computer animation and web design”
Step 2: Prepare for work with the Self-acquired learning validation toolkit
1. Registration as a “teacher” is necessary
There are two types of users of the Self-acquired learning validation toolkit – “teachers” and “students”. In the teacher account there are different options than in the student account. The differences are based on the different reasons for which the two types of users need the toolkit. The teachers are those providing testing and the students are those taking the tests.
When registered as a teacher you will be able to: play the tools; see all your test-takers’ results; change the units’ weights.
If you want to register as a teacher and organize assessment of the results of informal learning in web design and computer animation, please state this in an e-mail to:
Testing sessions with students can be organized in groups. When organizing assessment of the results of informal learning you can create a separate “group” for each testing session you organize with the toolkit. This will allow you to see the results of each of the groups. In order to do that, you have to:
- How are groups created? - Write to the administrator how you want to call the group. You cannot create a group by yourself – the administrator has to do that for you. For example, if you are organization X and you are about to organize your first testing session in computer animation with a group of 5 test-takers, you have to create a group for those test-takers and call it e.g. CA_X_1.
- How do students join the group you have created for them? – tell your students for whom you have created the group how it is called. They have to choose it in the “Choose your group” field in the registration form on the web site. After choosing it and completing their registrations they are automatically added in your group.
3. Change units’ weights
This is one extra option in the toolkit providing some flexibility. However, do not change the units’ weights if there is no serious reason to do so – namely a substantial change in the content of the units of learning outcomes in web design or computer animation.
In order to change the units’ weights click the “Change web design/computer animation units’ weights” button. First, you have to set the maximum ECVET points and then you have to enter the weights in % for each unit and finalize the process by clicking the “Save values” button.
Detailed guidelines on setting maximum ECVET points and assigning ECVET points to units of learning outcomes you can find in the document “Guidelines for allocation of ECVET points to the units of learning outcomes, developed for qualifications computer animation and web design” above.
4. Play the tools yourself so that you can provide guidance to your test-takers
Step 3: Organize a testing session
Here are some tips related to the organization of the sessions themselves:
- Internet connection is needed in order to use the toolkit;
- invite each group of test-takers to play the tools under supervision in your organization, for example; set a specified date and time for each group;
- you’d better provide instructions to the test-takers before they begin playing the tools, just as you would do before you hand in a paper-based test to a class of students;
- you can set a time limit for completing each tool;
Step 4: How to work with early school-leavers /ESL/ or other disadvantaged youth
It may happen that some of the test-takers are people who haven’t finished their secondary school for some reason or people who have graduated in another country with which there is no transfer agreement. Such test-takers could also benefit from the assessment tools either to check their level or to plan how to prepare for the exams. Of course, such situations have to be solved case by case, but some general recommendations could be useful:
- It is important to provide some consultations and explore the profile of such candidates in advance. It is important to explore the reasons behind the situation of those candidates, there are different profiles of early school-leavers: lack of motivating atmosphere in the school, family problems, economical reasons etc.
- In some cases prior training on the topics in question should be provided. The training organizations could offer short training courses on the topics specified in the units.
- Although the tools developed within the project are mainly targeting students who have already graduated or are in their final school years, they could also be useful for young people who have not succeeded in the traditional school system. For example, in some EU countries, like Denmark, there are so called “production schools”, working with youngsters who have left the traditional schools. These schools provide certificates and engage the youngsters in some interesting contemporary professions.