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Accreditation of prior learning: Is it worth it? An evaluation of a pilot scheme

Houston, Linda Y., Hoover, Janice and Beer, Elaine 1997. Accreditation of prior learning: Is it worth it? An evaluation of a pilot scheme. Nurse Education Today 17 (3) , pp. 184-191. 10.1016/S0260-6917(97)80131-1

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Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL) is arelatively new process for both students and colleges of nursing and claims to offer many benefits (Open University 1990, Fox et al 1992). This paper describes the findings of a study undertaken to determine students' experiences of the APL process and their perceptions of how the APL process developed them. A sample of 14 students reported on the use of APL to obtain academic credit for a Level I Welsh National Board Framework Module. The results indicated both some difficulties and benefits associated with using the APL process. The majority of students experienced difficulty in reflecting on prior learning and practice. This seemed to be due in part to the students' reluctance to value their clinical learning experiences. Many of the sample also reported difficulty in maintaining motivation over the period of time allocated to complete the APL process. All the students undertook the process in their own time and had to submit the module summative assignment in addition to the APL evidence required. These factors may have further influenced motivational levels. Clear positive outcomes were that APL was felt to be a worthwhile process, even increasing self-esteem for some individuals. It also enabled students to develop reflective writing skills and to value clinical experience. Recommendations were made to both facilitate and enhance the APL experience for future students, and to promote critical reflection within the nursing profession as a whole.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Healthcare Sciences
Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education
R Medicine > RT Nursing
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0260-6917
Last Modified: 25 Oct 2016 03:02

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