MUP/PLE lecture series
Reflection in action/on action for assessment: from the informal to the formal
Thomas Sporer

This event took place on 8th July 2011 at 2:00pm (13:00 GMT)
Knowledge Media Institute, Berrill Building, The Open University, Milton Keynes, United Kingdom, MK7 6AA

Thomas Sporer will give a talk on reflection in experiential learning and the role of blended assessment to bridge the gap between informal and formal learning contexts. Key competencies are of crucial importance for an education systems that aims at life long learning and - as envisioned by the European Commission - a strategy of "smart growth" which builds on the capacities of research and innovation in a digital society.To foster the development of student's key competencies the traditional field of education (which is based on curricula and institutional learning environments to a large extend) needs to be expanded by more experiential kinds of learning and informal learning contexts. The emergence of the term "personal learning environment" - one component of this lecture series - indicates that shift from teaching (input-driven approach) to learning (output-driven approach).To set the context of the talk, the relevance of reflection for the development of key competencies gets outlined and the role of assessment with regard to experiential learning and informal learning contexts will be elaborated. This will refer to two strands of current research: namely personal development planning (PDP) and accreditation of prior learning (APL).The following example of a study programme at the University of Augsburg presents a learning design that tries to integrate PDP and APL. It bridges the gap between formal and informal learning contexts via a portfolio-based assessment approach (www.begleitstudium.imb-uni-augsburg.de). The reflection of extra-curricular learning experiences thereby blends the assessment-of-learning with the assessment-for-learning: it serves the purpose of formal accreditation as well as the guidance of student's competency development.However, a learning design based on sound theoretical principles needs to be implemented in educational practice in a proper way. In this regard three challenges had to be tackled: The first challenge is of institutional nature and includes the configuration of the blended assessment approach according to the policy of the Bologna reform. The second challenge is of social nature. It concerns the successful introduction of this new kind of assessment approach to students and teachers. The third challenge deals with the technical implementation of the portfolio system and its design of social interactions - which addresses the the mashup component of this lecture series.

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