Abstract: Context: Credit Transfer (CT), Advanced Standing (AS), Credit for Prior Learning (CPL), Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL), Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR), Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning (APEL), Validation of Prior Learning (VPL), Prior Learning Assessment (PLA), Credit Transfer and Recognition (CTR), Recognition of Current Competency (RCC) and Credit for Concurrent Formal Learning (CCFL) are the terms used by academic institutions and engineering schools to describe several types of credit arrangements depending upon a student's current state of qualification, experience, skills and knowledge towards the requirement of his/her formal professional engineering qualification. The objectives of such credit arrangements are to make sure that the learning is not duplicated, to reduce the duration and cost of the engineering studies, to encourage working engineering associates and technologists return to engineering schools for professional engineering qualification and to help upgrade the skills and knowledge of the junior engineering practitioners, to name a few. Formal, informal, non-formal or a combination of prior learning are used for such credit arrangements. Engineering schools offer block credit, specified credit, unspecified credit and a combination of these forms of credits when recognising prior learning of any form. However, anecdotal and literature evidence suggests that the assessment of credit arrangements lacks established universal framework for assessment, lacks harmonisation, compatibility, transparency and comparability and is complex and inconsistent resulting a significant variations in the assessment for recognising prior learning across engineering schools in spite of being based on similar fundamental principles. There is a clear need of a consolidated framework in order to assess credit arrangements systematically and consistently.
Purpose: The purpose of this study is to develop a consolidated framework for assessing credit arrangements towards a partial requirements of a professional engineering course, program, degree or qualification. The developed framework is expected to help manage the assessment of credit arrangement process.
Approach: This study first critically reviews existing frameworks and literature evidences regarding the principles of credit arrangements towards a partial requirements of a professional engineering course, program, degree or qualification. This study then uses evidence-based literature knowledge (principles, processes and practices) to devise a consolidated framework for assessing credit arrangements. The framework is then expanded in order to elaborate its several components.
Results: The existing frameworks and literature review suggest that for better assessment of credit arrangements, attentions are to be given on the forms of prior learning, types of credit arrangements, forms of credit recognition, required documents, characteristics of the prior learning, alignment of prior learning with professional engineering qualification and additional aspects.
Conclusions: As the assessment of credit arrangements has been a major challenge for engineering schools, the framework developed in this study is expected to help engineering schools to manage the assessment process systematically and consistently. For further study, the framework needs to be continuously implemented, monitored and evaluated.
To cite this article: Nepal, Kali Prasad. Assessment of credit arrangements towards engineering programs/courses [online]. In: 27th Annual Conference of the Australasian Association for Engineering Education : AAEE 2016. Lismore, NSW: Southern Cross University, 2016: 615-621.
[cited 26 Apr 17].