Documentation:PLAR Glossary

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Term Definition
Assessment Method A procedures used to measure prior learning.
Assessor A faculty that is responsible for assessing a candidate's prior learning. The Assessor has subject matter expertise in the subject area being assessed or the Assessor could be someone with expertise in the field or profession of pharmacy and is trained in the principles and practices of PLAR.
Candidate A student who has been admitted and enrolled in the program, and has decided to earn course credit for formal and/or non-formal learning by completing the PLAR process.
Challenge Examination An assessment method of PLAR to evaluate a candidate's learning against the learning outcomes of a course challenged. This assessment method, delivered as a written or oral examination or a skills demonstration, allows a candidate to demonstrate his/her knowledge, skills and abilities, for the purpose of obtaining PLAR credit for a course.
Course Challenge Challenging a course by completing a challenge examination or a portfolio, to demonstrate that his/her knowledge, skills and abilities have met or exceeded the learning outcomes of a course.
Credit The value attached to a formal course of instruction (also known as credit hours).
Evidence Evidence is a key component of PLAR, as it provides proof and support to a claim of knowledge and skills. There are two main types of evidences that are assessed.
  • Direct Evidence: Original documents (e.g., certificates of completion, publications, etc.), products of work, slides and portfolios produced by candidates to demonstrate their knowledge, skills and abilities. Direct evidence also includes participation by the candidate in interviews, simulations, demonstrations, or other skills assessments.
  • Indirect Evidence: Documents, letters, or evaluations produced by others (e.g., employers, professional organizations, etc.) to support the learner’s direct evidence.
Formal Learning Learning through structured credit programming by accredited educational bodies.
Learning Outcome A statement of measurable learning, usually found in the course outline, that describes what a learner should know and/or be able to do as a result of formal or informal learning.
Non-Formal Learning The knowledge, skills and abilities gained through learning experiences such as continuing professional development workshops, seminars, private study, work experience, etc.
Portfolio An assessment method of PLAR to evaluate prior learning. The process involves collecting, organizing and verifying evidence to support a request for course challenge. There are two types of portfolios in the PLAR process.
  • Abbreviated Portfolio: An alternative to preparing a Full Portfolio for individuals who hold a specific credential or experience that is recognized by the Review Panel as consistently exceeding the learning outcomes of the course challenged. For a comprehensive list of Board Certifications, Post-Licensure Credentials, research or business degrees from Canada/USA and prescribing privileges that meet this requirement, please go to xxx.
  • Full Portfolio: A Full Portfolio is an organized method for candidates to demonstrating their learning from formal/non-formal experience in relation to the course learning outcomes. It includes written description of the candidate's competency and evidence of learning claims. If a candidate does not hold a specific credential or experience recognized by the Review Panel, but feel that they have the required knowledge skills and abilities to address the course learning outcome, they may apply for a course challenge through a Full Portfolio submission.
Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR) The process of awarding university-level credit for learning that has taken place prior to entering the degree program. It is a systematic, valid and reliable process conducted by qualified Assessors. The assessments, selected and designed by the program, may take place in the form of challenge examination or portfolio assessment.