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Framework Implementation and Imp

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					Framework Implementation and Impact
              Study
        Consultative Forum
             18 November 2008



         Report - Workshop 2
   Meeting the Needs of All Learners
1. Who and what are the drivers in populating the Framework with
awards at the various levels (L1-2; L3-6 and L6-10)?
• There are national policy drivers e.g. National Skills Strategy, legislation.
   However, take up is variable at different levels
• Funding – a key driver at all levels
• Levels 1 & 2: FETAC, NALA & providers as drivers. Little engagement
   with learners / families at this level – learners are limited drivers.
• At other levels: employment opportunities, providers, recognition of
   competencies, as well as knowledge e.g. advanced crafts are drivers
• Love of learning a driver, perhaps particularly at higher levels
• There are specific identifiable cohorts at levels 1 & 2 e.g. migrants, adult
   learners, early school leavers
• Small number of awards and a lack of clarity on assessment at levels 1
   & 2 are issues needing to be addressed to increase take-up
         contd…
1. Who and what are the drivers in populating the Framework with
awards at the various levels (L1-2; L3-6 and L6-10)?
• Drivers present at national policy level, but take up variable
• Drive towards “Knowledge economy”
• More drivers exist at levels 3- 6, and above than at Levels 1 & 2
• Lots of potential drivers, but need for capacity building
• Levels 6 – 10 drivers: providers, funders / funding agencies, community
  groups, trade associations (e.g. construction, agriculture…) former
  awarding bodies
• International drivers, especially at higher levels e.g. multinational
  employers
• Socio-economic disadvantage prevalent at particular levels – more activity
  needed at these levels
• “Progression” should not always be upward only
2. What factors would support / promote more widespread and
consistent recognition of prior learning (RPL) as a means of admission
to, and / or gaining awards?

•   Ownership by the learner is needed to drive the process, however, difficulty in
    learners expressing their experiential learning in terms of learning outcomes,
    which they may not understand.
•   Learners benefit from access to a visible contact person during RPL process.
•   Is it easier for learner to “do the course” rather than feel the pain of putting
    together the RPL portfolio etc?
•   Social capital? What value is placed on different forms of learning (informal / non-
    formal / RPL)?
•   Leaving Cert – no structure in exam system to recognise learning “outside
    school”
•   RPL currently largely associated with higher education or with further education?
•   Benefits of standardised system to collect & present evidence?
•   Example of group briefings in Fáilte Ireland
                      » contd…
2. What factors would support / promote more widespread and
consistent recognition of prior learning (RPL) as a means of admission
to, and / or gaining awards?
• Transparency about RPL processes from providers i.e. how long?
  Realistic timeframe involved. Not enough to publicise that RPL process
  exists, but need additional information about what it actually entails so
  learners are informed
• Impact of RPL on providers: Financial influences for providers – funding
  “loss” for learners not attending particular modules. Resource intensive
  process. Over-subscribed providers less motivated to address RPL??
• Accredited centres for RPL (FETAC)
• “Urban myth” of possible multiple counting of particular learning
  experiences – transfer of credit important and distinct from “exemption”.
• Role of employers to support employees to maintain record of learning?
• Distinction between RPL for entry, or to gain award!
3. Has the Framework and related NQAI policies on access, transfer and
progression (ATP) removed or addressed difficulties in ATP at levels 5 –
8 on the Framework? If not, what more could / should be done?

 • Current progress noted and accepted
 • Additional differentiation of variants of Leaving Certificates would be
   helpful (clustering at level 4 and 5 not helpful to wider understanding)
 • Two award types at level 6 contributes to lack of clarity
 • “Under-use” of NFQ at secondary-school level should be addressed
 • Inter-institutional networking at transition points an important vehicle to
   support learners
 • The “FETAC route” is there but there may need to be more awards at
   levels 6, 7 to increase progression routes
 • FE - HE links scheme in place, but often quotas for small number of
   learners
3. Has the Framework and related NQAI policies on access, transfer and
progression (ATP) removed or addressed difficulties in ATP at levels 5 –
8 on the Framework? If not, what more could / should be done?
• Information about, and promotion of, NFQ very important to learners
• Need to increase awareness of routes “other” than Leaving Cert
• Not seamless progression from Levels 5 - 8, and also inconsistencies
  within this
• Some minimum entry requirements focused not on most recent award,
  but on Leaving Cert
• Different institutions have different requirements
• Professional body requirements are an important influence – added layer
  of complexity
• Award titles contribute to confusion, particularly diploma / degree
• Transfer and progression not clearly understood by learners –
  terminology used is not common language
    4. What is the minimum level of understanding of the Framework that
    is appropriate to learners and parents?
       To what extent is it important that learners and parents be aware /
       understand changes to the teaching and learning paradigm?

•      Learners at different life stages, not just younger learners so “families”
       more appropriate than “parents”
•      Learners need to know the title of award the programme is leading to,
       the awarding body and what value the award has (in terms of ATP)
•      Additional clarity for school awards esp. Leaving Cert at levels 4 & 5
•      Learners need to know the currency of their awards, awarding body,
       how to map their learning / “themselves” to the Framework, and how
       to progress / plan a route forward – there are multiple routes
•      Know how the award is recognised
•      Shift to learners and learning outcomes
4. What is the minimum level of understanding of the Framework that is
appropriate to learners and parents?
        Are there dangers associated with learners / parents holding a
        limited knowledge / understanding of the Framework?

• Some learners need more information about the terminology
• “A little knowledge (can be) a dangerous thing”
• Learner expectations of access & progression etc can be unhelpful e.g.
  limited awareness of NFQ leading to too high expectations
• Expectation of the learners’ “right” to access next level?
• Some providers not entirely clear that “Certificate …. FETAC (minor
  award)”

Other points:
• Limitations of outcomes-driven learning – modules risk being designed /
   constrained to fit the NFQ?
• Coherence and consistency of qualifications system across sectors
• Varying levels of knowledge / awareness within sectors.

				
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