Date of Award


Document Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (Research)


Extended Campus

First Advisor

Dr. Siobhán O'Sullivan


Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) is recognition given for relevant learning, regardless of how or where it was gained, prior to starting on a programme or module. This research explores a number of student focused initiatives to support RPL case preparation. An action research methodology was used where existing RPL procedures in an Institute of Technology setting were examined and evaluated. The aim of the research was to create a positive environment for RPL case preparation. A mixed method using both qualitative and quantitative approaches such as questionnaires and focus groups was used to gather data. The initial survey captured the existing picture of RPL in 2011. This was followed with an exploration of reflection using focus groups. Changes to the existing processes included development and re-evaluation and further amendment to the existing website. A Valuing Learning space was added to encourage documentation of competencies and this was followed with a trial of e portfolios and their subsequent evaluation. The findings contribute valuable insight to a complex field in education. They reveal that improving online supports is constructive for students preparing RPL cases. They further demonstrate that e portfolios are a significant tool and mechanism to activate learners and are purpose built scaffolds for RPL case preparation.

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