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Athabasca University

2013 News Archive

CLA announces revisions to our e-Portfolio platform

June 17, 2013

CLA announces revisions to our e-Portfolio platform, effective immediately! Following a successful pilot period, we have incorporated suggestions from learners and assessors in order to create a more attractive and navigable e-Portfolio. While the new format features a few changes for learners uploading their materials to the e-Portfolio, most of the changes affect the way in which the document is accessed by assessors. Revised directions for creating the e-Portfolio are now available on our site. Almost 100% of CLA's PLAR learners are now using the e-Portfolio to display their prior learning.
(Note: Those PLAR learners already at work uploading to the old platform will continue to use that platform.)

2013 PLAR Scholarship Winners

May 22, 2013

CLA is pleased to announce that two PLAR completers were awarded $1000 scholarships this year. Excerpts and information are reproduced here with permission.

Cheryl Bogaert from Ontario is in the Bachelor of Health Administration program. Cheryl completed her PLAR portfolio in 2012. As a part of her winning essay for the scholarship application, Cheryl wrote: "Articulating clear, succinct learning statements that accurately described the learning I gained from experience was a difficult but insightful. Through this process, I was able to bring forward my learning with deep thought….I also strengthened my understanding and appreciation of the various levels of complexity inherent in learning. I am glad I embarked upon this journey. PLAR has taught me how to integrate previous knowledge into new situations and been instrumental in transforming my understanding of learning and will, thus, contribute to my success as a learner."

Lois, from British Columbia, is in the Bachelor of General Studies program, Arts and Science stream. Lois completed her PLAR portfolio in 2010. In her essay, Lois wrote: "the PLAR process has helped me to recognize that much of what I have to offer was gained through life learning… the PLAR process also asked that I seek others' assessment of my work and skills. It was a humbling, yet validating, experience to have others speak accurately to those experiences. Further, matching those skills to specific courses not only provided me with academic credit but also demonstrated my competency in a work setting."

Congratulations to both Cheryl and Lois! Several PLAR Bursaries were also awarded to deserving applicants. The deadline for applying for 2014 awards is February 15, 2014. Please visit the awards page for more information or contact Patricia at or 1 800 788 9041 follow prompts to ext 6348 (Canada & US), (780) 675-6348 (international).

CLA invited to present on PLAR to a Danish study tour

April 24, 2013

The Centre for Learning Accreditation (CLA) at Athabasca University was honored to be invited to present on PLAR to a Danish study tour on April 11 in Winnipeg. The study tour, from University College of Northern Denmark, comprised six PLAR practitioners and one legal advisor who have the responsibility of leading the implementation of PLAR at their institution. The study team was interested in learning as much as possible about PLAR in Canada.

The tour, which took the group from Eastern to Western Canada over a period of week, was organized by Dr. Joy Van Kleef, principal of the Canadian Institute for Recognizing Learning (CIRL). AU's presentation, made by Director Dr. Dianne Conrad, was entitled PLAR at Athabasca University: Why we do it, how we do it (PPT - 6.8MB).

AU PLAR invited to (BC)PLAN 2013 Summit

March 28, 2013

Dr. Dianne Conrad, CLA Director, represented AU at a recent gathering in Vancouver, jointly hosted by Dr. Christine Wihak (Thompson Rivers University) and Ms. Wendy Watson, President of the (BC)Plan board. Attending the Summit, entitled Surging to the Future: Research-informed innovation in the recognition of prior learning, were members of the Prior Learning International Research Council (PLIRC) from Europe, South Africa, and Australia, the US and Canada; and members of a variety of private organizations, sectors, trades, and post secondary institutions in British Columbia. Dr. Conrad's presentation on research is available here. Results of the Summit and/or further information about (BC)Plan can be located on their website at

Updated January 30 2015 by Student & Academic Services

AU, CANADA'S OPEN UNIVERSITY, is an internationally recognized leader in online and distance learning.