Capturing the Signals of Informal Learning

As usual in his post Will Richardson is ahead of me in thinking my thoughts on informal learning and how to provide evidence that convinces employers. He quotes Neeru Paharia, one of the  founders of Peer 2 Peer University:

She likes to talk about signals, a concept borrowed from economics. “Having a degree is a signal,” she says. “It’s a signal to employers that you’ve passed a certain bar.” Here’s the radical part: Ms. Paharia doesn’t think degrees are necessary. P2PU is working to come up with alternative signals that indicate to potential employers that an individual is a good thinker and has the skills he or she claims to have — maybe a written report or an online portfolio. “We live in a new society,” Ms. Paharia says. “People are mobile. We have the Internet. We don’t necessarily need to work within the confines of what defines a traditional education.”

We see that e-portfolios are a potential solution but virtually all implementations are controlled by educational institutions with bias against any informal learning portfolio entries. So we need to arrive at a solution where the individual controls entries in a personal e-portfolio (PEP) with a range of ‘accreditations’ from non-traditional sources. A major problem but let’s to work on the tools that allow blogs, tweets, comments, replies, case studies, online examples, surveys/tests, and so on from heterogeneous sources to be assembled in a PEP.

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About Michael Rees
Academic in IT interested in Web 2.0 and social media

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