Prior Learning Consulting

Services Offered:
  • PLA Program Design
  • Instructional Materials
  • Web/Class Design
  • Faculty Training
  • PLA Rubrics & Assessment Tools
  • Technology Use
  • Outsourcing PLA

20 years experience/ Program Design and Training

Theresa Hoffmann wrote the Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) faculty manual and student workbook from the practionerís perspective. These instructional materials represent both theoretical understanding and practical application of PLA. The authorís expertise spans 15 years as Director of the award-winning Prior Learning Assessment Program in a higher education institution that offered both classroom and online courses. These materials represent her experience with PLA students and faculty and are designed to be used as textbooks or training guides:

Evaluating Prior Learning: A Hands-on Manual That Guides the Evaluator through the Prior Learning Assessment Process (2009)
Author: Theresa Hoffmann
The Prior Learning Evaluator's manual is a "how to" approach to applying PLA theories, models and rubrics to evaluate experiential learning for college credit.

The author's PLA expertise, spanning almost 20 years, includes teaching students, instructors and evaluators over the 14 years as Director of the award-winning Prior Learning Assessment Program, EXCEL, at the University of Maryland University College (UMUC) and years of consulting nationally and internationally. Creating evaluation programs, writing instructional materials, training evaluators and evaluating thousands of evaluator reports yearly provides this author with specialized insight into the PLA evaluation process.

This 178 page manual provides PLA Evaluators with tools needed to assess student learning and includes:
  • A CD with 9 real portfolios in 17 different academic disciplines.
  • A "walk through" sample student narratives to show you how to identify college level learning in different academic disciplines with evaluator summaries.
  • Quality standards used by faculty assessors of PLA.
  • New models and rubrics to help you to recognize college level learning.
  • New reusable and reproducible practical hands-on worksheets allow you to understand and expedite the evaluation process.
  • Theoretical models and research in PLA.
  • Veteran evaluator advice in different academic disciplines.
  • A new evaluator report form: a rubric for justifying evaluated learning.
Cost: $95    

Defining College-Level Learning: A Manual for Coaching Prior Learning Assessment Students Through the Process of Assessing Life Experience To Identify College-Level Credit (2006)
Author: Theresa Hoffmann
This manual provides faculty with 8 coaching techniques that help students to succeed and offers:
  • Various ways to explain college-level learning for use in PLA programs
  • Coaching techniques to facilitate student success in portfolio development through the use of models, exercises and rubrics
  • Quality standards used by faculty assessors of PLA
Cost: $75    

Defining College-Level Learning: Prior Learning Assessment Students Workbook: A Step-by-Step Guide for Articulating Knowledge Derived from Life Experiences. 2nd Edition. (2012)
Author: Theresa Hoffmann
The Student Workbook is designed to provide you with a practionerís experiential learning approach to figuring out how to reflect upon life learning experiences and capture the:
  • Theoretical understanding
  • Problem-solving situations
  • Lessons learned
  • Methods operation that can be generalized to other settings and potentially earn students college credit

The Workbook contains:
  • PLA background information
  • Exercises for each step of the portfolio
  • Student narrative samples for academic areas and course objectives/outcomes
  • An evaluation grading rubric
Cost: $65