Informal and non-formal learning
Informal learning is gained through work, social or volunteer experiences. It is not organised formally in terms of objectives, time or learning support.
Non-formal learning takes place through a structured program of learning but does not lead to an officially accredited qualification.
An assessment of informal and non-formal learning is often referred to as the recognition of prior learning (RPL). RPL is a process which matches the things a person has learnt against the learning outcomes of a course or subject. RPL assessment is undertaken by academic staff with expertise in the subject area, as well as knowledge of and expertise in RPL assessment.
Evidence of informal or non-formal learning
To obtain credit at UOW based on informal/non-formal learning you will need to demonstrate how the prior learning experiences align to the learning outcomes of the course or subject(s) and provide sufficient documentary evidence to support your claim.
For non-formal learning, you need to supply evidence of completion of the program (e.g., a training certificate). For informal learning, you need to supply evidence of achievement (e.g., sample of work or a detailed employer reference). A learning statement outlining how learning outcomes for the UOW course, major, minor or subject have been met is required for both.
Some examples of evidence that can be submitted:
- certificates and statements of attainment from courses sponsored by employers or professional bodies, including information about the course of study
- results from other non-accredited courses from various education and training providers (eg MOOCs, Microcredentials), including outlines of any units studied detailing course content, course contact hours and information on the course presenter/s and their qualifications
- CV detailing employment history and position descriptions
- letters of reference from employers (including direct supervisors) verifying your knowledge, skills and experience
- letters or documents from clients, verifying work activities
- copies of documents you have completed as part of your work (e.g., budgets, reports, memos, spread sheets, estimates etc)
- details of community activities involving significant responsibilities
- samples, photographs, or videos of your work that are related to the credit sought.
In some cases, students may be required to participate in an interview or undertake some form of assessment to further demonstrate they have achieved the required learning outcomes.