Validation of Non-Formal Learning: Opportunities for Distance Education

Harris Judy
Thompson Rivers University, Canada

Christine Wihak
Thompson Rivers University, Canada


The vast array of educational resources available on the internet means that individuals can access learning opportunities in a way not previously possible. But how can this free range learning (Cross, 2007) be translated into formal qualifications or credentials? Some of innovative distance learning opportunities are already being formally recognized. For example, many higher education institutions offering MOOCs are increasingly providing an opportunity to earn academic credit towards a degree, such as in the Virtual Mobility Passport project (Tovar, 2014). Nevertheless, much learning from online educational resources remains invisible on a transcript or resume. In Edupunks’ Guide to a DYI Credential, Kamenetz (2011) posited that a motivated learner can use internet learning to earn q credential from a recognized formal education institution. The vehicle that she recommends to have such learning assessed and accredited is called Validation of Non-formal and Informal Learning (VNFIL) in Europe.

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