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The ability for learners to identify and reflect on their own understandings, shape this into a model of practice, and position this within the work and writings of others, as well as within the wider concept of the profession, is the foundation of the under-graduate APL methodology.

Otago Polytechnic’s WBL programme has emerged from the experience and understandings gained within the APL model. While some learners undertake APL for a full degree through this process, many others use this as a starting point for their WBL journey. This reflective step exists in both our under-graduate WBL approach and is the beginning point for the GradDipProfPrac and the MProfPrac. In the WBL scenario, learners present both for credit towards the qualification, and also present the concepts for their future learning focus, the successful completion of which will lead to the award of the qualification. Assessors are able to contribute to the exploration of the dimensions of this learning focus at this point.

Within the Polytechnic’s WBL programme the primary purpose of the review of learning step is to create the basis from which the learners programme builds. Work-based learning processes recognise that most learners are already immersed in exploring their development area. Most workbased learners are already immersed in their area for their learning focus, rather than it being a new area. The Review of Learning(RoL) phase enables learners to explore their current understandings and come to see how these contribute to their development area. The review of learning stage is a critical and integral dimension to transdisciplinary or negotiated WBL programmes.

This RoL phase culminates in a summative assessment process in which the learner presents their understandings to a panel of assessors. This process has several aspects to it; firstly the learner makes a claim for credit towards the qualification and demonstrates their depth and breadth of current understandings. Secondly they propose a conceptual model of what their future inquiry will explore and learning required for this. Thirdly the assessors are able to contribute a perspective to the formation of the learning focus, and make recommendations as to the scope and particular aspects that the second phase of the WBL process, and finally the panel assess the presented evidence and award credits as appropriate and provide written feedback on their deliberations.