What can be used as evidence in APL?
What can be used as evidence?
Your claim for academic credit needs to be supported by evidence which demonstrates achievement of the appropriate learning outcomes of the three modules.
This is what you need to remember about evidence:
- Evidence should be presented in a way that links it clearly to the learning outcomes (you can find these in our APL handbook)
- Think carefully about what evidence to use and how to ensure that you are not using images of people/organisation or their names without their permission (think confidentiality)
- Think about how to use evidence to illustrate your knowledge/skills and demonstrate the extent to which you can analyse your own learning
- You may use different media, eg photographs, audio tapes, videos and written work to illustrate the points made - however, please consider how you use this evidence to ensure that you are not using images of people/organisations or their names without permission
- Information gathered from others about what you can do, eg certificates from successfully completed courses, correspondence you have received from colleagues or customers/clients, a statement by your manager or independent source familiar with your work
- Writing up a 'learning incident' from an experience that you have had in a diary
- Discussion of how you have applied learning gained on a course to your work or other activities. Certificates of achievement from courses may be used as a supplement to discussions
- Daily work, eg letters, emails,
Note the use of testimonials should be to confirm other evidence. They are not adequate evidence in themselves.
Evidence is never self-explanatory. Always try to make explicit to the assessor how you intend your evidence to be understood. We suggest that you attach a short commentary to each piece of evidence explaining its context and how it authenticates a particular area of your learning.
Please note that the quantity of evidence does not equate with quantity or quality of learning. It is often possible to find a piece of evidence that demonstrates achievement of more than one learning outcome. Be sure to cross-refer clearly in this case. The quality of the evidence and the way you have used it can indicate achievement of the learning outcomes, or not. Ensure that you state why each piece of evidence is included and what learning it demonstrates.
The evidence you use should meet the following criteria (adapted from RAL handbook, 2010):
- Validity: Evidence must be directly related to the learning claimed of a particular learning outcome. If you claim that you have an ability or skill, your evidence is only valid if it illustrates that ability or skill. For example, PHC 3005 LO 2 – your evidence could be an essay that you did for your undergraduate degree (research methods module) that asked you to critically examine the major research designs.
- Authenticity: It must be clear that any evidence submitted originates from you, or refers specially to you. One way to do this is to ensure that pieces of evidence are signed (eg testimonial). You may need to ask for supporting statements on organisational notepaper.
- Currency: Evidence should be recent and dated if possible. Where you are claiming for prior learning, supplementary evidence may be necessary to show that you are still capable of achieving the same level of leaning. Evidence dating back more than five years should only be influenced if you are able to demonstrate that the learning has been in use more recently or, if appropriate, has been updated.
- Sufficiency: You must submit enough evidence to cover all the learning outcomes of the three modules.
- Reliability: You should be able to show the learning you claim for can be repeated. Thus, evidence provided from one instance should also be relevant in another similar instance.
Ethical aspects of your evidence (from RAL handbook, 2010)
Your work roles and information generated through your work are likely to be useful sources of evidence. It is possible that you may wish to use sensitive information originally gathered for a different purpose as evidence. Where this is the case, it is essential that you comply with the professional, legal or moral standards appropriate of the nature of the information used. It is your responsibility to find out what these standards are from appropriate sources.
You should always seek to protect any person or organisation named in your evidence by keeping them anonymous, unless you get written permission to use the names of individuals or organisations. You will find the following points a useful guide, if you wish to include confidential material as evidence:
- Ensure consent for the use of material is obtained from all people involved, eg team members/managers. Details of the consent obtained should be included with the evidence itself, eg a signed letter on headed notepaper
- Be sensitive to the implications of your evidence. Are you exposing internal problems or placing anyone in a bad light?
- Consider how to anonymise material adequately. For example, you may wish to represent names and addresses using pseudonyms. Striking names through with a pen or concealing them with correction fluid is not sufficient. Photocopying documents and blotting out names with black felt tip is preferable
- Always check the legal status of material before using it. If in doubt, check with us and your organisation or line manager.