Recognition of Prior Learning Translation and Transfer (RPLTT): Using Actor-Network-Theory to develop a Specialised Pedagogy

Helen Pokorny

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The Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) is a process by which achievements gained through work or other experiences can be formally recognised and accredited in higher education. It has a role to play in providing accelerated routes for mature students and is particularly relevant to part-time learners. Despite studies showing the potential transformative effects of RPL and the benefits to retention RPL remains a marginal activity. It is suggested that RPL assessment processes themselves may constitute a barrier to take-up and there has been a move to reconceptualising RPL as a distinctively specialised pedagogy for mediating knowledge sharing across boundaries.
This paper contributes to this body of work through a study of RPL participants who were academics seeking credit for a postgraduate award. The research uses Actor-Network-Theory (ANT) to understand how and why they approached the RPL task in the way that they did. By understanding how things happened and how effects come into being it was possible to develop an RPL Translation and Transfer (RPLTT) model and typology that provide a heuristic for RPL design in practice contexts. Practical applications and limitations are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
JournalAssessment and Evaluation in Higher Education
Early online date18 Jan 2023
Publication statusPublished - 18 Jan 2023


  • Recognition of Prior Learning,
  • Actor-Network-Theory
  • RPL Translation and Transfer model
  • Specialised Pedagogy
  • actor-network theory
  • specialised pedagogy
  • Recognition of Prior Learning


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