Tagging, Recognition and Acknowledgment of Informal Learning ExpeRiences (TRAILER)

European Union. Lifelong Learning Programme. Sub-Programme ICT (KA 3) Multilateral Projects
Project type: 
Project leader: 
Dr. Francisco José García Peñalvo
01/01/2012 to 31/12/2013

The evolution of new technology and its increasing use, has for some years been making the existence of informal learning more and more transparent, especially among young and older adults in both Higher Education and workplace contexts. However, the nature of formal and non-formal, course-based, approaches to learning has made it hard to accommodate these informal processes satisfactorily, and although technology bring us near to the solution, it has not yet achieved.

The project aims to facilitate first the identification by the learner (as the last responsible of the learning process), and then the recognition by the institution, in dialogue with the learner, of this learning. The learner identifies episodes and evidences of informal learning in any of the different spaces in which she learns (formally or informally). She then links to these to the tool, located within her portfolio, and then tags them in relation to a predefined but evolving catalogue of competences. The tool is linked to the institutional interface in such a way that relevant experiences (related to the institutional target competences) are accessible to the institution. Other experiences that may be personally relevant to the learner are accessible to her.

In this way informal learning experiences become transparent and useful both for the individual and for the institution. Also the data generated could be used to improve learning systems and identify emerging competences.

The impact of this project will be especially representative to institutions, learners and the educational systems. To institutions because they could obtain and use hidden information about skills that their workers acquire in informal context. To learners, because informal activity recognition will allow them progress in work-place context. To education systems, because they could consider the obtain information to adapt their learning pathways in a proper way to match labour market demand.