Assessing and Credentialing Learning from Prior Experience
Some twenty years ago, Warren Willingham made a breakthrough early in the CAEL (Cooperative Assessment of Experiential Learning) Project (1974-1977) that was essential to its success and that had broader implications and applications that even today are far from fully realized. Reliability of assessment, he pointed out, does not require standardized tests and large numbers of examinees being compared on the same measures. It can be assured by way of processes that generate interrater agreement at appropriate levels. Validity of assessment, he added, does not allow examinees' knowledge to be judged on different grounds than their claims. He defined the crucial criteria for valid and reliable assessment in his Principles alGood Practice in Assessing Experiential Learning (1977). I assume that any sensible psychometrician already understood these ideas, but it was Warren Willingham who brought out the implications for measuring learning that had occurred outside of college precincts.