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EVAVOL Project – Recognising the Learning Gained Through Volunteering

15 January, 2019

While it is clear that volunteers gain valuable learning through their volunteering activities; it can be difficult to articulate that learning and to effectively transition the knowledge, skills and competence gained into credit in higher or further education systems.

The process of validating the outcomes from non-formal and informal learning is usually considered to have four phases: identification, documentation, assessment and certification.

In most cases, the work of voluntary organisations can support the identification and documentation of the learning leaving the learner a challenge to secure the assessment of such learning outcomes from a formal education provider as part of an official qualification.

This is currently one of the main obstacles for the validation of learning outcomes from volunteering. In this context, the objective of the EVAVOL project is to develop the first open and multilingual online platform of information, training, guidance and support for volunteers during the transition between the documentation and assessment phases of the process for the validation of the learning outcomes from volunteering.

The EVAVOL project is an initiative of the Spanish Platform of Volunteering (Plataforma del Voluntariado de España) in collaboration with the Volunteering Support Center of Lazio (Centro di Servizio per il Volontariato del Lazio), the Portuguese Confederation of Volunteering (Confederação Portuguesa do Voluntariado), Meath Community Rural and Social Development Partnership and Cork Institute of Technology.

The EVAVOL project is co-funded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union. From 10th to 12th January, the five partner organisations of the EVAVOL project met in Madrid (Spain) for their first transnational meeting. The delegates from the five partner organisations used this first project meeting to set strong foundations for the work of the partnership. 

In particular, they worked on the development of the content for the online platform. The next step will be to finalise the development of the online content before the second project meeting in Lisbon (Portugal) planned for May 2019. During the meeting in Lisbon, the delegates from the partner organisations will prepare for the next project activity, the testing of the online platform with volunteers from Spain, Italy Portugal and Ireland.

Cork Institute of Technology’s CIT Extended Campus is delighted to support the project and work with the volunteer organisations to help to bridge the gap between the practice domain where the learning is gained and put to use, and the academic domain where the learning may be evidenced and assessed for credit.

In 2019 CIT is celebrating 20 years of dedicated resources for the Recognition of Prior Learning. CIT Extended Campus is a unique unit which stimulates and supports engagement between CIT staff, students and researchers and external organisations of all types and sizes.