Assessment and recognition of non-formal and informal learning: a Lithuanian case of novice consultants’ experience

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This article reports the results of the investigation into institutional support provided to adults by 12 novice consultants on assessment and recognition of their non-formal and informal learning in four institutions of higher education (HEIs) in Lithuania. Using the general systems perspective and perception theory, novice consultants’ perceptions of their experience of guiding and supporting adults was examined with the main aim to provide a better understanding of the challenges that they encountered and the benefits they gained so that to enhance the process. The method of content analysis was employed to investigate novice consultants’ perceptions. The results of their feedback responses revealed four major challenges, including the novelty of the procedure, complexity of the process of portfolio development, difficulty to raise adults’ awareness of the value of the procedure and difficulty to provide moral support to adults, which caused gaps in consultants’ performance. The established benefits included a better understanding of the process, benefits for their professional activity and personal development, improved competence to consult and an impact on the attitude towards others and self. The implications of the findings for fostering consultants’ training to enhance the process of institutional support provided to adults are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)643-662
Number of pages20
JournalInternational Journal of Lifelong Education
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2 2015



  • assessment and recognition of non-formal and informal learning
  • higher education
  • institutional support
  • novice consultants

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies

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