Global Learning Qualifications Framework (GLQF)

The Global Learning Qualifications Framework (GLQF) is a culmination of more than 90 countries and various organizations’ account of what constitutes college-level learning. Your knowledge in any particular area touches upon the eight learning domains (specialized knowledge, contextual knowledge, integrated knowledge, communication, information literacy, sociocultural engagement, ethical responsibility, self-regulated learning), but in varying amounts and with great overlap.

To be assessed for your learning, don’t try to respond to each definition. Try to think about how your learning has developed over time in the application of the learning domains.

Each definition is followed by questions to consider. Do not expect to answer all of these questions, but pick and choose the ones that best fit your learning in your field. They are there to help you think about what you know and how you can describe your learning.

Specialized Knowledge

Your specialized knowledge includes a range of factual, theoretical and practical knowledge, competencies and skills in a particular discipline or profession. You incorporate your specialized knowledge through reasoned approaches to understand your field and its interconnectedness and limits.

  • What are some of the theoretical concepts that go along with practices in my area of knowledge?
  • What are some of the principles involved in my knowledge? How have these principles impacted the ways I think about or use my knowledge?
  • When I apply my knowledge, what are the reasons behind its application?
  • What are the historical roots of my area and how has this impacted the field? How has it changed over time?
  • What are my accomplishments in this area? What skills and competencies have I gained? What different techniques and approaches have I learned over time?
  • What do I understand now that you did not understand before? What has changed over time in my knowledge?
  • What is new and exciting in my field?
  • What core competencies would I need to teach someone else so that he or she could accomplish knowing what I already know about this area?

Contextual Knowledge

Your knowledge is situated and applied in various contexts. You apply contextual knowledge using various procedures and analytical tools to formulate, conceptualize and generalize concepts to solve diverse problems.

  • How have you used your knowledge? What are the reasons behind its application?
  • What types of problems have you solved with this knowledge? How have you solved these problems? What are the reasons behind the approach you took to solve these problems? How did your knowledge develop from solving these problems?
  • What types of procedures or tasks do you perform with this knowledge? What are the various types of complexities involved in these procedures or tasks?
  • How have you developed or used existing procedures to address a problem/situation and then applied these same procedures to solve another problem/situation?
  • What new insights have you gained from experiences using this knowledge and what significance have these insights had on your development in the field?

Integrated Knowledge

Your knowledge is integrated as you connect, interrelate and unify concepts in new or dissimilar situations. Your integrated knowledge is applied through identifying, organizing and synthesizing information and relating that information to different situations, problems or contexts.

  • How is this knowledge generally applied outside of the specific situation in which it was acquired? How have you applied this knowledge in different situations or environments outside of its usual contexts?
  • How have you analyzed different concepts and applied them in new ways to solve problems?
  • What knowledge from other fields have you used to integrate with this area to solve problems or situations?
  • How does what you know fit into the larger body of knowledge in the field?


You communicate your knowledge accurately and reliably, informed by key concepts and techniques of the discipline, to appropriate audiences. Your communication is applied through various modalities of delivery (written, oral, visual and/or technological) to present, explain, critique and/or respond to pertinent information, ideas, problems and solutions.

  • How have you shared information with others?
  • What types of reports or presentations have you prepared to share information about this area?
  • What procedures, tasks or concepts have you taught others about this area? How have you explained why they are used or thought about in particular ways?
  • How have you engaged in discussions around topics in this area? In what ways have you shared thoughts, opinions and information about your knowledge?
  • How have you shared critical perspectives or new strategies with others regarding topics in this area?
  • How have you given others feedback around procedures, tasks or information regarding topics in this area?

Information Literacy

Information literacy involves locating, aggregating, analyzing and evaluating information from a wide range of resources to answer questions and solve problems. Your information literacy is applied through evaluating the validity and relevancy of the information you have gathered and synthesizing that information for the purpose of meeting individual and group needs.

  • What types of resources do you use to learn more about topics in your area? How have you used these resources?
  • What questions have you had regarding topics in your area? What new questions are now forming for you?
  • How have you conducted research or inquiry to learn more about your area?
  • How have you analyzed information to gain better critical perspectives or develop strategies to solve problems or situations?
  • How have you had to seek more information to solve a problem or situation?
  • How have you used quantitative information or data to improve your understanding of topics in your area?

Sociocultural Engagement

Sociocultural engagement expands your viewpoint and provides an awareness of and appreciation for diverse backgrounds and perspectives. Your sociocultural engagement occurs through reflective interaction with others, which mutually examines assumptions and expectations.

  • What are other viewpoints concerning topics in your area? How do these viewpoints help you understand different aspects of the topics? In what ways has your own viewpoint changed in light of other viewpoints?
  • How have your been working in teams around topics in your area? In what ways has teamwork contributed to your understanding of these topics?
  • In what ways have you discussed ideas and issues on topics in your area? How have you shared your thoughts, opinions and information? How have these discussions contributed to your understanding of these topics?
  • Who has influenced you and/or helped you in developing your knowledge in this area? How have these people given you insight or support in your learning?
  • How has your knowledge or understanding changed as you have learned from different people?
  • In what ways have you helped others to learn more in this area?
  • What challenges have you had working in teams with diverse perspectives on topics in your area? How did these experiences help you understand your area better?
  • How have your own or others’ biases limited your knowledge in this area?

Ethical Responsibility

Ethical responsibility recognizes, interprets and acts upon multiple principles, standards and values within a given context. Your ethical responsibility explores various complexities, dynamics and issues surrounding personal and human behavior and ethical practices in order to understand best ways to make decisions and resolve issues at personal, groups and societal levels.

  • What are the different principles, standards and ethics in your field? What are the purposes of these principles, standards and ethical criteria? What influences have they had on the development of knowledge in the field? How have these impacted your learning and application of this knowledge in your field?
  • What types of ethically difficult problems or situations have you encountered? How have you dealt with these circumstances? What have you learned from these experiences?
  • What are some of the greatest challenges in the principles, standards and ethical criteria in your field? What are the critical debates? In what ways in your own experiences have you encountered these debates? What knowledge have you gained from these debates in your field?
  • How do you use the principles, standards and ethical criteria of your field to make decisions? How have these decisions impacted others? How has your knowledge grown as a result of this type of decision-making process?
  • What are some situations that you have encountered where there was no right or wrong answer to a problem? How have you gone about trying to solve a problem or situation where the solutions are not clear? How have these types of problems impacted your knowledge?

Self-regulated Learning

Self-regulated learning recognizes choices, utilizes feedback, assesses personal behavior and analyzes appropriate responses to engage learning opportunities and environment effectively. Your self-regulated learning takes responsibility for your learning process autonomously and takes action for improvement.

  • In what ways do you assess your learning and performance to improve and learn more?
  • How has your learning in this area grown over time? How do you continue to grow in this area?
  • What types of goals have you set for myself around your knowledge in this area? How have you set these goals and proceeded to meet them?
  • How do you use feedback from others to improve your knowledge or performance?
  • What types of choices have you made in gaining knowledge of this area?
  • How have you been autonomous in learning and improving your knowledge of this area?