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Learning Survey

 Information about the Learning Survey

The Learning Survey is based on participants’ written learning reports in response to this question: “What am I learning in this guided autobiography workshop?”  Further information for the survey was provided by participants in their submitted final workshop session evaluation form and  group discussions about what their future goals were.  The Learning Survey provides a broader scope of the learning experiences and developmental exchanges that emerge in guided autobiography workshops and more comprehensive data for qualitative research studies.

This learning Survey is available for those offering Guided Autobiography workshops and want to collect information about their participant’s learning experiences in their workshops. The surveys potential use: (1) for a research study on learning in their workshops, or (2) for further review and discussion with participants in their workshops that might help enhance their workshop experiences.

 We are hoping to engage your cooperation in investigating the personal learning that results from participation in your Guided Autobiography workshop series.  To accomplish that, we’ve devised a short, one-page survey which we hope (1) you will complete for yourself and return to us – with comments; and (2) you will distribute the survey form to your workshop participants at the end of the workshop series, and forward to us as well.

The Personal Learning in Guided Autobiography Survey is designed to provide a closer examination of the various GAB features that contribute to participants’ learning – both personal and social.  Its focus is on various features of the “Developmental Exchanges” (Birren & Deutchman, 1991) in the workshop that are understood to be central to personal growth, development, and learning which makes Guided Autobiography a pivotal experience for so many of its participants.

The one-page Survey currently consists of 35 statements grouped into seven blocks of five statements each.  Early trials indicate that the Survey is easily completed in 10-12 minutes by most people.  GAB participants are invited to consider each statement and then to report how much personal learning has resulted from each one.  Participants report their answers on a fully-anchored 5-point letter scale of ‘amount of learning’ – unlike the weaker 1-5 or 1-7 scales which you may have seen elsewhere.

The current 35 items have been abstracted from three sources: (1) the Birren and Cochran text in Telling the Stories of Life, (1991); (2) summaries of previous participants’ written submissions reporting ‘What am I learning?’, and (3) participants written evaluations about the most and least satisfactory features of both small and large group sessions and their recommendations for improvements (Birren & Cochran, 1991, p.171-172).

We are very much aware that we may have missed certain critical features of guided autobiography’s role in participants’ learning – and trust that you will help us identify them.  Thus, we hope that you’ll complete the Survey and then add important things that we have missed in the spaces below and return your suggestions to us.  Please return the complete Learning Survey to: …

James E. Thornton,  640 Pine Ridge Dr., Cobble Hill, BC,  V0R 1L1