Using personal questionnaires in a facilitated learning group.
This project contributes a final trial to the appraisal of personal questionnaires conducted at UWE Bristol between October and April 2007.
13 psychology undergraduates in a Facilitated Learning Group completed personal questionnaires at the start of their first term at university, assigning monthly ratings of personal and academic concerns up to the start of the third term. At the end of the project period, participants were invited to write a reflective account linked to the questionnaire record and to complete an evaluation of the questionnaire.
Analytical and presentational reporting of the data illustrated participants’ engagement with personal questionnaires and provided a basis for their appraisal. Quantitative and qualitative outcomes showed that students can use personal questionnaires to record a range of concerns and to assign valid ratings to their variation over time. Discernable patterns of change across participants may indicate areas for further research into the student experience. Reflective accounts linked to questionnaire records supported the validity of questionnaire content while suggesting that they indicate rather than capture the depth and complexity of personal processes in student development. Participants reported that the questionnaires were relevant and easy to use, and that for some participants they were helpful in monitoring concerns and highlighting areas for action.
The outcomes were discussed in relation to the parent study, issues around engaging students in self-report procedures, and support for these by university staff. It was recommended that the strengths of personal questionnaires may be most usefully applied in researching the student experience, as an aid to student self-reflection and monitoring in academic support settings, and as a tool for systematic evaluation in psychological counselling.
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