The 2021 Learning Survey is here, Rhiannon Grant explains why it’s so important.
If nothing was stopping you from taking as many Woodbrooke courses as you liked, what would you study with us? That’s one of several important questions we are asking in our learning survey. At Woodbrooke, we always work to make sure that the courses we offer meet the real needs of Quakers – both Quaker communities around the world and individual Quakers. In order to do that, from time to time we need to ask directly about what your interests are. What do you want to learn? What aspects of the Quaker way does your community need to understand better? How can we help you with this?
You may remember the last time we ran a learning survey, in 2018. That time we heard about the things people valued about Woodbrooke courses – about how some courses went on influencing participants many years afterwards, for example. We found out about the size of the audience for different areas of our work (reassuringly, at least some people wanted to study everything we were running courses about!) and were pleased to hear about how much Woodbrooke’s work is appreciated. We also found it useful to hear about the barriers to participation in Woodbrooke courses and occasions when things went wrong. That information helped us to improve our offer and make things as accessible as we could.
We had planned to run the survey again anyway, and the results will be especially important to us as we explore options for Woodbrooke’s future. As Jon Martin described in a recent blog post, moving online during the pandemic enabled us to reach more people than ever and in more places around the world. We are keen to hear from anyone who has taken part in our courses over the last year – but also from those who have not. To build a strong programme of courses for the future, we need to know about Quakers, about who wants to learn about Quaker topics, about people who’ve thought about doing a course but didn’t, about people who haven’t heard of Woodbrooke before. As well as changes required by the pandemic, since the previous learning survey Woodbrooke has welcomed new staff to our teams, and made other behind-the-scenes changes. The learning survey is an opportunity for you to tell us what Woodbrooke looks like from the outside.
What would attract you to a Woodbrooke course in future? We hope that you’ll complete the survey for yourself: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/WBSurvey21 and tell us about your interests and priorities. We also hope you’ll pass it on to people you know. Is there someone in your meeting or a friend of yours who might be interested in courses about spirituality or activism or religion in general, as well as Quakerism? The further our survey is circulated, the more useful the results will be, and the more we can shape our learning offers to respond to what’s really needed today.