Profiling – A Self-Development Tool for Learners?


UV reserachers’ age profile. Any use as a non-threatening strating point for exploring the concept of factual self-profiling?

Profiling as a self-development tool has many potential benefits. The following thoughts generated through conversations with Richard Millwood could be applied to professional groups such as those engaged on the Ultraversity project.

For profiling to be successful there are many important person centred questions that need addressing. These include:

  • What is the motivation for participants?
  • Do participants have the confidence in and commitment to the process to fully embrace it?
  • Do participants have the personal tool kit to critically reflect upon themselves?
  • Do participants have the personal tool kit to use the profiling information constructively?
  • What are the personal constructs of individuals who see themselves as participants already successful? What is their motivation/purpose of profiling? What is the payback for them?
  • How does personal profiling link to an appraisal process and career paths/structures?
  • For participants to recognize progression and development in their own terms, a baseline to profile themselves at critical points in their career against their colleagues needs developing.

    5 types of profiling are identified. These may be used in isolation or in various combinations. Of particular significance to profiling as a self-development tool is Constrained Judgement profiling.

    Behaviour profiling:
    Involves the use of navigation metrics about individualís behaviour patterns on websites to build up a profile about them. For example, pages/items visited. Potentially, text analysis of contributions to discussions to identify key words that informs about knowledge in a particular field could also be used. Conversations and contributions may be deconstructed and analysed in many ways.

    Factual profiling:
    Involves the individual asserting incontestable facts about themselves into a framework. For example, qualifications, work history, needs, and other facts about themselves.

    Judgement profiling:
    Involves individuals in making contestable judgements about themselves in relation to identified competencies.
    i) Constrained – fixed statements against which respondents make judgements about themselves giving appropriate responses from listed options.
    ii) Free– fixed statements against which respondents make judgements about themselves and reply in their own words. The analysis of responses would require relatively sophisticated techniques.

    Observation profiling:
    Involves associates of the individual to be profiled making observations about their behaviour and abilities. A current framework for headteachers is the 360 assessments involved in the LPSH Hay McBear assessment.

    Psychometric profiling:
    Involves psychometric testing of the individuals cognitive ability and personality. A profile of personal characteristics can be developed and this is usually done as a part of a personnel selection process but could be used in self-development.

  • 1 thought on “Profiling – A Self-Development Tool for Learners?

    1. Eve Thirkle

      I’ve been thinking about looking at motivation to learn as my ILM – this might just be the motivation to decide for definite!


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