Applies appropriate methods for assessment and self-assessment of their own learning achievementsAssessing one’s own learning achievements and competencesLearning to learnSkill to choose and use assessment and self- assessment tools and to derive learning achievements from this.

What drives you as a learner? Value assessment

There is always a reason why we want to learn. What would we like to achieve? What is the driving force for the process of learning? What makes us satisfied? One of the magic ingredients of a recipe for fulfilled life would be living a life according to one’s own values. This article will introduce the idea of values and offer an exercise based on Rokeach Value Survey.

Why did I choose this tool?

Part of the competence of learning to learn is self-assessment of your own development. To know where we are heading to, first of all it is important to understand why we are doing this. RVS could help the learners to understand their own ecosystem and may inspire them for new actions in terms of future learning.

How does this apply to being a trainer?

In the area of learning to learn it is important to be aware of the purpose of our work and the values that are leading us in the process of teaching and one’s own learning. Assessing our fulfillment and integrity will most probably activate new directions of our development.


Values are a hidden power. They are the core purpose of our actions, a fuel in the engine of life. Life against our values can result in inner conflict and turn into giant impasse.

It is extremely important to be aware of your own value ecosystem and to use it as compass in everyday actions.

The Rokeach Value Survey (RVS) is a values classification instrument, developed and published in the book “The Nature of Human Values”(1973). This instrument is designed for rank-order scaling of 36 values, including 18 terminal and 18 instrumental values. Terminal values are “end result” values describing what you want to get out of life. Instrumental values are the ways you seek to accomplish your terminal values. I would say terminal values are describing our vision of life, while instrumental values describe our mission.
One doesn’t go without the other.

Excercise 1

Terminal Values:

  1. Analyze Terminal Values, give them your definition (value sheet).
  2. Put each value in a priority order – #1 matters most, #18 matters least – for how much each value matters to you. Pick 5 top values and describe them. How much are they present in the vision of your life right now?
  3. What could you improve or change to make those values more present in your vision?
  4. How would your personal development and learning strategy support these 5 values?
NR Terminal Values Your understanding of each value
True Friendship
Mature Love
Inner Harmony
Social Recognition
Family Security
National Security
A Sense of Accomplishment
A World of Beauty
A World at Peace
A Comfortable Life
An Exciting Life

Excercise 2

Instrumental Values:

  1. Analyze Instrumental Values, give them your definition (value sheet).
  2. Put each value in a priority order – #1 matters most, #18 matters least – for how much each value matters to you? (To do that print those values, cut them, and paste on a different sheet of paper in the right order: from the most important value at the top to the least important value at the bottom).
  3. Pick 5 top values and explain how they are manifested in your everyday actions?____________________________________________________________________
  4. What could you improve, or change to make those values more integrated with your actions?
  5. How your personal development and learning strategy could support these 5 values?
NR Instrumental Values Your understanding of each value

Excercise 3

My compass of development.

Materials: A4 paper, scissors, glue, colorful markers and magazines with pictures, postcards etc.

Write down on a A4 paper your top five terminal and instrumental values (use markers).

Put your terminal values in the center of the paper and instrumental values around them.

Look in magazines for visual representations of chosen values.

5 terminal values
5 terminal values

Cut the chosen images and paste them covering the words (written values).

As a result you will have a colorful mosaic full of different images representing your values.

Put it in a visible place in your room, office or in seminar room. Treat it as your compass in everyday actions.

You may also take a picture of your mosaic and upload it as a background image on your Smartphone screen.

Reflection questions

  1. What have you learnt about yourself?
  2. How is this exercise connected to your learner path?
  3. How could you adapt this reflection to your learning strategy?

Author of the article: Dagna Gmitrowicz

Dagna Gmitrowicz – a senior trainer in the field of nonformal education, conducting international/national training and facilitating conferences since 2001. Creator of innovative educational tools and curriculum – Academy of Nonformal Education (PAJP), TOSCA training cycle, learning cycle in BECC Bridge to Cultural Centres, Colours and Needs cards, and many more. Member of several international trainers’ pools (It’s up to Me, TOSCA, European Solidarity Corp Polish NA pool and other). The member of the International Society for Self-Directed Learning after giving a lecture during SSDL Symposium 2020 in USA/Florida. Dagna Gmitrowicz is also a professional painter, and performer actively participating in a cultural scene in Germany and Poland, actively supporting cultural events and projects.
TOY profile:
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Rokeach value survey personal responsesThe Nature of Human Values (1973)

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