Exploring Autonomography: The Development of a Self-directed Writing Self-rating Scale

Document Type: Original Article

Author

Faculty of Education Sciences, North-West University, South Africa

Abstract

Writing involves a number of skills and being self-directed in the process would contribute to greater effectivity. The concept of autonomography, or being self-directed in terms of writing, draws from the literature on self-directed learning and specifically self-directed writing, where concepts such as self-regulation and learner autonomy are relevant in the language learning process. This study entailed the development of a self-directed writing questionnaire through a thorough overview of the pertinent literature and a consultative process with language experts in order to explore the nature of autonomography among a selected Afrikaans-speaking university student population. The statistical factor analyses confirm that autonomography involves a writer's self-directedness, voice and self-involvement, self-assessment and problem-solving, preference for own and expressive language, sensitivity towards other languages and language varieties, metacognitive skills, approach to self-directed writing on computer as well as editing and problem-solving on computer. These factors provide measures but also key areas of development in writing instruction. In addition, the level of autonomography was also explored in terms of preference for creative writing as opposed to a more functional writing.

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