Marshall Adult Education


2007 Professional Development (PD) Survey for Adult Basic Education (ABE)

 Survey Summary


What was the purpose of the survey?

In January 2007, the Literacy Minnesota Professional Issues Committee conducted an online survey in order to gather information about the PD needs and interests of those working in ABE in Minnesota. The survey questions focused on four general areas: instruction, program management and support, professional development delivery, and Literacy Minnesota. 

Who responded?

A link to the online survey was sent to a variety of audiences, including Literacy Minnesota members, ABE program managers and lead teachers, and Regional PD Coordinators.  All recipients were asked to also forward the information to their colleagues. 

 Of the 344 respondents from around the state, 60% were instructors, 27% were managers or coordinators, and 12% were program support staff.   

What were the results?

The complete survey results are available in an easy-to-read graphic format and can be viewed at:

(To view specific responses to an open-ended question, click on the “View” button located in front of the question.)

 Most requested topics

The top two areas of interest for PD in both the instructional and program management areas were:

  • Retention/persistence, and
  • Curriculum development. 

 Instructional topics

Other frequently identified instructional topics for PD activities were: 

  • Instructional methods,
  • Student assessment, curriculum alignment, and the use of student data to inform instruction, and
  • The use of educational technology.

 Program management and support topics

In addition to retention/persistence and curriculum development, other program management and support topics that were of high interest were:

  • Assessment;
  • Attendance policies;
  • Staff development planning;
  • Teambuilding;
  • Accountability policies and procedures; and
  • Intake and orientation.

Survey respondents were also asked to suggest specific topics for ABE program and management areas. These responses can be viewed in the survey results.

 Professional development delivery

Respondents currently participate in a variety of PD activities.  The ones that were most frequently cited were activities offered by school district/consortium, the ABE Summer Institute, and MDE-ABE and ABE Supplemental Service Provider events and trainings. Respondents identified lack of time and inconvenient times or locations as the biggest obstacles to participating in PD activities.

 The PD resources and opportunities that were identified as most valuable were conferences/workshops, online and paper materials and resources, and networking opportunities, especially materials/curriculum sharing and practitioner meetings. 

How are the results being used?

The survey results provide important information about instructional and program management topics of interest to MN ABE practitioners and preferred PD delivery methods and resources. The results are being used by:

  • The Literacy MN Professional Issues Committee to help identify topics and issues to focus on in their committee work;
  • The Summer Institute planning committee to ensure that sessions address topics identified in survey;
  • The ABE Professional Development Coordinator to determine statewide PD priorities for the year, and to identify the topics and resources that are most needed by the field and which delivery methods are preferred; and
  • The Regional Professional Development Coordinators to plan regional PD events.  (Coordinators can filter survey results to view responses from a particular region.)


 Thank you to all who participated in the survey!  Your responses are an extremely valuable resource for professional development planning for ABE in Minnesota.  

 Any questions or comments about the survey results may be sent to Astrid Liden, Minnesota Department of Education ABE Professional Development Coordinator, at


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