Understanding a Transformative Learning Experience during a Global Pandemic through Collaborative Autoethnographic Dialogues


  • Sara Bano North Dakota State University
  • Melanie Fierstine North Dakota State University
  • Julie Ketterling North Dakota State University




transformative learning, collaborative autoethnography, COVID-19


This study employs a collaborative autoethnographic research design, connecting three autoethnographies to create a better understanding of the process of transformative learning during the global pandemic. The goal of this paper is to expand our understanding of transformative learning experiences from women’s perspectives and share our lessons learned from this process. In this study, an assistant professor and two graduate students (all women, age range 30-45) from a midwestern university engage in a dialogue about their transformative learning experience during the global pandemic. For the data collection process, we chose photographs, personal narratives, and ongoing dialogues for an extended period. Our data also includes reflections from the authors at different times in their learning process throughout and after the semester. These reflections and dialogues present personalized accounts of moments of vulnerability and the challenges of transformative learning. We hope this paper will be helpful for educators who intend to use transformative learning theory as a foundation of their pedagogical practice.