Title: Zooming Into Social Work Intensive School: delivering skills-based learning and teaching online
Presenter(s): Lynelle Osburn, Monica Short, Susan Mlcek, Katrina Gersbach & Ben Iffland
School of Humanities and Social Sciences (FoAE) & Division of Learning & Teaching
Session Type: Interactive Discussion
When: Friday, November 20th 2020 @ 10am – 11am
Abstract: The COVID-19 global pandemic prompted an unprecedented crisis for the delivery of skills based learning within social work programs in Australian higher education. Across the globe, many campuses were closed and students and staff had to quickly transition to online platforms to sustain teaching and learning interactions. Against this backdrop, this presentation will outline the experiences of social work academics and division of learning technology professionals from Charles Sturt University, who in a matter of weeks, developed and delivered online two week-long intensive teaching classes for the first time in April 2020.
Whilst there is a significant body of literature considering the most effective pedagogy for teaching Social Work courses and subjects online, we found a considerable lack of research exploring the ways in which we might consider delivering Social Work skills based subjects online (Davis et al., 2019; Cummings et al., 2013, Siebert et al., 2006).This presentation and discussion, will address the themes from our co-operative inquiry into essential features for successfully delivering clinical skills online within higher education professional human services and allied health courses. Our inquiry drew upon two examples of online courses for clinical casework and group work. These subjects were traditionally taught wholly on campus.
Three main themes for delivery emerged: responsiveness, collaboration, and dynamic interaction between staff and students. The teaching methods employed engage with pedagogy, andragogy and heutagogy to transform educational delivery. The literature alludes to the inherent alignment between online education and Social Work values such as; respect for persons, social justice and professional integrity (Cummings et al., 2013; Goldingay et al., 2014; Goldingay et al., 2017; Maple, 2013). Finding new ways of connecting in communities and promoting high quality online skills development has also been identified as a key learning throughout the pandemic (Griffiths, 2020; Seymour-Walsh et al., 2020). Online clinical skills training now offers universities and professions the opportunity to address social justice access and equity issues that prevent students from attending campus-based clinical skills training . The role and importance of collaboration with many educators including learning technology specialists is highlighted.