Joining the dots and colouring in the spaces: facilitating the acquisition of a social work professional identity with e-portfolio

Mensinga, Jo, and Dickinson, Tracey (2013) Joining the dots and colouring in the spaces: facilitating the acquisition of a social work professional identity with e-portfolio. In: Proceedings of ePortfolio and Identity Conference, pp. 84-86. From: ePIC 2013: ePortfolio and Identity Conference, 8-10 July 2013, London, UK.

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Abstract

Field placements in social work education are considered pivotal in providing students with the opportunity to integrate what they have learnt in the classroom with that which can be achieved in practice (Cleak & Wilson,2007; Parker, 2007), but maybe more importantly, they also create a liminal space in which the student can explore, acquire and demonstrate a professionally recognized identity (Bowles, 2010; Hawkins and Shohet, 2000). While much attention is placed by Universities on ensuring that particular professional and educational standards are met so that their graduates can meet qualifying requirements, they also recognise the need to provide appropriate guidelines and tools which can facilitate and support a learning process by which the students can move towards performing and recognising themselves as beginning practitioners (Bowles, 2010). However, developing a tool that can both facilitate and best assess a student's capacity to meet the goals of the field placement experience can be challenging - especially when students are placed in diverse practice settings that are also facilitated by individual supervisors who have different levels of experience and understandings of what a pass grade may entail.

Up until recently, James Cook University (JCU) social work program relied on paper based assessments to undertake this task. However following largely negative feedback from key stakeholders about the cumbersomeness and linear nature of these assessments, we decided to explore e-portfolio assessment tools with the aim of creating an instrument that would include both formative and summative evaluation of the students learning (Taylor, Thomas & Sage, 1999). Rather than provide a linear experience, it was hoped that the e-portfolio would: (1) help students 'join the dots; between what they had learnt in the academy, the AASW professional standards and what they experience in practice, and (2) an opportunity to 'colour in the emerging spaces' with their own individually developed learning goals towards becoming a social worker. With the support of a teaching and learning grant received in 2012 and with continuing consultation with key stakeholders, an e-portfolio tool was developed and is in the process of being trialled and evaluated in 2013. This paper briefly describes the background and context in which the tool has been developed; the tool itself and the artefacts it includes; and an overview of how it meets the accreditation requirements of the Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW).

Item ID: 30700
Item Type: Conference Item (Refereed Research Paper - E1)
Keywords: e-portfolios, social work, assessment
ISBN: 978-2-9540144-3-2
Date Deposited: 19 Mar 2014 02:11
FoR Codes: 16 STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY > 1607 Social Work > 160799 Social Work not elsewhere classified @ 100%
SEO Codes: 93 EDUCATION AND TRAINING > 9302 Teaching and Instruction > 930203 Teaching and Instruction Technologies @ 100%
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