The importance of connection: A quantitative study of students’ learning in placements completed remotely from an organisation

Zuchowski, Ines, Cleak, Helen, and Jefferson, Grace (2023) The importance of connection: A quantitative study of students’ learning in placements completed remotely from an organisation. British Journal of Social Work, 53 (4). pp. 2370-2391.

PDF (Published Version) - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (333kB) | Preview
View at Publisher Website:


This quantitative study surveyed 82 Australian social work students who completed their placement during COVID-19. The delivery of health and welfare services during the pandemic had a significant impact on field education with the result that many placements had to be offered remotely from an organisation. The research was interested in whether this practice learning model can provide quality learning experiences for students by exploring various aspects of the placement experience. Frequency data were generated and the data were analysed using Chi-square tests to determine, firstly, if there were any statistically significant relationships between student learning outcomes and model of supervision, supervisor contact, type of e-placement and student demographics. Secondly, the various learning activities were rated against the students attainment of their placement learning outcomes and their developing confidence, skills and social work identity. Findings highlight that student learning is enhanced when they have opportunities to experience work within an agency setting and when agency staff are involved in supervising and supporting students in e-placements. There were also indications of negative learning outcomes when students are not provided with direct observation opportunities of agency staff and some evidence that e-placements might be more suitable for second placement students.

Item ID: 77260
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1468-263X
Keywords: COVID-19; e-placements; Field education; practice learning; placements; research placements
Copyright Information: © The Author(s) 2023. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The British Association of Social Workers. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted reuse, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Date Deposited: 09 Feb 2023 03:26
FoR Codes: 44 HUMAN SOCIETY > 4409 Social work > 440903 Social program evaluation @ 50%
44 HUMAN SOCIETY > 4409 Social work > 440999 Social work not elsewhere classified @ 50%
SEO Codes: 16 EDUCATION AND TRAINING > 1601 Learner and learning > 160102 Higher education @ 100%
Downloads: Total: 89
Last 12 Months: 17
More Statistics

Actions (Repository Staff Only)

Item Control Page Item Control Page