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  • 1. A study of social presence in blended social work education Professor Walter LaMendola, PhD University of Denver
  • 2. Council On Social Work Education (USA)
    • focus on e-learning & practice
    • a special national project
    • a subject of significance
    • to the US social work profession
  • 3. Components of Our Project
    • Comparing different forms of social work practice class delivery
    • Faculty development process
    • Organizational requirements for social work e-learning programming
    • Measures of student information literacy
    • Measures of student learning outcomes
  • 4. Presentation Today
    • Introduce conceptual model
    • Examine our study of social work e-learning in terms of
      • the development of social presence
      • community of inquiry
      • and communities of practice related to the student's field experience.
    • Present preliminary data
  • 5. Elements of an Educational Experience, Figure 1 from L. Rourke, et. al. (2001) Assessing Social Presence In Asynchronous Text-based Computer Conferencing , JDE.
  • 6. Intersection of Community of Inquiry and Practice
    • Community of Inquiry: Critical thought about practice takes place
    • Community of Practice: Human values and ethics in action situate theory
    • Community Community
    • of of
    • Inquiry Practice
  • 7. Stephen Powell (2007)
  • 8. Practical learning From: Garrison, D.R., Anderson, T. (2004) e-Learning in the 21 st Century, p 57.
  • 9. Communities of Practice
    • Groups of people who share a concern, a set of problems, or a passion about a topic, and who deepen their knowledge and expertise in this area by interacting on an ongoing basis
    • From: Wenger, McDermott and Snyder (2002) Cultivating Communities of Practice, p. 4
  • 10. From Wenger (1998) Communities of Practice: Learning as a social system
  • 11. Practices Learning From Andrew Cox (2005) What are communities of Learning? Journal of Information Science 31,6, p 529
  • 12. Practical learning pre-senses From: Garrison, D.R. (2006) ONLINE COMMUNITY OF INQUIRY REVIEW: SOCIAL, COGNITIVE, AND TEACHING PRESENCE ISSUES DRAFT
  • 13. Community * Range Mean Median S.D. All participants (N = 89) Connectedness 28 26.71 28 7.029 Learning 31 29.84 31 6.765 Community 56 56.55 58 12.681 * As measured by the Rovai Classroom Community Scale (2002)
  • 14. Community /Social Sense
    • Classroom experience demands reflection and reflexivity, which is
    • Based on social and intellectual needs and interactions of practitioners and students, who are
    • An embodied practice community that situate shared values and ethics
  • 15. Social Presence
    • Community is emotive; affective bonding (Etzioni)
    • A sense of “being there”, being situated, embodied
    • Forms social identity
    • A social context that includes cues, non-verbal expressions, movements
    Community is social
  • 16. Creating Social Presence
    • How do we vary social presence in social work education to support practitioner development?
    • Opportunities of self disclosure
    • Spontaneity and humor
    • Creating awe
    • Expressing emotions
    • Forms of discussion
    • Who are our community members becoming; how are their practice identities formed? Field Integration Seminar included
  • 17. Measuring Social Presence
    • Analysis of classroom discussions
      • Coding for social presence (Garrison et al)
    • Richardson & Swan (2003) measure
    • Short, Christie, & Williams (1976) measure
    • Student and faculty interviews
  • 18. Social Presence
      • Short et al (1976)
      • Studies have shown it to be robust in measuring social presence (Biacco et al 2004)
      • Semantic differential
      • Warm, Sensitive, Large, Beautiful, Personal, Colorful, Open, Active, Sociable
  • 19. Social Presence
    • Mean
    • Face to face 5.34
    • Blended 4.32
    • Blended
    • Field 5.43
  • 20. Preliminary discussion analysis
    • Blended field more comments by students
    • Blended field lengthier comments by students
    • Students comments affective
  • 21. Sample of Qualitative Results
    • What is their perception of their learning?
      • “ The field experience was the most beneficial to me ...having other students share their experience...The field instructor had a lot of experience that she was able to share with us. It is hard to pass up discussions... I do not think a student can get much out of reading without experience and discussion with others... Forming a sense of community, I learn better through experiential learning.”
      • Which aspects were most effective for facilitating social presence?
      • “ The field experience was the most beneficial, because it forced me to get out and experience issues that I hadn't before... I haven't taken the time to interact as much as I would like to but I know that people would've been available for more interaction if I'd taken the effort.
  • 22. Possible future considerations
    • More time in field based learning centers
    • More student use of technology, multimedia to communicate experience and practical learning
    • More co-teaching with field supervisors, using video conferencing
    • Courses offered from the field site

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