E-portfolios: A tool for facilitating stakeholder investment in Field Education

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"During 2012, Lecturer Jo Mensinga, Associate Lecturers Tracey Dickinson and Sandra Croaker engaged with James Cook University (JCU) Social Work Field education stakeholders to develop an e-portfolio for field placement student assessment. The e-portfolio assessment tool was implemented into the JCU Social Work Field Education curriculum in Semester 1, 2013.

This poster will illustrate the Action Research process and showcase:
• The various strategies implemented by Researchers that utilised current resources and processes within the Field Education Unit to facilitate participation, develop an informed data collection process, increase stakeholder investment into the project without increasing participants’ workloads.
• The process and lens of the researchers in analysing the data to inform the design of the e-portfolio assessment tool will highlight the influence of current JCU Teaching and Learning Policy and the Australian Association of Social Work (AASW) Standards on the final product.
• Preliminary feedback from stakeholders and
• Researchers identified benefits of the Action Research process on the project.
"

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E-portfolios: A tool for facilitating stakeholder investment in Field Education

  1. 1. E-portfolios: A tool for facilitating stakeholder investment in Field Education Tracey Dickinson, Jo Mensinga & Sandra Croaker James Cook University, Dept of Social Work INTRODUCTION RESEARCH METHODS CONCLUSIONS During 2012, Lecturer Jo Mensinga, Associate Lecturers Tracey Dickinson and Sandra Croaker engaged with James Cook University (JCU) Social Work Field education stakeholders to develop an e-portfolio for field placement student assessment. The PebblePad+ e-portfolio assessment tool was implemented into the JCU Social Work Field Education curriculum in Semester 1, 2013. The project design was informed by Action Research methodology of planning, acting and reviewing (Dick, 1993) and the social work professional “belief in collaboration as the cornerstone of effective practice” (Australian Association of Social Workers, 2010, p9). The initial project plan was to have periodic and formalized interaction with stakeholders to inform and evaluate the ePortfolio assessment tool. Collating the evaluation data highlighted that the action research methodology facilitated the engagement with stakeholders throughout the project. A community development and action research process informed the project design of engaging with stakeholders to direct and evaluate the project. Participants included students, field educators, task supervisors, liaison staff and James Cook University Dept of Social Work staff. Researchers explored the following 3 questions with stakeholders in the design and evaluation stages of the project: • What is good about the current Assessment tool? • What is cumbersome about the current Assessment tool? • How would you change the current Assessment tool? Data Collection Methods included workshops, field education meetings, Dept meetings, email and one-on-one interviews. EVALUATION The evaluation identifies the benefits and challenges of implementing a new technology learning platform within social work field education. Ongoing stakeholder involvement in the project was integral to the continued development of the eportfolio to meet the diverse objectives of a learning and assessment tool. Stakeholder investment in the implementation of ePortfolio into the JCU Social Work Field Education curriculum has facilitated the change in culture needed to successfully implement e-portfolios (Swigonski, Ward, Mama, Rodgers & Belicose, 2006) by developing a common language, understanding of stakeholder capacity to engage, understanding of each other’s goals for the project, and become a process of education (Sheil, 2003). PROJECT OBJECTIVES Aim: James Cook University Social Work Field education stakeholders collaboratively develop an eportfolio assessment tool that directs and evaluates student learning on Field Placement. Objectives: Support student evaluation to meet AASW practice standards and JCU goals Enhance student reflective learning skills Facilitate Field Education stakeholder communication Demonstrate student understanding and provide evidence of linking theory to practice Provide a Career guidance tool Facilitate effective and efficient Field Education processes for consistent and evidence based Assessment. Encourage student participation in directing their own learning Increase student and stakeholders knowledge and skills in engaging with new Technologies RESEARCH POSTER PRESENTATION DESIGN © © 2012 RESEARCH POSTER PRESENTATION DESIGN 2012 www.PosterPresentations.com www.PosterPresentations.com The ePortfolio assessment tool and implementation process evolved in response to stakeholder feedback. Assessment templates, training resources and delivery were adapted to address inadequacies within the initial project plan and ePortfolio design. The ePortfolio platform was able to support ‘live’ updates to existing templates which stakeholders evaluated. AND the Action Research cycle continued….planning, acting and reviewing (Dick, 1993). Stakeholders continue to provide feedback and engage in training to explore the potential of ePortfolio in the JCU Social Work Field Education programme alongside other subjects within the degree. REFERENCES CONTACT TRACEY DICKINSON ASSOCIATE LECTURER IN SOCIAL WORK FIELD EDUCATION JAMES COOK UNIVERSITY Tracey.dickinson1@jcu.edu.au 07 4042 1362 Australian Association of Workers (2010). Code of ethics. Canberra, Australian: Association of Social Workers. Dick, B. (1993). You want to do an action research thesis. Retrieved from http://www.aral.com.au/resources/art hesis.html Sheil, H. (2000). Growing and learning in rural communities: a training manual in rural community development enabling rural people to determin their own futures. Churchill, Vic: Centre for Rural Communities, Monash University. Swigonski, M., Ward, K., Mama, R., Rodger, J. & Belicose, R. (2006). An Agenda for the Future: Student Portfolios in Social Work Education. Social Work Education 25(8), 812-823.

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