nassw 2013 participatory learning of community work in an e

Report
25th Nordic Conference of Social Work Schools,
‘’Social Work Teaching at the intersection between Research and Practice’’, Tampere, Finland, August 28-30, 2013.
PARTICIPATORY LEARNING OF
COMMUNITY WORK IN AN E-LEARNING
COURSE
Anne Karin Larsen & Grete Oline Hole,
Bergen University College, Norway.
A.K.Larsen and G.O. Hole, Bergen University College
Social Work VirCamp Courses
online international courses i social work
• A consortium of 8
European partner
institutions
• Offering several online
courses within
international
comparative social
work
• Courses with 5 – 10 15 ECTS credits
http://www.vircamp.net
A.K.Larsen and G.O. Hole, Bergen University College
The questions!
• Is it possible to construct an online course in community
work that manages to give students the experience of
being in a community setting?
• Where the community work method is visible in the
construction of the course and through the interaction
between the participants
• Where the core principles and values of community work;
participation, democracy and empowerment are
expressed throughout the course, not only through the
readings but through the participation and co-construction
of knowledge in the virtual classroom.
A.K.Larsen and G.O. Hole, Bergen University College
Research question
“What is the best way to construct a
learning arena in community work that
demonstrates the use of community
work theory and method including
participatory, emancipatory and
democratic spaces for co-construction
of knowledge in an e-learning
environment?”
A.K.Larsen and G.O. Hole, Bergen University College
The Community Work course
A.K.Larsen and G.O. Hole, Bergen University College
Task-centred and participatory
Triggers
A.K.Larsen and G.O. Hole, Bergen University College
Community work practice roles (after Tesoriero, 2010:260, printed in
Larsen, Sewpaul & Hole, 2014)
A.K.Larsen and G.O. Hole, Bergen University College
Facilitative roles
The teacher as facilitator,
by arranging the course in a way
that stimulated students learning
process.
Engaging students in group
activities, co-writing, project work,
and roleplaying stakeholder
meetings.
Offering students the possibility to
manage to link their own working in
groups to the community work
process.
A.K.Larsen and G.O. Hole, Bergen University College
Students learned
• To organise group- and stakeholder meetings
online;
• To use each other’s skills and knowledge by
working together;
• To inspire each other by creating enthusiasm for
the project they were developing;
• To find different ways to motivate each other.
• By working together on the case they became
dependent on each other’s contributions and
activated each other’s participation.
A.K.Larsen and G.O. Hole, Bergen University College
Educational roles
The teachers was a
‘guide on the side’, by
• assisting and
accompanying,
• giving feedback and
information
to help the students to
understand the situation
in the community and be
empowered through their
active participation in the
learning process.
A.K.Larsen and G.O. Hole, Bergen University College
Students learned
To sum up, by being a ‘guide on the side’ and by
letting the students solve their own problems, the
teachers offered students the opportunity for some
important learning through collaboration and
reflection.
This can be a good strategy in many situations and
is transferable to the educational role of a
community worker.
A.K.Larsen and G.O. Hole, Bergen University College
Representational roles
• The course stimulated
students to knowledge
sharing.
• Creating a blog for
publishing their project to
media and a broader
audience.
• Stimulating their
networking skills by
searching for allied in the
community.
A.K.Larsen and G.O. Hole, Bergen University College
Students learned
• To contribute with and share their own knowledge
in the project.
• To publish information about their project to reach
a general public.
• Networking when creating alliances among
people in different (power) positions, using their
skills and knowledge to promote change in the
community.
A.K.Larsen and G.O. Hole, Bergen University College
Technical roles
The course triggered
students competences:
• In doing research.
• Presenting their
findings.
• Managing to develop a
project plan with a
budget.
• Working online.
A.K.Larsen and G.O. Hole, Bergen University College
Students learned
• To map a community by collecting demographic
data, systemizing data about the community and
clarifying assets and needs.
• They learned how to use ICT as a tool in
community work and how to use technology in a
professional setting.
• They learned to take the leading role in online
meetings, to be a leader for a project group, to
plan and arrange online meetings, to solve
disagreements, and to manage work-share and
time-schedules.
A.K.Larsen and G.O. Hole, Bergen University College
Critical questioning roles
• Students should write
in their own reflection
blog.
• Reflections were open
for all to read.
• Extracts from the
reflection were a part
of the final evaluation.
A.K.Larsen and G.O. Hole, Bergen University College
Students learned:
For most of the students, critical reflection was a
new and challenging thing to do but also
rewarding when they managed, as one of them
expressed
‘[...] through reflection and sharing ideas I have
learned to critically analyse everything I saw, read
and heard. In the end we always come up with
new ideas and understanding which I think was
good, unlike “spoon feeding” information to
students’
(from Q11, 2011 midway survey).
A.K.Larsen and G.O. Hole, Bergen University College
Back to the core consepts we started with:
Participation
Democracy
Empowerment
A.K.Larsen and G.O. Hole, Bergen University College
References
Larsen, A.K. & Hole, G.O. (2014) Participatory learning of community work in
an e-learning course, in
Larsen, A.K., Sewpaul, V. & Hole, G.O. (eds) (2014) Participation in Community
Work: International Perspectives, London: Routledge (available September
2013).
Larsen, A.K., Visser-Rotgans, R. & Hole, G.O. (2011) Teaching and Learning
Community Work online: Can E-learning promote Competences for future
Practice? Journal of Technology in Human Services, 29(1): 13-32.
Reason, P. and Bradbury, H. (2008) The handbook of action research,
participative inquiry and practice, London, UK: Sage Publications.
Tesoriero, F. (2010) Community Development, Communityt-based alternatives
in an age of globalisation, Frenchs Forest: Pearson Education Australia.
A.K.Larsen and G.O. Hole, Bergen University College
PARTNERS IN THE PROJECT
Bergen University College, Norway (leading partner);
Jönköping University, Sweden;
Inholland University of Applied Sciences, the Netherlands;
K.H.Kempen University College, Belgium, (now: Thomas More
University College)
University of Complutense, Spain;
Miguel Torga University College, Portugal;
Mannheim University of Applied Sciences, Germany;
Bodø University College, Norway; (now: University of Nordland)
University of Liepaja, Latvia;
Lusofona University, Portugal;
Swansea University, United Kingdom
Mittweida University of Applied Sciences, Germany.
Development of the course was one of the aims for the SW-VirCamp project funded by the EACEA Lifelong Learning
Programme – Call for Proposals 2008 (EAC/30/07). Reference number: 142767-LLP-1-2008-1-NO-ERASMUS-EVC.
This presentation reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use
which may be made of the information contained therein.

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