About this paper

Appears in:
Page: 7542 (abstract only)
Publication year: 2015
ISBN: 978-84-608-2657-6
ISSN: 2340-1095

Conference name: 8th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 18-20 November, 2015
Location: Seville, Spain

USING CASE STUDIES APPLIED THROUGH CONSTRUCTIVIST LENS TO ADVANCE LEARNING OUTCOMES IN AN ONLINE GRADUATE MACRO PRACTICE SOCIAL WORK COURSE

V. Anyikwa

Saint Leo University (UNITED STATES)
Graduate social work students must be able to fulfill the mission of working to promote social justice on micro and macro levels. While students are often excited in clinical practice courses, they don’t often see the connection between clinical practice and how it’s impacted by larger systems. As such they do not always share the same enthusiasm in macro practice courses where the focus shifts from direct practice with individuals to understanding the impact of larger systems such as organizations and communities. Being in an asynchronous online environment poses even greater challenges in keeping students engaged.

Objectives:
The purpose of this study is to investigate the effectiveness of the use of case studies relating to organizational concerns and practices in advancing learning outcomes, which include student engagement and higher order thinking in problem solving. Case based learning has been used across various disciplines, and traditionally in social work practice courses where students gain the knowledge and skills to effectively problem solve with clients. The instructor/researcher hypothesized that case-based method may also ignite students to become problem solvers on macro levels through promoting engagement and collaboration in the online environment, using higher level processes in analyzing and decision making in larger systems.

Methodology:
Guided by constructivist principles promoting a learning-centered approach, the instructor integrated real problem cases related to organizations and communities in a first year graduate social work macro practice course. The instructor assigned cases to students in teams of two or three, based on class size, and a specific week for presentation. Students were expected to collaborate on summarizing and presenting the case in terms of a framework on 1) problem, 2) population and 3) arena. They then created and facilitated discussion questions based on their assigned case throughout their assigned week. The instructor created an instrument that included questions guided by the Active Learning in Health Professions Scale (ALHPS: Kammer, Schreiner, Kim & Denial, 2015), measuring didactic reasoning and didactic strategies, the focus of this paper. Toward the end of the course, students were given a link to Qualtrics, an online survey delivery system insuring anonymity, that included an implied consent form and information about the study.

Results:
Twenty students participated in the study. Findings supported the hypothesis that case-based learning enhanced student engagement and higher order thinking needed in social work practice across systems. Results include the distinction of facilitating discussions and simply participating, in addition to qualitative feedback on the case study method. Strengths and limitations are discussed, including the timing of the survey.
@InProceedings{ANYIKWA2015USI,
author = {Anyikwa, V.},
title = {USING CASE STUDIES APPLIED THROUGH CONSTRUCTIVIST LENS TO ADVANCE LEARNING OUTCOMES IN AN ONLINE GRADUATE MACRO PRACTICE SOCIAL WORK COURSE},
series = {8th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation},
booktitle = {ICERI2015 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-608-2657-6},
issn = {2340-1095},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Seville, Spain},
month = {18-20 November, 2015},
year = {2015},
pages = {7542}}
TY - CONF
AU - V. Anyikwa
TI - USING CASE STUDIES APPLIED THROUGH CONSTRUCTIVIST LENS TO ADVANCE LEARNING OUTCOMES IN AN ONLINE GRADUATE MACRO PRACTICE SOCIAL WORK COURSE
SN - 978-84-608-2657-6/2340-1095
PY - 2015
Y1 - 18-20 November, 2015
CI - Seville, Spain
JO - 8th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
JA - ICERI2015 Proceedings
SP - 7542
EP - 7542
ER -
V. Anyikwa (2015) USING CASE STUDIES APPLIED THROUGH CONSTRUCTIVIST LENS TO ADVANCE LEARNING OUTCOMES IN AN ONLINE GRADUATE MACRO PRACTICE SOCIAL WORK COURSE, ICERI2015 Proceedings, p. 7542.
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