About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 3467-3471
Publication year: 2018
ISBN: 978-84-09-02709-5
ISSN: 2340-1117
doi: 10.21125/edulearn.2018.0898

Conference name: 10th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 2-4 July, 2018
Location: Palma, Spain

ASYNCHRONOUS ONLINE DISCUSSION BOARDS AS ASSESSMENT IN SOCIAL CARE SUPERVISED PROFESSIONAL PRACTICE

K. McDonnell, D. Raftery, M. O Brien

Institute of Technology, Carlow (IRELAND)
Online discussion forums and platforms that facilitate computer-supported collaborative learning (CSCL) to foster meaningful student learning are becoming more prevalent in education and training across all disciplines in Higher Education Institutes (HEIs). In research, the topic of online discussion boards supplementing learning has been investigated over the last 15 years with foci varying from participant interactions (Light et al., 2000; Xia, 2013; Biasutti, 2016) to effective assessment (Oliver, 2001; Northover 2002). When delivered appropriately, online discussion forums should contribute to flexible and independent learning and knowledge construction (Seethamraju, 2014).

There has been limited research into the use of technology and blended learning to support and enhance the student's experience in Social Care education. Preliminary investigations also indicated that online discussion boards have not been employed in Irish HEIs as assessment for Supervised Professional Practice. In 2016-2017, a programme was piloted in the Institute of Technology, Carlow, that replaced the paper portfolio with online discussion board assessment for the Supervised Professional Practice module in the Social Care undergraduate programme.

Social Care as an academic discipline in Ireland is currently undergoing one of the most significant developments since its inception. In recent years CORU were appointed as a regulatory body for Social Care workers. Setting and reviewing quality standards of Social Care education across all HEIs in Ireland will fall under their remit (CORU, 2017). Embedding this process warrants a re-examination of the methods of Social Care assessment in Irish HEI's to ensure education standards are fit for purpose according to CORUs proficiency standards.

This mixed methods study presents a comprehensive empirical account of a purposive sample groups' experiences of using online discussion boards as assessment in their supervised professional practice placement.

The aim of the study is to investigate the factors that contribute to delivering a discussion board assessment in Social Care education and explore whether the discussion board assessment as a CSCL tool is an effective assessment to foster reflection in student learners.

The data is presented under a case study narrative. Mixed methods comprised a comprehensive online survey for 49 respondents, the analysis of which contributed to the development of semi-structured questions for a student focus group (n=8). The data was further triangulated by interviewing staff involved in delivering and grading the online discussion board assessment (n=5) and finally, two discussion board transcripts were analysed using an inductive method to ascertain students levels of reflective interaction together.

Findings indicate polarising perspectives on the use of discussion boards as assessment in social care education. The asynchronous feature was cited as a drawback rather than a benefit yet there was supplementary learning gleaned from peer-to-peer interactions. Components of effective delivery of asynchronous online discussion to foster authentic and meaningful placement learning in Social Care training have been identified; and the role of the moderator within this process is fundamental.

A draft framework for most effective practice in delivering asynchronous online discussion boards for students on Social Care placement has emerged from this study.
@InProceedings{MCDONNELL2018ASY,
author = {McDonnell, K. and Raftery, D. and O Brien, M.},
title = {ASYNCHRONOUS ONLINE DISCUSSION BOARDS AS ASSESSMENT IN SOCIAL CARE SUPERVISED PROFESSIONAL PRACTICE},
series = {10th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies},
booktitle = {EDULEARN18 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-09-02709-5},
issn = {2340-1117},
doi = {10.21125/edulearn.2018.0898},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/edulearn.2018.0898},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Palma, Spain},
month = {2-4 July, 2018},
year = {2018},
pages = {3467-3471}}
TY - CONF
AU - K. McDonnell AU - D. Raftery AU - M. O Brien
TI - ASYNCHRONOUS ONLINE DISCUSSION BOARDS AS ASSESSMENT IN SOCIAL CARE SUPERVISED PROFESSIONAL PRACTICE
SN - 978-84-09-02709-5/2340-1117
DO - 10.21125/edulearn.2018.0898
PY - 2018
Y1 - 2-4 July, 2018
CI - Palma, Spain
JO - 10th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
JA - EDULEARN18 Proceedings
SP - 3467
EP - 3471
ER -
K. McDonnell, D. Raftery, M. O Brien (2018) ASYNCHRONOUS ONLINE DISCUSSION BOARDS AS ASSESSMENT IN SOCIAL CARE SUPERVISED PROFESSIONAL PRACTICE, EDULEARN18 Proceedings, pp. 3467-3471.
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