Today, the challenge of meeting the needs of an increasing diverse student population is harder than ever. Yet, unless this challenge is met, teaching institutions are likely to fail in their objectives of maximising engagement, and producing personally fulfilled and professionally effective social workers.
The challenge is teaching strategy. This must not only fulfil the primary purpose of preparing students for the workplace, but must encourage students to understand the intrinsic value of learning: to see its benefits from a wider personal and professional perspective. Such a strategy must help students understand that they are not passive ‘objects’ of the teaching process, but can play an active role in their own development, by engaging fully with the process and their fellow students, and by being constructively critical of the conventional teaching paradigm. To help facilitate this understanding, the teaching community needs to recognise that many students – especially those who are financially or emotionally challenged - see their course in purely pragmatic terms: as a way out. They come to the learning table with a ‘just tell me what I need to know to pass’ attitude. A mutually respectful and trusting relationship is needed to help counteract this attitude and produce optimum outcomes for all stakeholders.
This presentation highlights how module design, and adopting different approaches and strategies to teaching, can help maximise student engagement, participation and positive professional outcomes by encouraging the development of emotional intelligence, critical reflection and practical social skills.
The workshop aims to
Explore the thinking behind the current module designing and to hear from a group of students how they have experienced the module and how it compares to their previous experience of learning and other virtual modules, as well as the plans for future research into the subject.