Methods: Data were collected at the end of the fall and spring semesters via an online survey tool. The present study was comprised of the first year cohort of military social work student interns and field instructors (n=38, 30 interns/8 field instructors). Descriptive statistics, Pearson correlations, and t-test statistics were used to determine the alignment between intern self-assessment and field instructor assessment of intern skills and competencies.
Results: Alignment between the student self-assessment and field instructor assessment was examined in this study. Comparisons addressed two separate issues. First, did students, as a group, tend to assess their skills as higher or lower than their field instructors? To examine this issue, t-test statistics were calculated to determine whether the means of these two groups on each competency differed. The correspondence between how a student rated his or her skill mastery and how the instructor rated the student on this skill was also examined using Pearson (r) correlations. T-tests did not reveal any significant differences between instructors and students. Pearson (r) correlations, however, did reveal a low level of agreement between intern and instructor rating of intern ability to evaluate existing research and translate it to practice with military students and their families. This finding demonstrated a negative association between intern and instructor assessment of this skill, such that the higher the intern rated him or herself on his or her capacity to evaluate and translate research into practice, the lower instructors rated them on this same competency.
Conclusions and Implications: As a whole, the findings suggest alignment between intern-instructor assessments. These findings, however, also suggest opportunities for growth. Individual intern-instructor relationships need to be further developed. The mismatch between intern evaluation of their capacity to translate research into practice and that of the field instructor need also be addressed.