Evaluating the Outcomes of Social Work Education: A Pragmatic Approach
Findings from the OSWE project had been presented in a monograph, The Outcomes of Social Work Education: developing evaluation methods. Southampton: Higher Education Academy Subject Centre for Social Policy and Social Work and a special issue of the journal Social Work Education 2011, vol. 30 (2).
At the end of the workshop, participants will be able to:
- Identify levels of learning outcome using the Kirkpatrick framework as elaborated by Barr and colleagues.
- Select from a range of potential outcomes measures the most appropriate ones for their evaluation.
- Consider the potential of various research designs for the evaluation of both short courses and extended programs of social work education.
Teaching and learning methods
Participants are encouraged to attend the workshop with a particular program of social work education in mind. This could be a program which they would like to evaluate or one which they have already attempted to evaluate and would like to review. The workshop will include brief presentations of frameworks, measures and designs. Participants will be given handouts and worksheets. They will be invited to work in pairs and small groups to identify learning outcomes for their programs and to select measures and choose between possible research designs. The facilitator(s) will provide consultation to the discussions. Participants will then be invited to share the results of their deliberations with the group. More experienced participants will be encouraged to share their experiences of evaluating social work education.
The facilitators will draw on over 20 years’ experience and their own published research to illustrate possible approaches and methods for robust evaluations.
Outcomes for workshop participants
Participants will come away with an evaluation plan for their program or ideas for improving the rigour of existing evaluations.