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Evaluating learning about research methods using self-efficacy ratings. Anne Quinney and Professor Jonathan Parker Bournemouth University, UK London: May 2009 firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com. Backgound .
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Anne Quinney and Professor Jonathan Parker
Bournemouth University, UK
London: May 2009
Part of the Evaluating the Outcomes of Social Work Education (OSWE) UK project, which aimed to enable social work educators to:
Funded by the Social Care Institute for Excellence (www.scie.org.uk) and the Higher Education Academy social policy and social work subject centre (www.swap.ac.uk)
The research question
Does student confidence in understanding research terminology and completing specific research tasks increase after participation in a Using Research for Practice module?
Year 2 undergraduate Social Work students studying a research module delivered using a blended learning approach (whole class sessions, individual and small group consultations and electronic learning resources supported by an on line learning course).
3 consecutive cohorts 2005-06; 2006-07; 2007-08.
(Comparison at Hull – (2005-6 only) M level students.)
The research was informed by the work of Holden et al (1999),Montcalm (1999), Unrau and Beck (2004), Unrau and Grinnell (2005), Holden et al. (2007) and Holden et al. (2008) in the USA and Canada, and Parker in the UK (2005; 2006).
Gary Holden, whose work on self efficacy in social work education underpins the project, provided initial guidance on the RSE scales.
The lead researcher (Quinney), new to this methodology, was mentored by an experienced academic familiar with the theory & methodology (Parker).
“While professional and academic expectations are that students integrate research into their practice frameworks…it is not at all clear to what degree students….are learning research skills” Unrau and Beck(2004 p188).
Self efficacy ratings in research are consistently predictive of future behaviour (Holden et al 1999).
Quantitative data from a 15-question research self efficacy (RSE) scale was collected pre- and post- participation in a Using Research for Practice module (BA year 2). 10 questions focused on knowledge and skills about research and 5 questions on computer and information technology to support research.
Paired data were analysed by cohort (2005-6 n=30, 2006-7 n=23, 2007-8 n=14) and as a combined group.
How confident are you that you can successfully…(on a scale of 1-10)
(After Holden et al., with additions from Quinney and Parker)
Subscale 1 (understanding and reading)
Subscale 2 (undertaking research tasks)
We would welcome interest from other programmes who would like to use the scales and compare findings.
Please make contact with us by emailing either
Anne Quinney, firstname.lastname@example.org
or Jonathan Parker