Reflection of i2a Class Activity Laneshia McCord Kent School of Social Work
So sorry to not be here today… • I was selected to attend a Grants Technical Assistance Workshop hosted by the National Institute on Aging and am in Boston
Infusing Critical Thinking • Course: SW 426 Introduction to Social Work Research • An introductory course to undergraduate seniors • Exposed to evidence-based practice • Research methodology • Integrating the role of being a practitioner and consumer of literature in order to promote best practices to consumers
Purpose: To illustrate how I integrated critical thinking into a challenging assignment • Students were asked to write an evidence-based literature review focused on practice interventions that address a social problem or client issue related to their field placement or population of interest.
Problem to be solved: • There is a heavy emphasis on evidentiary practice, particularly for entry-level social workers, in the curriculum • Students need creative and relevant ways to gain knowledge about best practices, how to translate and apply that knowledge, and ease anxieties regarding using research
There is an assumption that students need certain skills to successfully complete this assignment: • Each student should be able to clearly define a social issue or problem • Pose an answerable question • Acquire relevant literature that provides answers or supportive options, and • Synthesize strengths and weaknesses of those findings.
Point of view: • There is value in looking at what is effective when working with certain populations and comparing that to current practice • Students should be able to chose a social issue that they could potentially be interested beyond the classroom • This view challenges some of their previous exposure to writing assignments because it is student-driven • In the beginning, they wanted me to give them a list of topics versus having to identify and operationalize an issue on their own!
Information • CAT 18: Annotated Portfolio, adapted from Angelo and Cross (1993) • Students submitted a CD with 1) their articles, 2) appraisals of at least four articles, and 3) annotations of those four articles. • They also included the final literature synthesis paper
Concepts • Annotations • In addition to the abstracts, students had to compose a brief annotation of the article, highlighting the strengths and weaknesses of the article as it related to their social issue. • This assisted the student in analyzing and synthesizing the perspectives of the authors as well as themselves on the nature of the problem and implications for practice • Students were encouraged to use their Critical Thinking mini-guides
Interpretations of this exercise • Challenging to students • Several struggled with obtaining relevant literature and interpreting the author (s) message • Students were a bit resistant to considering the perspective of the author in light of gathering information needed for the annotations and appraisals • Challenging to streamline • There may have been too many pieces involved which compromised some of the critical thinking highlights • A great tool for their professional development • The students will have a great reference tool for practice and graduate study.
Implications • A successful outcome for this CAT would be a student’s capacity and ability to express an individualized approach to understanding and describing a social problem or client issue along • Additionally ,being able to use examples of empirically-driven practice interventions used to address such problems or issues
Implications continued… • To assess the outcomes of the CAT, six questions will be asked anonymously on index cards next week that inquire about the experience of creating the Electronic Annotated Portfolio as both a tool to writing a sound and fluid literature review and a process for critical thoughts • Themes will be coded and shared during the last class
THANKS!! See you in December!!