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Developing the Learning Contract. UW School of Social Work Field Instructor Training. Competency Objectives:. 1) Articulate the purpose and rationale behind the Learning Contract 2) Describe ways to assess students for learning activities that meet curriculum and competency objectives;

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developing the learning contract

Developing the Learning Contract

UW School of Social Work Field Instructor Training

competency objectives
Competency Objectives:
  • 1) Articulate the purpose and rationale behind the Learning Contract
  • 2) Describe ways to assess students for learning activities that meet curriculum and competency objectives;
  • 3) Define and apply the elements of writing behaviorally specific learning goals in the contract;
  • 4) Identify strategies for utilizing the learning contract in ongoing supervision and evaluation.
purpose of the learning contract
  • Approved Contract is required for credit
  • Documents three-way agreement between student, agency and School
  • Defines how the student will learn to apply social work theories through practice
  • Documents understanding field education activities must relate to required Core Competencies
purpose cont d
Purpose, cont’d.
  • Clarifies the professional Core Competencies and related Practice Behaviors students must demonstrate
  • Stimulates discussion of student strengths, goals, and learning styles
  • Defines individualized, behaviorally specific activities to build competencies
  • Acknowledges risks of practicum
review contract format
Review Contract Format
  • New STAR contracts and evaluations that are completed and submitted online
  • Instructions about STAR access: UW Net ID or Protect Net ID (Handout 1A)
  • Access STAR to review format:
  • Access sample Word Foundation Contract (Handout 1B)
agency and student info needed on contract
Agency and Student Info Needed on Contract
  • Supervision days and times
  • Contact info for student, MSW PI, liaison
  • Credit plan for student
  • Practicum schedule
  • Activities under each Competency area
  • Acknowledgement of Risk Form
  • MSW PI to submit early in quarter for Field Faculty Reviewand approval
student self assessment
Student Self-Assessment
  • areas of social work in which they feel strong, relevant experience, and personal characteristics that will work to their advantage in the agency setting;
  • ways they learn best (see Module 3), and
  • specific goals for field education which can be met through agency activities.
educational assessment of students handout 1c
Educational Assessment of Students – Handout 1C
  • Educational Inventory outlines areas for discussion with student to help individualize practicum, e.g.,
    • Student life experiences and responsibilities
    • Professional development skills
    • Communication style
    • Personal attributes and cultural background
    • Student learning styles and patterns
    • Interest in different agency opportunities
learning contract objectives
Learning Contract Objectives
  • Review contract and competencies for program level of student (BASW/Foundation MSW or Advanced MSW and Concentration)
  • Develop agency activities tied to curriculum objectives and each core competency
  • Each student’s needs and development is different and requires individualization
basw foundation
  • Evidence-based generalist practice
  • Micro-mezzo-macro levels of practice
  • Professional history and identity
  • Orientation to strengths-based and empowerment practice, cultural competency, person-in-environment, social justice and social change
  • Ethical practice according to NASW Code
  • Fit and niche of social work as a career
advanced msw
Advanced MSW:
  • Further learning in social justice, policy, research, micro/mezzo/macro practice, professional development
  • Development of autonomous practice skills, using supervision effectively
  • Development of an area of specialization
  • Critical thinking, analysis, and leadership skills for solving complex problems
writing contracts handout 1d
  • Learning Progression Theory:
    • Cognitive, affective, and psychomotor awareness and skills are developed in sequence over time and with practice:
    • Focus on concrete tasks evolves to more abstract understanding of situations and patterns, and ability to reflect and evaluate
    • Increasingly able to manage complexity about clients, social conditions, organizations, and professional interventions.
developmental stages of learning
  • Bloom’s Taxonomy, 1984 (see handout)
  • Classification system of learning development:

1) Knowledge

2) Comprehension

3) Application

4) Analysis

5) Synthesis

6) Evaluation

anderson s revised classifications 2001
Anderson’s Revised Classifications (2001)

1) Remembering: Retrieving relevant knowledge from memory

2) Understanding: Constructing meaning from oral, written, messages

3) Applying: Carrying out or using a procedure through implementing

4) Analyzing: Breaking material into constituent parts, determining how the parts relate to one another

5) Evaluating: Making judgments based on criteria and standards

6) Creating: Putting elements together to form a coherent whole

7) Metacognition: Awareness of own thinking patterns and ability to resolve difficulties and problems in thinking

use of learning classifications
Use of Learning Classifications
  • PIs and students should assess student baseline competencies and behaviors
  • Students may have different levels of understanding and ability in each competency
  • Learning classifications help PIs use verbs that more precisely acknowledge student’s current abilities and define expectations
writing behaviorally specific learning activities

The A.B.C.D. method :

  • Audience – tailor to student ability and School expectations
  • Behavior –What you expect students to do – must be observable, measurable
  • Condition – How and in what circum-stances or context will learning occur?
  • Degree –How much and to what level?
abcd objectives example
ABCD Objectives Example
  • Audience: “Student will…
  • Behavior: …teach parenting skills…
  • Condition: …using Parent Effectiveness Training model…
  • Degree: …in two evening weekly groups of five couples for ten sessions each”
activity handout 1e writing behaviorally specific activities
Activity: Handout 1E-- Writing Behaviorally Specific Activities
  • Choose one or two competencies to develop agency-specific activities that support student development
  • Activities must be specific, visible, measurable. Measurements to be listed:
    • Reports, documentation, journal entries
    • Direct observation, presentations, tapes
    • Discussion in supervision, team feedback
challenges in writing objectives
Challenges in Writing Objectives
  • Sometimes difficult to precisely specify the degree of mastery required;
  • Affective objectives are difficult; emotions are not easily quantified and must be behaviorally expressed
  • Specific verbs are needed to express the desired behavior: not ‘work with’ or ‘attend’ but ‘conduct intakes’ or ‘observe, analyze’
problems in writing objectives
Problems in Writing Objectives
  • Too vast/complex:
    • may need to be broken down
  • No behavior to evaluate
    • avoid terms like ‘understand’ or ‘learn’; find ways to demonstrate learning
  • Only topics are listed; conditions not described
    • Insure students understand how to perform an activity
    • Set parameters for ways to approach a task
  • Vague assignment outcomes
    • Expectations need to be made clear
access handout 1g
ACCESS Handout 1G
  • Review Sample Foundation Competencies and activities designed to support competency development
  • BASW/Foundation practicum requires attention to professional development, identity, and ethics as well as skills training
  • Advanced Concentration practicum is more specific to a field of practice; must help student advance Core Competencies
incorporating the learning contract
Incorporating the Learning Contract

In Supervision:

  • Insure student activities are following the learning plan;
  • Review how student is using the activities to apply and practice classroom learning;
  • Check whether activities assigned to the student are challenging and helpful
  • Insure learning activities are helping the student develop and achieve required competencies
incorporating the learning contract23
Incorporating the Learning Contract

In Feedback and Evaluation:

  • Discuss student accomplishments and any barriers to task completion
  • Review how activities have improved the student’s skills and competency;
  • Determine further instruction needed for success in activities;
  • Provide specific feedback regarding student performance and areas for growth