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Learning and teaching assessment: reviewing the evidence

journal contribution
posted on 2004-04-01, 00:00 authored by Beth CrispBeth Crisp, M Anderson, J Orme, P Green Lister
The authors have recently completed a research review on learning and teaching of assessment in social work which was commissioned by the Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE) and the Social Policy and Social Work Learning and Teaching Support Network (SWAPltsn) to support the development of the new social work award in England. This involved reviewing relevant literature from social work and cognate disciplines back to 1990 with the aim of identifying best practice in learning and teaching of assessment skills.

Although assessment has been recognised as a core skill in social work and should underpin social work interventions, there is no singular theory or understanding as to what the purpose of assessment is and what the process should entail. Social work involvement in the assessment process may include establishing need or eligibility for services, to seek evidence of past events or to determine likelihood of future danger, may underpin recommendations to other agencies, or may determine the suitability of other service providers. In some settings assessment is considered to begin from the first point of contact and may be a relatively short process, whereas elsewhere it may be a process involving several client contacts over an extended period of time. The assessment process may range from the collection of data on standardised proforma to a flexible approach depending on circumstances. These variations permeate the literature on the learning and teaching of assessment in social work and cognate disciplines.

Several different approaches to classroom based learning were proposed in the literature including case-based teaching, interviews with actors who have been trained to play 'standardised clients', and observation of children and families, as well as didactic lecturing and various uses of video equipment and computers. Furthermore learning by doing has long been one of the hallmarks of social work education, and there are a number of models proposed in which students learn about the assessment process through conducting assessments. The evidence to support these different approaches to learning and teaching is variable. Based on the evidence reviewed, recommendations as to what is good practice in learning and teaching about assessment will be presented.

History

Journal

Social work education

Volume

23

Issue

2

Pagination

199 - 215

Publisher

Routledge

Location

London, England

ISSN

0261-5479

eISSN

1470-1227

Language

eng

Publication classification

C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2004, Taylor & Francis

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