Designing learning for the attention economy

When petabytes of data are accessible to anyone with a digital device, information is no longer a scarce commodity.  In the information age it is human attention that is in short supply.  This is a well known problem for anyone with a message to communicate on the internet. It’s an even bigger issue for those of […]

Social workers & social media: Part two.

In my last post I explored some of the risks and benefits for social workers using social media. I argued that, although there were some very clear risks that social workers need to recognise and be aware of, there are also benefits for professional networking and professional development.  In this post I want to turn to social work academics […]

Social workers & social media: Part one.

Social workers in Aotearoa New Zealand should make greater use of social media for professional purposes.  By doing so they will contribute to a growing international community of practice, and realise benefits for social work in New Zealand.  That is the argument of this blog post, and two other posts to follow. I will explore […]

Young social workers’ survey

Young Social Workers

People who have been in the social work profession for a while make a lot of assumptions about young social workers. I’ve heard some people say that young social workers are different from previous generations, that they are less radical, less committed to social change. I’ve also heard them say that young social workers have […]

Carpe Diem

Carpe Diem

Carpe Diem (sieze the day) is a structured, collaborative, workshop-based approach to e-learning course design developed by Gilly Salmon and her colleagues. Gilly is best known for her incredibly useful, no nonsense, utterly pragmatic approach to the mediation of online learning described in her two texts: e-moderating, and e-tivities. I had first hand experience of the Carpe Diem workshop […]

Professional social work practice

Social worker and client

The number of disciplinary subjects that include content pertinent to the study of ‘society’ and the ‘social’ is reasonably large. It includes sociology, psychology, social policy, law, philosophy, economics and others. It’s  not surprising then that the subject matter of social work education is quite diverse in nature. Typically, the content of year one of […]

Cognitive apprenticeship

Cognitive apprenticeship

Almost all professional education programmes include a period of field work practice called the practicum or practice placement. For many students the practice placement can be the most memorable and significant part of their development as professional practitioners. Problem-based learning (PBL) is one approach to curriculum design that has proven to be an effective way of […]

Psychology for the human services

Image of people in a crowd

A sound understanding of the fundamentals of human psychology is critical for all human service professionals. For social workers who work with people in family, group, and community settings the insights from psychological knowledge can be especially helpful. Psychology can also throw light on aspects of professional and organisational behaviour, highlighting social processes such as […]

Improving assessment

Hand completing a multiple choice exam.

It’s common knowledge amongst educators and educational designers that assessment plays a critical role in formal educational settings. Assessment, and students’ understanding of the requirements of assessment, drives learning. For those of us involved in professional education the key is to design assessment tasks that connect with the knowledge, skill and values students need to […]

Success for Pacific learners

Pasifika dancer

This research project examined the impact of the 3 successive NZ government tertiary education strategies on support for Pacific learners. Findings show that the Pasifika objectives within each of the 3 strategies are considered to be an important signal to Tertiary Education Institutions (TEIs) that success for Pasifika learners is a significant and continuing government priority […]