Image of people in a crowd

Psychology for the human services

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 conformity, cognitive bias, and stereotyping that have profound and often unrecognised effects on professional decision-making.

The Open Polytechnic commissioned Learning Designs to design learning materials and  asssessment tasks for this 20 credit, level 5 course for students enrolled in their Bachelor of Social Work. The learning materials introduces students to the key ideas of the course, and includes learning activities, human services case studies and formative quizzes to test understanding. The material is organised into three modules:

  • Module 1 Thinking psychologically
  • Module 2 Health and wellbeing; and
  • Module 3: Psychology, culture and indigenous psychology.

Course content included a core psychology text chosen for its inclusion of New Zealand and Australian perspectives. The text was complemented with several other articles selected to broaden students’ understanding. Students are supported by tutors within online discussion fora offered within the Online Campus – the Open Polytechnic’s Moodle platform.

Image creditpiotr

Neil Ballantyne

Neil is the Director of Learning Designs.