Evaluation of service user-led role play feedback for social work students

Skoura-Kirk, E. and Brown, S.L. and Mikelyte, Rasa (2018) Evaluation of service user-led role play feedback for social work students. In: Grand Challenges for Social Work. (Unpublished) (Full text available)


Despite the ethical commitment to service user and carer involvement in social work education and the value afforded it by students, the evidence base for its effectiveness remains relatively limited. As Rhodes (2012) argues, in order to support radical changes in education delivery, further rigorous evaluation is required, particularly relating to the impact of involvement on transformative learning, and on care delivery. In this presentation, we report on the planning, implementation and evaluation of service user-led role plays as an educational activity with first year social work students. Our evaluation examines the development of procedural skills and meta-competencies through repeated measure testing of student assessment scores and analysis of qualitative assessment feedback. As part of their Preparation for Direct Practice module, social work students undertake short role-play interviews with service users and carers (people with direct experience of social care services- members of our ‘Partnership Initiative’ group, or PI). The aim of the role-play interviews is to develop ‘procedural or operational competencies’ (relationship forming and professional communication skills), as well as ‘meta-competencies’ (linking theory to practice, reflection and use of self; linking to the work by Bogo et al, 2006). The role-play interviews took place at two points in the academic year, and were based on short scenarios written by the PI members. Assessment feedback was provided by PI members. Students also completed a self-evaluation form and participated in a reflective group discussion facilitated by a practice educator. We argue that direct engagement with service users and carers can enable students to challenge preconceived ideas, create novel partnerships and develop professional skills in a safe educational space. The experiential learning approach can contribute to a more inclusive curriculum and to a stronger social justice agenda by challenging traditional conceptualisations of service users and carers as passive, lacking in knowledge or experience; instead, it sees them as experts in their own right. Seeking to add to the evidence base, we are currently evaluating the effectiveness of these role-play interviews and will present our findings at the Conference. Early indications point to an improvement in the skills of the students, as scored by service users, students and practice educators.

Item Type: Conference or workshop item (Speech)
Subjects: H Social Sciences
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Social Policy Sociology and Social Research
Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Social Policy Sociology and Social Research > Medway
Depositing User: Eleni Skoura-Kirk
Date Deposited: 02 Dec 2018 15:39 UTC
Last Modified: 04 Dec 2018 16:35 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/70548 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
  • Depositors only (login required):


Downloads per month over past year