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: Inclusive Practice and Student Success: Leading Change across the Medway Campus. (Unpublished) (Full text available)


This session will present our work on service user-led role plays with first year BA social work students: the planning, implementation and evaluation of this educational activity. The role plays form part of the Preparation for Direct Practice module and are led by service users and carers, members of the Partnership Initiative (people with direct experience of social care services). Their aim is to develop ‘procedural competencies’ (relationship forming and professional communication skills), as well as ‘meta-competencies’ (linking theory to practice, reflection and use of self; Bogo et al, 2006). The role-plays take place at two points in the academic year (Autumn and Spring terms), are based on short scenarios written by the PI members and last 15 minutes. Assessment feedback is provided by the PI members; students also complete a self-evaluation form and participate in a reflective group discussion facilitated by a practising social worker. Adopting an experiential learning approach is well-suited to social work education, as it allows for concrete experience (undertaking the interview), as well as reflection, and active experimentation (identifying learning points and repeat of the role-play; Kolb, 1984). We argue that this educational activity contributes to a more inclusive curriculum and upholds social justice values by challenging the traditional conceptualisations of service users and carers as passive, lacking in knowledge or experience; instead, instead it sees them as experts in their own right (Beresford, 2000). Furthermore, their engagement with students during the role-plays can challenge preconceived ideas, allow professional skills development in a safe educational space and create novel partnerships. Existing literature points to such activities being highly valued by students (especially linked to the role-plays being led by service users; see Hitchin, 2016) and to self-reported benefits (such as developing empathy, active listening skills, self-awareness; see Bogo et al, 2013; Skilton, 2011; Duffy, Das and Davidson, 2013; Hitchin, 2016). Yet, the evidence base for the effectiveness of service user and carer involvement in affecting skills development and direct practice is still limited. As Rhodes argues, in order to support radical changes in education delivery, further rigorous evaluation, particularly related to the influence involvement has on transformative learning, and the influence on care delivery, is required. (2012, p. 189). 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 Festival. The evaluation will examine the development of procedural skills and meta-competencies through repeated measure testing of student assessment scores and analysis of qualitative assessment feedback. Preliminary findings point to positive effects in the development of skills for students.

Item Type: Conference or workshop item (Speech)
Subjects: H Social Sciences
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Social Policy Sociology and Social Research > Medway
Depositing User: Eleni Skoura-Kirk
Date Deposited: 02 Dec 2018 15:53 UTC
Last Modified: 04 Dec 2018 16:37 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/70549 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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