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Facilitating Inter-Professional Best Practice in Child Protection Throughout Asynchronous Online Forums

Jassal, Vanisha, Drew, Isobel (2015) Facilitating Inter-Professional Best Practice in Child Protection Throughout Asynchronous Online Forums. In: Association for Learning Technology Conference 2015: Shaping the future of learning together, 8-10 September 2015, Manchester. (KAR id:77803)


Something old, something new, something borrowed. Facilitating inter-professional best practice in child protection through asynchronous online discussions. The construction of knowledge through asynchronous online discussions, hereafter referred to as forums, is becoming increasingly recognised (Ryan and Young, 2014; Loncar et al., 2014). This paper applies this concept to inter-professional child protection (CP) education as available evidence indicates that we have not always found optimal ways in which to facilitate learning in this emotionally charged field (Watkin et al., 2009). Furthermore, deficits in CP inter-professional working have been consistently and reliably evidenced in research (Appleton and Stanley, 2009) and through the tragic narratives explored within Serious Case Reviews (Brandon et al., 2005). This paper examines learning from an inter-professional distance learning MA in advanced child protection which brings together diverse practitioners from around the world; a cohort of adult learners. A core component of the MA is bi-weekly assessed forums and an analysis of 108 forum posts from 12 students who have now completed the programme, has offered a unique insight into complex child protection education in the online sphere: Increasing ability to critique existing paradigms of practice e.g. challenging existing practices around direct work with children; Changing perceptions of practice e.g. engaging more effectively with male family members; Conceptualisation and expression of multiagency practice – e.g. addressing impact of ineffective organisational support and supervision; Increased integration of theory into practice e.g. strengthening risk assessments through a theoretical lens; Strengthening peer to peer learning – e.g. respecting yet challenging fellow professional perspectives; Engaging with forums from a learner perspective – e.g. perceiving forums as a safe place in which to reflect. This abstract demonstrates how students have ‘shaped learning’ in inter-professional child protection practice, creating what Ryan and Young (2014) term a ‘new type of educational construct’. Optimising the opportunity for experiential learning, through which adult learners thrive (Chen, 2014), the results have been quite astounding. The asynchronous format (as opposed to the immediacy of synchronous) has particularly facilitated high critical thinking, sometimes felt to be lacking within forums (Hsaio et al., 2013). The format has particularly provided learner opportunities for reflection and deep thinking and very much demonstrates the value of situated learning (Lave and Wenger, 1991). Rather than perceiving inter-professional child protection forums as simply an important cog in the wheel of online learning technologies, this paper discusses how the potential for both learning and changing practice, is much greater.

Item Type: Conference or workshop item (Paper)
Projects: Facilitating inter-professional best practice in child protection through asynchronous online discussions (AODs)
Additional information: This primary research I undertook has formed a strong foundation for the basis of research currently being pursued in the Centre for Child Protection.
Uncontrolled keywords: Presentation, Abstract, Association of Learning Technology Conference
Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2300 Higher Education
Divisions: Divisions > Division for the Study of Law, Society and Social Justice > School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research
Funders: [UNSPECIFIED] Faculty Research Fund, University of Kent
Depositing User: Vanisha Jassal
Date Deposited: 24 Oct 2019 19:33 UTC
Last Modified: 16 Feb 2021 14:08 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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