About The Research Project

About The Research Project

Professional field education in authentic practice settings and its assessment is crucial to the education of social work and welfare students. It enables students to move from their intellectual understandings to enacting this in practice. While compliance with professional standards is required, the diverse nature of professional judgement involved means that consistent and equitable assessment presents both challenges and stress for many practitioners and educators. Current practices of field education assessment are highly varied and not well documented. This has led to concerns regarding inconsistent and inequitable assessment processes across the widely diverse range of social work and welfare practice settings.

By using participatory approach to the design of assessment, this project has engaged with design pattern methodology and developed a number of tools to assist with documenting, reviewing and improving practicum assessment practices.  The project began by documenting current practice in field education learning assessment processes in Australian universities. This stage was followed by a series of workshops for field and academic educators. Field educators brought to these workshops examples of student learning experiences in a wide range of agency settings. On the basis of these examples and discussions the workshops were able to capture shared understandings of assessment practices and develop an initial series of assessment tools and resources. These tools and resources were then refined by the research team and workshopped again to develop the frameworks on this web site. The web site itself was also discussed widely and refined on the basis of experienced field educator and academic feedback.