ASSESSMENT FRAMEWORK

These frameworks are designed to be guidelines for practice learning assessment and not rules. Each framework provides some guides for baseline expectations of students. However in working with these, variations between students and placements must always be considered

Framework: Interpersonal Communication

High level interpersonal and communication skills are crucial in all areas of social work practice. Consequently it is vital that students are able to demonstrate competent interpersonal and communications skills in an authentic practice setting. The aim of the framework is to provide guidelines rather than a set of rules. It provides ideas, suggestions and resources to assist field educators and students and it is anticipated that the most relevant aspects will be selected and adapted as required to fit the particular placement context. Individually and collectively, the core social work values of social justice, respect for persons and professional integrity, underpin and concretise the assessment frameworks. AASW Code of Ethics. The interpersonal communication framework complements and strengthens the other nine frameworks.

Learning Goal

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The learning challenge in this framework is based on Practice Standard 6:1, Communication, and  6:2, Interpersonal skills. For the purpose of student learning the standard has been divided into four essential elements. A set of learning strategies (tasks and activities), follows each element and are designed to assist the student develop the requisite knowledge and skills to achieve competency in that particular aspect of assessment. Following each set of learning strategies are suggestions about the types of evidence to collect in order to assess the students competency in the given area. The final part of the framework consists of a series of reflective questions designed to assist the field education assessor/s in the process of making a judgment or coming to a decision about the competency of the student.

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Practice standard

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Standard 6.1 effectively communicate with a diverse range of people

Standard 6.2 effectively communicate the details and nature of the service offered to people

Learning to practice these standards includes 4 essential elements:

 

1. The Social Work student has an awareness of their skill level and developmental  needs in relation to interpersonal and communication skills both written and oral 

 

2. The student engages in professional learning supervision in relation to their interpersonal and communication skills and seeks strategies to practice improvements

 

3. The student seeks feedback from their supervisor and clients regarding their interpersonal and communication skills 

 

4. The student demonstrates required interpersonal and communications skills in all areas of social work practice

 

 

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Learning strategies

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1. THE SOCIAL WORK STUDENT HAS AN AWARENESS OF THEIR SKILL LEVEL AND DEVELOPMENTAL  NEEDS IN RELATION TO INTERPERSONAL AND COMMUNICATION SKILLS BOTH WRITTEN AND ORAL 

Student to undertake a self-assessment of their interpersonal communication skills  (verbal and non-verbal -  with individuals, groups and communities) including identifying areas for future development. Interpersonal skills must include:

  • Active listening, attending skills (verbal and non-verbal), accurate reflection of feeling and content
  • Empathy
  • Appropriate level of challenge
  • Skills in developing professional relationships
  • Advocacy skills
  • Constructive conflict and dealing with anger, aggression
  • Culturally appropriate communication skills
  • Written communication eg: report writing, letter writing, case notes, ecommunications

2. THE STUDENT ENGAGES IN PROFESSIONAL LEARNING SUPERVISION IN RELATION TO THEIR INTERPERSONAL AND COMMUNICATION SKILLS AND SEEKS STRATEGIES TO PRACTICE IMPROVEMENTS

Student observes and critically reflect on, interpersonal and communication skills of self, field educator/s, other team members and peers.

Student discusses their current skill level in relation to agency expectations and the required achievement of relevant practice standard.


3. THE STUDENT SEEKS FEEDBACK FROM THEIR SUPERVISOR AND CLIENTS REGARDING THEIR INTERPERSONAL AND COMMUNICATION SKILLS 

Student and supervisor negotiate staged processes to develop appropriate oral & written communication skills eg micro skills,  individual interview  group interview/ eg consultation in policy placement/focus group/in research project or group session in information/ education or therapeutic group; community engagement at a community forum.

Student then engages in role-plays with peers/field educator specifically focusing on agreed skill development as above. 


4. THE STUDENT DEMONSTRATES REQUIRED INTERPERSONAL AND COMMUNICATIONS SKILLS IN ALL AREAS OF SOCIAL WORK PRACTICE

Student and supervisor negotiate staged processes to develop appropriate oral & written communication skills eg micro skills,  individual interview  group interview/ eg consultation in policy placement/focus group/in research project or group session in information/ education or therapeutic group; community engagement at a community forum.

Student then engages in role-plays with peers/field educator specifically focusing on agreed skill development as above.

Student engages in direct practice and is observed / supported by field educator.

Student practices with increasing level of autonomy.

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Gathering evidence for assessment

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1. THE SOCIAL WORK STUDENT HAS AN AWARENESS OF THEIR SKILL LEVEL AND DEVELOPMENTAL  NEEDS IN RELATION TO INTERPERSONAL AND COMMUNICATION SKILLS BOTH WRITTEN AND ORAL 

Field educator observes student's performance in role plays, direct practice and development through staged process outlined above (whether individual interview; facilitating a group; presentation/meeting). Observe how student can:

provide  appropriate information to service users, carers, colleagues and other professionals;

build relationships and trust with service users, carers and colleagues

influence the behavior of others, policies, service and procedures

gather, interpret, analyse and record information from a variety of sources

Link (See Assessment & Learning in Practice Settings: (ALPS) Communication Competency Map 2008. url: www.alps-celt.ac.uk)


2. THE STUDENT ENGAGES IN PROFESSIONAL LEARNING SUPERVISION IN RELATION TO THEIR INTERPERSONAL AND COMMUNICATION SKILLS AND SEEKS STRATEGIES TO PRACTICE IMPROVEMENTS

Field educator observes student's ability to change behavior / writing style in response to feedback (being able to listen and not become defensive)

Field Educator and student discuss mutual observations and responses in supervision.


3. THE STUDENT SEEKS FEEDBACK FROM THEIR SUPERVISOR AND CLIENTS REGARDING THEIR INTERPERSONAL AND COMMUNICATION SKILLS 

Field Educator Observes student's ability to:

  • deal with situations involving anger, conflict and challenging behavior
  • apply the code of ethics in interpersonal communication – eg respecting diversity  & difference; managing confidential & sensitive information.

4. THE STUDENT DEMONSTRATES REQUIRED INTERPERSONAL AND COMMUNICATIONS SKILLS IN ALL AREAS OF SOCIAL WORK PRACTICE

Artefacts

Student produces a possible range of documents or products including: 

  • process recording of an individual interview; group session journal
  • draft of written work for feedback
  • Written outcomes of self assessment and record of progress in relation to agreed plan
  • Style of communication in supervision/ written agenda
  • Role plays – audio and/or video
  • Written feedback from observation of interviews with peers/clients/ policy stakeholders/research participants (from any of client, supervisor, student)
  • Student process reports of interaction
  • Learning  journal demonstrating critical reflection and ability to learn.
  • Learning plan – identifies areas of communication, strategies, evidence required to demonstrate achievement and timeline
  • Student’s written work eg  case notes; reports; submissions, ethics application, research report, portfolio.
  • Mid-placement report to include example of  development of communication skills
  • End-of- placement report  include different  example of attainment of communication skills

 

 

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Making a judgement about competency

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WHAT LEVEL OF KNOWLEDGE, EXPERIENCE DOES THE FIELD EDUCATOR HAVE IN CONDUCTING RESEARCH? 

 

IS THERE A GOOD MATCH BETWEEN THE EVIDENCE YOU ARE GATHERING  AND THE DEVELOPMENT STRATEGIES USED?

 

HAS STUDENT HAD  SUFFICIENT LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES TO DEVELOP THE COMPETENCIES YOU ARE ASSESSING? 

 

IS THIS THE STUDENT’S FIRST OR SECOND PLACEMENT?

 

WHAT IS THE PRIMARY FOCUS OF THE PLACEMENT ? 

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