When You Come to a Fork in the Road, Take It: Teaching Social Work Practice Using Blended Learning
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AbstractThe debates surrounding the effectiveness of teaching social work online highlight the challenges of adequately preparing students for face-to-face practice by way of web-based technologies. The purpose of this paper is twofold. Firstly, to briefly describe how a particular School of Social Work when designing its part-time undergraduate degree program (BSW), arrived at a fork in the road and instead of choosing between the paths of in-class or online course delivery, the School decided to offer the entire degree using a blended learning platform. Secondly, to compare the development and implementation of three specific practice courses within the part-time degree program (interviewing and assessment, social work theory, and a practicum integration seminar) each of which was offered using blended learning. This paper contributes to the debate about the value of using web-based components when teaching social work practice and will be helpful to educators from within many disciplines, who are wishing to critique their own development processes when designing and teaching practice courses using blended learning.