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Developing Asynchronous Models of Education in Social Work (2010/11)

Published on: Mon, 10/04/2010
Last Modified: Fri, 06/17/2011 - 2:17pm

$37,000 one time funding

This project will begin to develop an on line learning model for social work education at both the undergraduate and graduate level.  It would provide new, more flexible options for students in social work programs, and support for the planned development of international programs in the United States, and possibly India, China and Viet Nam.
(Dr. Erika Kustra, Dr. Brent Angell)

Update: November 30, 2010

A Project team has been established with Nick Baker and Shirley Lau; three faculty members have been identified to join project team (Drs. Kvarfordt, Calderwood, and Grant). The project team has investigated other universities which utilize similar models and gathered best practices in online education; they are currently investigating best methods of program delivery. Expected progress involves design of the two courses to be implemented, faculty to familiarize with best practices to deliver courses asynchronously, dry runs of the modules to be conducted and cost and effectiveness of the program to be analyzed. The evaluation tools will also be developed. Anticipated spending to the end of the fiscal year is $37,000. No issues or delays have been reported.

Update: April 30, 2011

Three faculty members, Drs. McMurphy, Kvarfordt and Grant, have agreed to trial various approaches to online learning in Summer and Fall 2011. These faculty members have been working with CTL staff to begin curriculum design on their individual courses. Dr. McMurphy will trial a synchronous online collaboration tool (a virtual classroom) to provide online office hours, to facilitate collaboration between students, and to allow students to present their final projects for feedback in an online conference. This will be trialed in the masters-level distance education course in Summer 2011. Drs Kvarfordt and Grant will be using the same tools in different ways for their Fall courses. The variety of courses and student levels will allow the project team to evaluate the effectiveness of these tools and approaches across the curriculum for Social Work students. Decisions about the curriculum change being trialed by the project team were informed by a literature review that was conducted. The project team has also met with staff from the Centre for Executive and Professional Education (CEPE) to ensure they are aware of and can provide input to the design of interventions that will affect DE students and the support they may require. Students have been surveyed about access to technology, including internet access, and this has informed decisions about the choice of activity that will be appropriate for these students as well as back up plans if technology presents barriers. Educational technologies that support online collaborative learning in other Canadian institutions were also investigated and to address the gap in the current educational technology infrastructure at Windsor, the project team has been working closely with the Synchronous Online Collaboration Tools working party investigating the best solution for Windsor at the institutional level. The pilot online collaboration tools will be trialed in the Fall and Summer semesters of 2011. The project team has also consulted with colleagues in Engineering who have been working with an open source tool, Big Blue Button, and have gained insight from their experience with this tool. The project team is currently working on an evaluation strategy that will allow determination of the impact of the various interventions that will be trialed in Social Work courses in Summer and Fall.