Teaching & Learning
By Sophie Goldingay, Jodie Satour, Sevi Vassos, Selma Macfarlane, Beth Crisp, Sarah Epstein (all from the Social Work Team, School of Health and Social Development) and, Peter Lane, Brett Wilson, Tim Crawford (From the Health Pod, Deakin Learning Futures, Faculty of Health).
About our practice:
As a team, we are passionate about preparing the next generation of social workers for the realities and complexities of 21 Century practice. To do this we created a case study character ‘Evelyn’ and developed a script based on our own practice experiences called ‘Evelyn’s story’. From this script, Evelyn makes a video diary of her daily life and challenges with impacts of imprisonment, substance addiction, child protection and family violence. The video diaries therefore cover a range of fields of practice including mental health, family violence and child protection services.
We created specific simulation rooms for these fields of practice to enable students to imagine they were part of these work places, needing to make decisions and practice in ways that are congruent with what is taught in the course materials. One of the rooms also supports students to learn specifically how to work in culturally safe ways with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and their families.
This approach is unique because it is service-user centred. We wanted social work students to imagine that they are Evelyn’s social worker, visiting her in her home and listening to her tell her story, with the view of practicing in ways consistent with social work knowledge and values. Being exposed to a digital but realistic service user addresses the problem of the gap between classroom teaching and actual practice with service users. It addresses the problem of exploring and managing ones’ own reactions to emotionally charged practice situations like family violence without harming real service users.
Evelyn’s Story Excerpt
Simulating social work practice online with digital storytelling: challenges and opportunities (Research Paper)
Want new articles before they get published? Subscribe to our DTeach Newsletter.