Developing Course Assignments in an Online Course that Demonstrate Transfer of Knowledge
AffiliationUniversity of Southern Indiana
TitleDeveloping Course Assignments in an Online Course that Demonstrate Transfer of Knowledge
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Online education is a growing field and requires consideration in the development of assignments. Social Work is a competency driven field of study. It requires students to demonstrate not only knowledge, but the ability to apply their knowledge in practice. Interpersonal interaction is fundamental in social work education and is important in skill development of students. This interaction should be structured into course expectations, and course content that engages students (Jones, 2015). Online coursework can potentially create additional obstacles to ensuring students are able to transfer the knowledge to their work with individuals. It is important as an educator to use teaching activities that promote engagement and are interactive, integrated, and reflective (Rowe, Frantz, & Bozalek, 2013). SOCW 400: Understanding Adoption was offered for the first time as an asynchronous online course during a 5 week summer term. The course was developed as a social work elective with the goal of providing students with a beginning understanding of adoption and adoption issues. Two of the learning objectives for the course included, utilizing positive adoption language in conversation as well as utilizing empathy and interpersonal skills to engage an adoptive parent. Integrated in this course was the final assignment that required students to contact an adoptive parent and conduct an interview with this individual. This assignment allowed students to practice interpersonal skills and utilize knowledge gained in the course to engage in conversation in a professional manner. Following the interview, students completed a reflective paper on the interview and the adoptive parent submitted feedback to the instructor on the student. The feedback from the final assignment indicated success in student’s demonstrating professionalism and knowledge of course material. Students stated they were surprised at their level of integration of knowledge and utilization of the material in such a short period of time.
Rowe, M., Frantz, J., & Bozalek, V. (2013). Beyond knowledge and skills: The use of a delphi study to develop a technology-mediated teaching strategy. BMC Medical Education, 13, 51. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1472-6920-13-51
Jones, S. H. (2015). Benefits and challenges of online education for clinical social work: Three examples. Clinical Social Work Journal, 43(2), 225-235. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10615-014-0508-z