Burgess, Hilary and Carpenter, John
Building capacity and capability for evaluating the outcomes of social work education (the OSWE Project): creating a culture change
Social Work Education, 27, (8), . (doi:10.1080/02615470701844308).
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This paper describes and analyses the first year of a three-year project in the UK to build capacity and capability in evaluating the outcomes of social work education. A facilitated action learning set was established for six university social work programmes, involving in different ways academic, practice, service user and carer educators, who met to develop research projects focussed on measuring the outcomes of social work education. We outline the genesis of the project, and discuss the context in terms of both pedagogic research and social work education. We describe the activities undertaken in its first year, including the evaluation strategy. Some emerging findings are presented concerning the levels of learning outcomes being assessed; the role of the evaluator; the importance of engaging colleagues and students; service user and carer participation; and the positive features of the learning set. Plans for the remaining two years are outlined, including the piloting of outcome measures. Finally we reframe the model as it emerged in practice, extracting key elements for capacity building.
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