Using video interviewing in the assessment of social work communication skills

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The social work degree has now been introduced in England and it is timely to reflect on and evaluate key changes made by many universities in this process. This paper reflects on the beginning of such an evaluation, presenting a case study of assessment changes made in relation to communication skills teaching in a post-1992 university. This will act as a vehicle to explore some of the inherent complexities involved. Assessment methods implemented on social work courses should be scrutinized in relation to their validity, reliability and feasibility. Drawing upon multi-professional literature, one such process of scrutiny is described, with the intention of contributing to current debates regarding communication skills within the wider arena of developing social work education. The case study presented outlines how one social work programme changed its method of assessing communication skills for social work students. It explores the processes involved in moving from an essay assignment to the use of video interviews, supplemented by a written reflective self-evaluation undertaken in relation to the interview process. The views of students are outlined via their responses to a questionnaire and the paper highlights key themes identified by a student focus group.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)827-844
Number of pages18
JournalThe British Journal of Social Work
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2005


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