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An Evaluation of the Effectiveness of an FE/HE Partnership in the Delivery of a Preparation for Practice Module within an Undergraduate Social Work Degree Programme

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The Preparation for Practice module at the University of Ulster is delivered to 170 first year students via a collaborative arrangement between higher and further education institutions. In each of the five sites, students receive large group and small group teaching facilitated by social work training agency workers and academic tutor dyads. An evaluation of the module sought the perceptions of the agency and academic facilitators regarding the overall collaborative arrangement and the model of co-teaching involving social work academics and agency partners. Respondents were asked to complete a semi-structured questionnaire, which generated data from a Likert scale and also invited qualitative commentary. The Likert scale data were analysed via SPSS and the qualitative information was scrutinised using a manual thematic analysis technique. Findings indicated that continuous communication, consistency in programme content and the acknowledgement of the differences in organisation resources were key to a successful collaborative arrangement. It was also noted that a co-teaching model should be viewed as a positive vehicle for achieving module objectives in a safe learning environment.
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Keywords: Collaboration; Further Education; Higher Education; Skills Teaching

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: University of Ulster, Derry, Northern Ireland 2: Belfast Metropolitan College, Northern Ireland

Publication date: August 1, 2012

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