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An approach to meeting the ICT requirements of the social work degree

By Jim Rogers and Sue Watling


This presentation shows how the social work team at the University of Lincoln have worked together to ensure a model of good ICT practice in meeting the requirements of the Social Work degree. \ud \ud When the GSCC introduced ICT competencies, the management and assessment was left to individual institutions. Many initially chose the ECDL route or incorporated ICT criteria into assessed modules. At Lincoln neither the ECDL nor incorporation into assessed units proved sustainable in practice so an alternative approach was developed. Taking advantage of the institution’s VLE (Blackboard), an automated student-centred resource has been designed. This consists of a self-paced set of learning objects giving students control over their own learning experience. The area provides learning materials, formative interactive assessment opportunities and final summative assessments undertaken in exam conditions. Links to the Blackboard Gradebook ensure staff can see at a glance which students have certified competencies and which need to undertake further assessment. Staff can also view final ICT assessment results. \ud \ud In February 2009 QAA subject benchmarks for social work changed (QAA 2009) and the GSCC decided the ECDL is no longer appropriate for assessing competency. Students are now required to demonstrate a more critical understanding of the role of ICT, including an awareness of the impact of the "digital divide". Reference to the role of technology within social work in the recent Task Force Report (DCSF 2009) shows how good quality ICT supports effective professional social work practice. As the government pushed towards achieving a ‘Digital Britain’ and making explicit the links between social and digital exclusion, (DCMS 2009) then the newly qualified social worker needs to demonstrate competence with the technology and the implications of digital exclusion. The model used at Lincoln not only encourages engagement with technology and assessment of software skills but also provides an adaptable automated system for developing the prerequisite confidence and competencies required in an increasingly digital society.\ud \ud D.C.M.S. 2009. Digital Britain. Communities and Local Government Publications. Retrieved 1 May 2010 ( \ud D.C.S.F. 2009. Building a safe confident future; social work task force final report. Retrieved 1 May 2010 (\ud Q.A.A. 2009. Code of Practice Benchmark statements for Social Work. Retrieved 1 May 2010 (

Topics: L500 Social Work
Year: 2010
OAI identifier:

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  1. (2005). A guide to meeting the requirement for social work degree students to achieve ICT skills. Contact details Jim Rogers, Senior Lecturer Sue Watling,

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