Program Design as Authentic Assessment in Social Work Education
Reflecting on a Teaching Collaboration Between Social Work and Design Academics
Keywords:Authentic assessment, Social work education, Service design, Human-centred design, Reflective practice
This article reflects upon the creation of authentic assessment in a core unit in a Bachelor of Social Work (Honours) program at an Australian University. This unit was the outcome of a collaboration between design and social work academics, and was delivered by teaching staff from these two faculties. Students were introduced to human-centred design as an approach to program design in social work. This article reflects upon the first iteration of this re- developed unit, focusing analysing the authenticity of learning activities and assessment tasks. Authentic assessment incorporates real-world practices and contexts, cognitive challenges, reflexive practice, and promotes students’ critical analysis of their own work (Ajjawi et al., 2019, pp. 3–4). I use Ajjawi et al.’s (2019) framework to analyse the re- development of this course in relation to authentic assessment, highlighting its strengths and limitations as an authentic learning experience. In addition, I use my reflection upon the collaboration between social work and design academics to make suggestions on how design can be incorporated into social work education.
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