Engaged Teaching-Learning: Outcome Evaluation for Social Work Students in a Graduate-Level Service Learning Research Course
AbstractThe challenges of engaging social work students in the research curriculum are well-documented, and the literature supports the use of service learning to increase engagement. This study explores self-efficacy as one measure of learning outcomes. Changes in students’ (N=88) assessment of their ability to perform research and program evaluation tasks skillfully were measured by administering the Evaluation Self-Efficacy Scale (ESE) on the first and last days of a graduate-level advanced research class that included a service learning project. ESE scores on the last day of class were significantly higher than on the first day of class. The effect size was larger than in prior similar studies, suggesting that service learning contributed to students’ sense of mastery of course content. These results support the use of an engaged-learning model such as a service learning project in advanced social work research courses to improve students’ evaluation self-efficacy.
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