Research Competencies of Social Work Students during Remote Learning
Keywords:Higher education, social work, research competencies, remote education
Context: Acquiring research competencies by students is becoming more and more relevant in an evidence-based social work approach. Moving from traditional face-to-face pedagogical approach to a fully remote educational paradigm has greatly impacted universities in developing appropriate solutions for teaching and learning. Research skills and knowledge have been considered an important competence in social work training as best practice requires using available research data and best research requires understanding the context of practice. Method: Using a quantitative approach the current paper analyses how perception of remote learning and type and level of digital skills influence the development of research skills for social work students. 242 Romanian students enrolled in bachelor program filled in a questionnaire in June 2021. Results: The experience of a fully remote learning of research method did not have any significant impact on research competencies. However, the high level of operational skills influences students’ competency in research inquiry and quantitative/qualitative methodology, information-navigation skills positively influence dissemination of research and creative skills influences their level in quantitative/qualitative process, ethics and dissemination. Conclusion: In an evidence-based social work approach, research competences need to remain an important component of learning plans. However, considering the digitalisation trend higher education, it is expected that the content and format of research classes to adapt in order to assure the transferability of skills into the field of practice.
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