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Case Vignettes in Teaching Clinical Practice

Irene Chung & Judith Rosenberger (Social Work)

Clinical practice in Social Work is most effectively learned by direct observation of skills, active participation in analysis of case materials, role-playing practice skills, and receiving feedback. Irene Chung and Judith Rosenberger sought to improve the effectiveness of existing pedagogy by giving students a new learning venue that offers all these components. Professors Chung and Rosenberger created video case vignettes that illustrate major concepts in clinical practice for SSW722 (Casework II), a course for second-year students majoring in Clinical Practice with Individuals and Families. The video case vignettes were created by recording students playing the roles of clinicians and clients. Professors Chung and Rosenberger used iMovie to add background information and questions at strategic points of the video clips, inviting students to reflect and comment on specific client behavior and clinician intervention. The completed case vignettes became part of a video archive and were shared with other course instructors in the program. A Blackboard community is being created to share links to the videos as well as other content relevant to the course. The case vignettes are being used for instruction in different ways by different professors before, during, and after face-to-face class sessions. For example, while Prof. Chung presents the videos in class to elicit on-the-spot reactions and analyses, Prof. Rosenberger prefers to ask students to view the videos on their own time and come to class prepared to discuss specific skills and issues illustrated in the videos. Students in some sections were also allowed to complete their mid-term case study and commentary in a similar video format. These student-created videos were added to the video library and became the source of discussions about the theoretical model being applied, the specific skills being illustrated, and the participants' feedback on the practice experience they had just completed.