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Converting an experiential clinical skills-based lab from an on-campus to a live online version: A pilot

Piepmeier, Mary; Marquart, Matthea S.

This innovative seven-week lab teaches evidence-based clinical skills to MSSW students entering their first year of field placement. The classroom version of the lab was piloted with on-campus students in AY2018-19 with great success and subsequently rolled out to all on-campus students. The lab is highly experiential, with a minimum of didactic teaching, and each two-hour session includes multiple interactive activities such as role plays, discussions, client simulation exercises, interactive exercises with demonstration videos, and pair or small-group activities. Each learning activity is debriefed with students to help them create their own meaning, and students connect the learning activities with their internship work with clients.

In Fall 2019, we piloted this lab with 12 online students as a prelude to bringing this lab to all of our online students. This required converting the weekly two hours of classroom activities to two hours of live online activities each week -- essentially redesigning all seven of the lab sessions.

To do this, we took a collaborative approach involving two areas of expertise: Mary Piepmeier is a content expert and runs this lab program, and Matthea Marquart is an online education expert and runs the online Master’s program. We co-designed and co-facilitated each session, taking maximum advantage of the tools available in Adobe Connect. The end result was a highly interactive online lab experience that engaged the students throughout and effectively taught students the clinical skills.

To assess this pilot, we asked students for feedback in polls and via typed chat during each session, and we looked at the student feedback evaluations after the course ended. Students were enthusiastic about their experience and about how they will use their skills in the future.

The lessons we learned are applicable to any clinical course, as well as any course that uses experiential learning activities.

To learn more about this lab: https://socialwork.columbia.edu/news/new-lab-grounds-first-year-msw-students-in-motivational-interviewing/.

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More About This Work

Academic Units
Social Work
Published Here
February 12, 2020

Notes

CITATION:
Piepmeier, M. and Marquart, M. (2020, February 18). Converting an experiential clinical skills-based lab from an on-campus to a live online version: A pilot. Poster for the Columbia University Center for Teaching and Learning’s Celebration of Teaching and Learning Symposium, New York, NY.

KEYWORDS: motivational interviewing, clinical skills, online education

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS: Columbia University’s School of Social Work, Allen Zweben, Kathryne Leak, Steven Schinke, Julien Teitler, Jackie Martinez, the CSSW Communications team, Mary-Lea Cox Awanohara, Janet R. Young, David Licata, Katy Salce, Cate Weinberg, MJ Matera, Meg Fernandez, Peggy Ting, and the wonderful students who joined the pilot

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