Putting practice at the heart of social work education: can practice skills be reliably graded by different markers in child and family social work contexts?
Subjectsgrading practice skills
inter-rater reliability between different markers
child and family social work
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AbstractThe Frontline programme is a social work qualification route, in England, which began in 2014. Students are based in statutory child and family contexts supported by an academic staff member and practice educator. The assessment strategy on the programme includes seven graded observations of students engaging in social work, marked by both staff. This paper investigates reliability of grading of direct practice between different markers on the programme. It reports findings for 30 recordings of direct observations of practice that were graded during the first cohort. These included observations graded by an academic and by a practice educator. Each was independently then graded by an academic, blind to the original score or who marked it. An acceptable level of reliability was found between the independent grader and the first mark (r =.621). In general the level of agreement was higher between the independent grader (a social work academic) and academics. In comparison, practice educators tended to give higher grades to students. Nonetheless, overall the reliability of marking suggests it is possible to agree on marks for students, which points to the potential for grading of practice to be more widely used in social work education.
CitationDomakin A, Forrester D (2018) 'Putting practice at the heart of social work education: can practice skills be reliably graded by different markers in child and family social work contexts?', Social Work Education, 37 (1), pp.66-77.
JournalSocial Work Education