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Self efficacy in research skills; becoming research minded.

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1 Self efficacy in research skills; becoming research minded.
Anne Quinney and Jonathan Parker Bournemouth University, UK JSWEC2008

2 Backgound Part of the Evaluating the Outcomes of Social Work Education (OSWE) national project, funded by scie and SWAP which aims to enable social work educators to: gain information about ways in which their teaching and learning may be effective, and ways in which it might be improved test the feasibility of outcome measures and research designs make use of opportunities to compare and contrast practice between programmes. In phase 1 of the project six universities in England participated by developing small scale research projects using an ‘outcomes’ approach (Burgess and Carpenter 2008). Phase 2 widened the project to Scotland.

3 The research question The research question
Does students’ confidence in understanding research terminology and completing specific research tasks and activities increased after participation in a using research for practice module? Participants At Bournemouth - Year 2 BASW students studying a ‘Using Research in Practice’ module delivered using a blended learning approach – consisting of whole class sessions, individual and small group consultations and electronic learning resources supported by an on line learning course. 3 consecutive cohorts from At Hull – ( only) M level students.

4 Developing research mindedness
a faculty for critical reflection informed by knowledge and research; an ability to use research to inform practice which counters unfair discrimination, racism, poverty, disadvantage and injustice, consistent with core social work values; an understanding of the process of research and the use of research to theorise from practice (see

5 Mentoring approach Ongoing literature review
The research undertaken at Bournemouth is informed by the work of Holden et al (1999), Montcalm (1999), Unrau and Beck (2004), Unrau and Grinnell (2005), Holden et al. (2007) and Holden et al. (2008) in the USA and Canada. Mentoring approach Gary Holden, whose work on self efficacy in social work education underpins the project, provided guidance and feedback on the RSE scales. In turn, the lead researcher, new to this methodology, was mentored by an experienced academic familiar with the methodology (see Parker 2005) Mentoring to develop research capacity and research confidence – useful model JP has done work on RSE and practice learning– another area researched by Gary Holden.

6 Self efficacy “While professional and academic expectations are that students integrate research into their practice frameworks…it is not at all clear to what degree students….are learning research skills” Unrau and Beck(2004 p188). Self efficacy ratings in research are consistently predictive of future behaviour (Holden et al 1999).

7 Methodology Quantitative data from a 15 question research self efficacy (RSE) scale was collected pre- and post- participation in a Using Research for Practice module (BA year 2). 10 questions focused on knowledge and skills about research and 5 questions on computer and information technology to support research. Three consecutive cohorts of year 2 students participated in the project. Paired data was analysed using SPSS software. ( n=30, n=23, n=14). Paired data analysis provides information about individual student’s self efficacy rather than the whole group. Data about male/female differences and age differences, can also be extracted. Approx 40 in the student group - Paired analysis approach resulted in lower participant numbers – students had to be present at the T1 and T2 data collection. Atttendance at the start was low due to an assignment hand in date and at the end was the final class of the year.

8 Research Self Efficacy (RSE) scales
How confident are you that you can successfully…(on a scale of 1-10) Perform an electronic search for research information (e.g. journal articles) using the internet Read and understand research findings and discussions in academic journals Reference other people’s work using the University’s Harvard system of referencing Briefly define ‘qualitative’ and ‘quantitative’ research methodologies Debate whether a proposed research study is ethical or unethical Design a questionnaire Design an interview schedule Conduct a research interview Analyse basic quantitative and qualitative data Present findings both verbally and in written form Access the resources for this unit on [VLE] using university computer facilities Perform an electronic literature search using databases (eg socialcareonline) Access research findings in academic journals using the internet Access research findings from research bodies, social work organisations, government departments etc (eg JRF, SCIE) using the internet Follow an online learning programme ©Fell, Parker and Quinney. Using a 10 -point Likert scale

9 Data collection and analysis
3 subscales (Qs1-4, 5-9, 10-15) were analysed using SPSS, paired T-tests were used to compare the mean for each data set and a combined analysis was undertaken. Internal reliability of questions was tested. Self efficacy increased to a significant extent. Data collection for the 3rd cohort took place on 17th June at the end of the teaching module and has not yet been analysed. A comparator group at the University of Hull in was of similar size and Qs1-10 only of the RSE

10 RSE Scales mean results 2006-7
Examples to pick out:- Q2 Read and understand research findings and discussions in academic journals Q8 Analyse basic quantitative and qualitative data Q13 Access research findings in academic journals using the internet Q11 Access the resources for this unit on [the VLE] using university computer facilities Q13

11 Combined 2005-6 results Things to note:
Hull students started with higher confidence but had lower increase in confidence. Q10 Present findings both verbally and in written form.

12 Follow up phase A follow up phase of the project will ask students (at the end of their 3 year) to reveal their research project code and student number in order to consider correlations with their RSE and assignment mark. Students can also be asked to complete the RSE rating again identifying how they think they would have rated themselves at T1. This can be compared to the T1 scores. Norms from the combined analysis will be compared with the outcome of assignment to extrapolate mean point parameters which may indicate individual, or indeed group, support needs. Gary Holden doesn’t do the matching to grades – a new feature of the RSE work.

13 Implications - applications
The project data can be used to inform adjustments in the curriculum (for the present cohort as they prepare for their dissertation –type module in year 3 and future year 2 cohorts) the development of teaching resources and additional support arrangements. The scale is easy to use and can be adopted by other programmes to identify research confidence issues and adapt teaching accordingly. The scale can be used formatively and students can use it to monitor their own progress. The RSE Scale has been used in the ERSC RDI2 project

14 An academic paper on the project findings is in production.
Future plans Ongoing analysis – on completion of year 3 studies the group will be asked to reveal their research identity codes and RSE ratings matched to actual performance. An academic paper on the project findings is in production. In addition to this paper, the project will also be presented at JSWEC 2008 as part of the Symposium on outcomes of social work education; findings from the projects. Thursday Parallel session 3.

15 References Holden, G., Baker, K., Meenaghan, T. and Rosenberg, G. (1999) Research self-efficacy: a new possibility for educational outcomes assessment. Journal of Social Work Education, 35, 3, Holden, G., Barker, K., Rosenberg, G. And Onghena, P. (2007) Assessing progress toward accreditation related objectives: evidence regarding the use of self-efficacy as an outcome in the advanced concentration research curriculum, Research on Social Work Practice 17, 4, Holden, G., Barker, K., Rosenberg, G. And Onghena, P. (2008) The Evaluation Self-Efficacy scale for assessing progress toward CSWE accreditation related objectives: a replication. Research on Social work Practice 18, 1, 42-6. Montcalm, D.M. (1999) Applying Bandura’s theory of self-efficacy to the teaching of research. Journal of Teaching in Social Work 19, 1/2 , Parker, J Developing perceptions of competence during practice learning. British Journal of Social Work. Unrau, Y.A. and Beck, A.R. (2004) Increasing research self-efficacy among students in professional academic programs, Innovative Higher Education 28, 3, Unrau, Y.A. and Grinnell, R.M. (2005) The impact of social work research courses on research self-efficacy for social work students, Social Work Education 24, 6,

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