#SWDE2016 Teaching & Learning Professional Social Work Skills w/ Twitter

Screenshot 2016-04-09 20.50.23On Day Two of the Social Work Distance Education Conference,  I will be presenting a workshop about the work Jimmy Young and I have done with Twitter in the classroom.  If you are at the conference today, please join me in the B& O Room at 3:45 PM for the workshop.  Our work focuses on the growing awareness that Twitter, a micro-blogging social media platform, can be a valuable tool in social work education to help students develop and practice social work competencies.  This workshop will inform participants about the development, implementation and assessment of different assignments using Twitter for teaching social welfare policy and macro social work practice.  Sample assignments, practical tips and a demonstration of Twitter will be provided to participants.  The learning objectives for the workshop include:

1.Understand how the social media platform Twitter can be incorporated into assignments for social work courses to advance learning of the profession’s competencies.

2. Demonstrate how social work educators can assess attainment of competency among students using a social media assignment paired with a rubric for evaluation of the assignment’s learning outcomes.

3. Appreciate the role of professional collaboration in the development, implementation and assessment of social media-based assignments.

Here are some of the resources from the workshop:

Prezi Slides – Teaching & Learning Professional Social Work Skills w/ Twitter Workshop

How to Participate in a Live Twitter Chat – Tips for Social Workers

Website for #MacroSW

Competency-Based Rubric for Live Twitter Chat Assignment

Here is the abstract for the presentation: 

Social media includes applications, digital technologies, and mobile devices that utilize the Internet in a manner to create an interactive dialogue among organizations, communities, and individuala. There is a growing awareness that social work practitioners, students and educators need to be adept at using social media and information communication technology as part of their practice and interaction with clients and organizations of all sizes (National Association of Social Workers [NASW], 2005). However, technology in social work education has been integrated sporadically with varying degrees of success, and the literature suggests social work educators need to increase their digital competencies or media literacy while carefully considering how and why to integrate technology into their courses and curricula. By doing so, educators can play a pivotal role in helping students to increase their own media literacy, and ultimately apply this knowledge to their own learning and subsequent practice.

This workshop will inform participants about the development, implementation and assessment of assignments and learning activities for social work students using the micro-blogging platform, Twitter.  One assignment involves social work students from four different universities spread across different parts of the country using Twitter to participate in a live chat about a macro/policy issue highlighted in the film, and is embedded as part of a policy and or macro-practice course. Through the assignment, students actively engage in competency-based practice behaviors connected to professional behavior, policy practice and critical thinking while also increasing digital media literacies (CSWE, 2015).  Specifically, students are able to use critical thinking augmented by creativity and curiosity to convey their thoughts and reactions to the social policy issue being highlighted (Competencies #4 & #5), and students understand that policy affects service delivery. Students are able to engage in policy practice through this assignment by collaborating with others to advocate for policies that advance social well-being (Competency #5).  Student assessment of competency attainment is achieved through a rubric designed specifically for the assignment and implemented across multiple classrooms. Rubrics have been increasingly used to evaluate and promote student learning (Stevens, Levi, & Walvoord, 2012). The presenters will share their experiences in designing and executing the assignment along with data demonstrating how the assignment’s rubric assessed student achievement of social work competencies.  Lessons learned from the project will be shared and implications for the implicit curriculum will be reviewed.


Council on Social Work Education. (2015).   Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards. Washington, DC: Author.

NASW (National Association of Social Workers)/ASWB (Association of Social Work Boards). (2005). NASW & ASWB Standards for technology and social work practice. Retrieved on July 30, 2012 from  http://www.socialworkers.org/practice/standards/NASWTechnologyStandards.pdf.

Stevens, D. D., Levi, A. J., & Walvoord, B. E. (2012). Introduction to Rubrics: An Assessment Tool to Save Grading Time, Convey Effective Feedback, and Promote Student Learning (2nd edition.). Sterling, VA: Stylus Publishing.


Author: Laurel Hitchcock

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