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Learning Plan, Evaluation and Grading Procedures

Learning Plan and Evaluation Procedures

The planning and evaluation documents are designed in accordance with the Faculty of Social Work’s field objectives and the standards of its accrediting body, The Canadian Association for Social Work Education. The Learning Plan serves as the formal field course learning contract. Nine essential social work practice areas based on the social change process have been identified. Each of these practice areas is important for all students. Depending on the student’s field course (foundational or advanced), the emphasis and focus will differ. Other basic and broad areas of practice may be added when deemed appropriate for the student, instructor and agency.

For each field course there are two written evaluations to be submitted to the faculty: the midterm and the final evaluation. The midterm evaluation is a review and revision of the initial goals and objectives as it has evolved from the Learning Plan. It is also a record of assignments and evidence of goal attainment to that point. It especially affords the student and field instructor an opportunity to identify gaps in learning that may be a focus for the remainder of the field placement course.


Student Learning Plan: Process and Instructions

The development of the learning plan is a collaborative process between the student and instructor(s) and begins immediately. The instructor and student meet to determine the student’s learning interests considering agency opportunities, and practice activities that will provide learning within the nine social work practice areas identified. It serves as the basis for evaluating learning at the mid-term and completion of the field placement course. Assessment of learning occurs on an ongoing basis throughout the placement via weekly meetings between student and instructor(s) and the use of clear evaluative measures including for example, live observation, AV tapes, case/project review, reports, process recording, team contribution, one-way mirror, reflective team, etc.

Instructions on completing the learning plan:

  • The learning plan, which gives focus and direction to the placement, is written up by the student, and the final document is reviewed by the instructor and intern, with final approval from the instructor. 
  • This plan is completed within the first four to six weeks of the placement and may be modified throughout as needed.
  • As part of the midterm and final evaluation process, students update the plan to indicate their progress in each of the areas identified. This is then reviewed by the field instructor.
  • The plan is submitted to the Master of Social Work (MSW) field office and field advisor as part of the midterm and final evaluations.

Evaluation of Learning: Process and Procedures

A formal, written evaluation is completed at midterm and again at the completion of placement using the learning plan as a guide. The evaluation process is collaborative.

The evaluation is a collaborative process between Instructor and student; however, as course Instructor, the Instructor evaluates the student’s progress and provides a mid-term and final grade (pass or fail). Evaluation of all nine social work practice areas is required at the mid-term and final evaluations.

Instructions on completing the midterm and final evaluation:

  1. At least three weeks prior to the due date of the evaluation, the student revisits the learning plan and completes his/her progress for the appropriate evaluation (mid-term or final).
  2. The student also provides overall feedback for the appropriate evaluation.
  3. This copy is shared with the Field Instructor for review and input.
  4. The Instructor completes the remainder of the evaluation by providing an overview of the student’s activities for the appropriate evaluation (mid-term or final), evaluating the student’s progress in each of the nine social work areas, and providing overall feedback for the evaluation.
  5. This final evaluation is then reviewed by the Instructor and the student. The student’s name/signature indicates that he/she has read the document.
  6. The Instructor then submits this evaluation electronically no later than the due date to the following parties simultaneously: Laurier MSW Field Office, Field Advisor, and student.
  7. Evaluations are reviewed by the Field Advisors and the Field Office and are part of the student’s records.

Learning Goals and Practice Areas

Timesheet

Students are expected to utilize the appropriate placement hours timesheet to document their hours. Timesheets are submitted to the instructors, advisors, and Field Education Office, alongside the midterm and final evaluation by students, and are used to demonstrate and account for required placement hours. Accordingly, the time sheet and midterm/final evaluation are required to enter a grade for the field course.

Practice Elements According to Field Course

The following describes components that may be included in the field course planning process or the student’s workload, taking into account the student’s field course (foundational or advanced), agency requirements, and placement opportunity that is offered.

Field Education Course Grading Procedures

The field education course is graded by the field instructor at mid-term and at the end of the placement. The learning plan that is negotiated between the student and the instructor provides the framework upon which the student’s learning is assessed. Field education is considered a pass/fail requirement of the Master of Social Work (MSW) degree. As such, the instructor provides the Field Education Office with a satisfactory (pass) or unsatisfactory (fail) mark on the midterm and final evaluations. In addition to the provision of a satisfactory or unsatisfactory mark, each mid-term and final evaluation must include a timesheet, which documents the required hours of practice in the field.  The field education coordinator is the assigned course instructor for all field courses and is responsible for submitting grades to the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies on behalf of all field instructors.The following procedures are used.

Midterm Evaluation

Satisfactory grade on the midterm evaluation and approved time sheet (if submitted by due date).

  • Student receives a continuing mark (000).

Satisfactory grade on the midterm evaluation and approved time sheet (if submitted after due date).

  • Student receives an incomplete grade (INC).
  • This mark is revised to a continuing grade (000) once the evaluation and time sheet are received and reviewed. Delayed submissions result in delayed grades which may impact student’s ability to register in courses in a timely manner.

Unsatisfactory grade on the midterm evaluation.

  • The field advisor will initiate the field resolution procedure.
  • If the placement continues: student receives a continuing grade (000) or incomplete (INC) at the discretion of the coordinator in consultation with the field advisor and instructor.
  • If the placement is discontinued: student receives a fail grade (F). The fail mark (F) will be part of the student’s official transcript. Once the course is repeated, a “Repeated Later” notation will be seen on the official transcript and the repeated course will be subject to the course grading procedures. The student will remain on academic probation until the course is successfully repeated.The student has the right to petition Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies to have a grade removed as a historical record change prior to convocation.

Final Evaluation

Satisfactory grade on the final evaluation and approved time sheet (if submitted by due date).

  • Student receives a pass, i.e. satisfactory grade (S).

Satisfactory grade on the final evaluation and approved time sheet (if submitted after due date).

  • Student receives an incomplete grade (INC).
  • This mark is revised to a satisfactory grade (S) once the evaluation and time sheet are received and reviewed. Delayed submissions result in delayed grades which may impact student’s ability to register in courses or apply for graduation in a timely manner.

Unsatisfactory grade during the final evaluation.

  • The field advisor will initiate the field resolution procedure or the placement dissolution procedure.
  • Student receives an insatisfactory grade, i.e. fail grade (F). The fail mark (F) will be part of the student’s official transcript. Once the course is repeated, a “Repeated Later” notation will be seen on the official transcript and the repeated course will be subject to the course grading procedures. The student will remain on academic probation until the course is successfully repeated. The student has the right to petition Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies to have a grade removed as a historical record change prior to convocation.

Contact Us:

MSW Field Education Office

E: mswfield@wlu.ca
T: 519.884.0710 x5269
Office Location: 120 Duke St. W., Kitchener, ON

MSW Field Education Coordinator (Acting)

E: Nancy Schwindt, MSW
T: 519.884.0710 x5230

MSW Associate Field Education Coordinator (Acting)

E: Roger Mainland, MSW
T: 519.884.0710 x5274

MSW Field Education Assistant

E: Caroline Hissa, MA
T: 519.884.0710 x5269