An OER for Teaching and Learning Communication Skills in Social Work and other Helping Professions

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Brief Abstract

This discovery session will showcase an open educational resource for teaching communication skills in social work and other helping professions. This OER is a toolkit consisting of five demonstration videos, an instructor's guide and a student guide for giving peer feedback. We will describe the development of these resources and our experiences in using them as social work educators.


Kelly Allison, MSW, RSW, is an Assistant Professor of Teaching at the UBC School of Social Work. Her areas of scholarship are health social work, children and families and the scholarship of teaching and learning.
Marie Nightbird, MSW, RCSW, is an Assistant Professor of Teaching at the UBC School of Social Work. Her areas of practice are Indigenous healing and wellness and clinical social work .

Extended Abstract

Open Educational Resources (OER) are learning materials openly licensed so that others may retain, reuse, revise, remix or redistribute these materials. OER provides content that can be downloaded and saved, or retained for later use, as well as adapted to better meet the needs of the learner.

In this session we will discuss our experience of creating and using an open educational resource consisting of five videos demonstrating basic communication skills, a teaching guide for instructors and a student guide for giving peer feedback on communication skills. The videos are a series of short vignettes of counselling sessions between a social worker and a client. Four of the videos target one or two basic communication skills so students can learn the skills in manageable segments. The fifth video demonstrates how a counsellor would amalgamate all the skills in a counselling session. The teaching guide provides transcripts, discussion questions and exercises/role plays that instructors can use in both face-to-face and online teaching to enhance student learning of communication skills.

By the end of this presentation, participants will be able to:

  • describe how demonstration videos can enhance learning communication skills in both online and face to face learning environments
  • describe the benefit of using open education resources in teaching and learning to fit the needs of your students
  • locate an open education resource for teaching communication skills in an online and f2f environment