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IET Technology Coffee Session: PePLE Project Practice & Professional Learning Environment

9 December 2010
Jennie Lee Building Main Ambient Lab Ground Floor

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Lynda Davies
25 October 2010

Abstract: The PePLE project was initially funded by the PBPL CETL, running from about March to July this year, at which point the CETLs ended and a mix of IET and Donors’ Den funding was secured to support further development of the project to the end of July 2011.The TCM session will demonstrate the site and raise issues for discussion about how to promote and develop usage by social workers, building in a research/evaluation function to the project in addition.

PePLE (Practice and Professional Learning Environment) is a website (access controlled) which aims to support on the job learning by social workers. It provides online resources, both text and video, in key topics such as supervision for both supervisors and supervisees, child protection, finding and evaluating resources online, and developing evidence-related practice through case studies focused on adult social work topics such as substance abuse, mental health, learning difficulties, dementia and so on. The project is a collaboration between the Institute of Educational Technology and the Department of Social Work in the Faculty of Health and Social Care.

The site uses a flexible and open-ended approach that can be drawn on creatively by social workers, both as individuals and as members of teams and supervision/mentoring dyads. A series of short video clips extracted from an OU/BBC television film series ‘Someone to watch over me’ provides stimulus material for sample question prompts that can be used in a variety of ways to stimulate reflection and discussion. They can be used by any social worker with internet access and by teams as a focus for group discussion or supervision/mentoring.

The site has been developed with the aim of enabling local users to integrate it in ways that suit their local practice, and therefore the detailed forms of usage cannot be predicted in advance. One of the aims of the project is to experiment through developing local practices which incorporate the PePLE site in ways that social workers value. The project is developing as an action research approach to the issues of using ICT effectively for work-related and on the job learning. Selected HSC courses will access the site during 2011.

Presenter: Professor Mary Thorpe and Richard Lovelock (IET)

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