RSCH08009 2016 Practice, Policy and Evidence
Within contemporary knowledge society, the field of the social professions is experiencing an unprecedented flow of information. Increasingly policy and practice are positioned within this flow, and there has been an emphasis on the potential value of moving towards evidence-based practice and evidence-based policymaking. This trend is complex, and there are many debates and issues in relation to how policy, practice, and evidence intertwine and inform (or do not inform) each other. This module explores these issues.
Students who successfully complete this module will have developed a critical understanding of the politics of social research; of the impact of mass and social media, practitioners, advocacy and lobby groups on the construction of evidence; and of the links between evidence and practice. They will also adopt a proactive and critical stance in relation to evidence-based and evidence-informed practice, drawing on their own prior experience and research to actively intervene in policy and practice debates.
Students will be encouraged to critically access multiple information sources and to explore the potential of new media technologies and formats. They will develop skills in critically assessing such information sources and, through active production of their own research-based products and artefacts, will intervene in relevant practice and policy debates, thus developing a key aspect of professional competence and identity.
This module maps to the CORU Standards of Proficiency below:
• Domain 1: Professional Autonomy and Accountability
• Domain 2: Communication, Collaborative Practice and Team working
• Domain 3: Safety & Quality
• Domain 4: Professional Development
• Domain 5: Professional Knowledge and Skills
On completion of this module the learner will/should be able to;
Review and critically evaluate the place of research and policy-making within the role of social professional (Domain 1.9, 1.17, 1.19, 2.8, 3.1, 3.3, 3.4, 3.6, 3.8,3.9, 3.10, 3.11, 4.1,5.2, 5.4, 5.5, 5.6, 5.14, 5.17)
Demonstrate a capacity to strategically identify, source, evaluate, interpret and deploy research data and other information. (Domain 1.17,1.19, 2.6, 3.1, 3.3,3.6, 3.8, 3.9, 3.10, 5.4, 5.5, 5.6,5.17
Select and use social media and other techniques to disseminate research knowledge. (Domain 2.6, 2.7, 3.6, 5.6, 5.15,5.17)
Demonstrate a knowledge of the relationship between professionalisation and strategies of knowledge production and consumption. (Domain 1.19, 2.3, 2.8, 3.4, 3.6, 3.11, 4.1, 5.1, 5.6)
Demonstrate a knowledge of contemporary techniques of behaviour change and programme implementation. (Domain 2.10, 3.6, 3.8, 5.5, 5.6, 5.14, 5.17)
Develop skills to repurpose research and other data for specific audiences and situations. (Domain 1.17,1.19, 2.2, 2.4, 2.6, 2.7, 2.9, 3.1, 3.3, 3.6, 3.8, 3.9, 3.10, 4.1,4.3, 5.2, 5.4, 5.5, 5.6)
Teaching and Learning Strategies
Teaching is through 2-hour interactive lectures and 1-hour structured tutorials/workshops. Students will be expected to read suggested materials prior to lectures/tutorials; to engage actively in discussion and debate, and to regularly reflect on their learning. As this is a capstone module, a student will be required to integrate learning from prior modules and experience.
Module Assessment Strategies
The module is assessed through student-centred tasks that seek to authentically assess the relevant range of skills and knowledge, in an integrative manner. There are 3 assessment tasks - each of which is linked to one part of the module. Both individual and group assessment strategies are adopted. Specific links are made with work produced for other modules where appropriate, specifically the research dissertation/product and professional placement modules. The assessment tasks require students to take an active, rather than passive, role in knowledge production and necessitate attention to issues of audience, genre, and diversity.
This modules assessment allows for assessment of CORU Standards of Proficiency as follows:
Profile of a think tank or advocacy organization (Domain 1.9, 1.17; 1.19; 2.2, 2.3, 2.4, 2.6, 2.7, 2.8, 2.9; 3.1, 3.3, 3.4, 3.6, 3.8, 3.9, 3.10, 3.11; 4.1, 4.3; 5.1, 5.2, 5.4, 5.5, 5.6, 5.14, 5.15, 5.17)
Reflection on a case study (Domain 1.9, 1.17, 1.19; 2.6; 3.1; 3.3, 3.4, 3.6, 3.8, 3.9, 3.10; 5.4, 5.5, 5.6, 5.17)
Development of information/advocacy product (Domain 1.9, 2.6, 2.7, 2.10; 3.6, 3.8; 5.5, 5.6, 5.14, 5.15, 5.17)
Students who are required to repeat assessments will be provided with relevant individual coursework projects, to be completed during June- August.
Part 1: The politics of social research (4 weeks)
1.1 Professionalisation, professionalisation strategies and evidence-based practice
1.2 The social research environment: historical, political, economic and ideological dimensions
1.3 Audit culture, accountability, evaluation and monitoring
1.4 The hierarchy of knowledge: systematic reviews and RCTs
Part 2 Case studies (4 weeks)
These will vary from year to year but may include topics such as:
- childhood obesity
- sexualisation of children
- youth and crime
- children and social media
- care and technology: social robotics
- breast cancer screening
- suicide and suicide prevention
- epigenetics, neuroscience and child development
Part 3: Media, politics and behavioural change (4 weeks)
3.1 The media and research: social representation and other theories
3.2 Social media
3.3 'Nudging', knowledge and behaviour change
3.4 Issues in implementation
Coursework & Assessment Breakdown
|Title||Type||Form||Percent||Week||Learning Outcomes Assessed|
|1||Profile of 'think tank' or advocacy organisation||Continuous Assessment||Written Report||20 %||Week 4||1,4,6|
|2||Reflection on case study||Continuous Assessment||Written Report||20 %||Week 8||2|
|3||Development of information/advocacy product||Project||Project||60 %||Week 12||3,5|
Full Time Mode Workload
|Lecture||Lecture Theatre||Weekly lecture||2||Weekly||2.00|
|Workshop||Flat Classroom||Weekly student-led project workshops||1||Weekly||1.00|
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Campbell collaboration [www.campbellcollaboration.org]
Center on the Developing Child [developingchild.harvard.edu]
Chapin Hall [www.chapinhall.org/research]
Coalition for Evidence-Based Policy [evidencebasedprograms.org]
Cochrane collaboration [www.cochrane.org]
EPPI Centre [eppi.ioe.ac.uk/cms/]
Health Well [www.thehealthwell.info]
Mathematica Policy Research [www.mathematica-mpr.com/our-focus-areas/early-childhood]
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Practice and Research Together (PART) [www.partcanada.org]
Research Connections [www.researchconnections.org]
Research in Practice (Dartington Hall) [www.rip.org.uk]
Social Care Institute for Excellence [www.scie.org.uk]