Experiential Learning Labs in Practicum Education: Tackling the Grand Challenges Through Interdisciplinary Collaboration

Authors: Melissa Indera Singh, Tory Cox, Ruth Cislowski, & Lisa Wobbe-Veit

Abstract: The global COVID-19 emergency disrupted educational systems and created internship crises for universities and students. In response, one west coast social work program’s practicum education department developed virtual, interactive labs that addressed the Grand Challenges (GCs), increased interdisciplinary collaboration, and ensured the continuation of student practicum. The Experiential Learning Labs (ELLs) created an organic collective of academics, students, and practitioners who invested in student learning while advancing their pedagogy. Additionally, the ELLs aligned with the GCs by engaging with students virtually (Eradicate Social Isolation) and adapting practicum education standards to meet expectations (Create Social Responses to a Changing Environment). Finally, this conceptual article describes how skills were built and strategies identified for faculty members and students to increase interdisciplinary collaboration.

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Melissa Indera Singh, Tory Cox, Ruth Cislowski & Lisa Wobbe-Veit (2023) Experiential Learning Labs in Practicum Education: Tackling the Grand Challenges Through Interdisciplinary Collaboration, Journal of Social Work Education, 59:sup1, S89-S104, DOI: 10.1080/10437797.2023.2203219

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