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How Student-Led Classes Made a Big Change

Submitted by Natasha Conde-Jahnel

Photo by Dylan Gillis on Unsplash

What challenge, problem or motivation inspired you to make one small change?

Overall I’m trying to incorporate as much student engagement as possible and this was one opportunity to give it a try. Every class we wanted to have one kind of activity that was student-led, especially in second year. The class was WES-1251, Ethics for the Social Service Worker.

Tell us about your one small change:

Last semester I tried a student-led project where they each took on a case study and researched the case study. We did a mock case conference where the students took on various roles that you would normally find at a case conference. If it was an agency, we had the CEO, director of housing, social workers, health care providers, the managers of various departments (ex: justice). Whoever the CEO was would be in charge of the case conference. One team presented to the table about an ethical dilemma they had to evaluate and present their findings on how they would manage the case. Then the group discussed it as a whole.

What was the result of your one small change?

It was blind as to who would get what role, so some quiet students rose and had a voice and those who were really shy took on the role of the CEO or the chair. The students thought it was really cool and they appreciated the chance to have student-led classes that wasn’t the typical instruction from the front of the room. A lot of students also commented on how it would be helpful during their placement. It is likely they would be invited into meetings of some kind like this. And at last, they will know how these types of meetings function and would be less shy to contribute. It was nice to see them engaged.

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