Back to:
Current year's news releases
All news releases
News and information home

UW-Eau Claire Social Work Department Upgrades, Expands Lab Equipment

RELEASED: Feb. 18, 2005

EAU CLAIRE — Social work students at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire are using state-of-the-art interviewing equipment to help them develop the professional communication skills needed for a career in social work.

The social work department recently upgraded and expanded its laboratory videotaping and observation equipment, thanks to a $17,000 grant to the social work department from UW-Eau Claire's laboratory modernization funding.

The equipment extends opportunities for teaching and learning for faculty, staff and students in the social work department, said Katherine Rhoades, dean of the College of Education and Human Sciences.

"This grant has helped create a state-of-the-art laboratory that enables social work students to analyze individual and group interviews, which represent a central component of their assessment and intervention processes," Rhoades said.

Students enrolled in SW320 Generalist Social Work Practice with Individuals and SW471 Generalist Social Work Practice with Families/Groups are using the new equipment for the first time this semester.

"New cameras and VCRs have upgraded our capacity to observe and record individual and group sessions," said Gloria Fennell, department chair, who also teaches interviewing. "We can teach with a great deal more specificity with this equipment."

The new cameras make it possible to zoom in close to capture facial expressions and body language. They also can be used to pan the room, a particularly important feature in assessing group interview practices.

Interviewing skills are critical to developing best practices in both social work and interdisciplinary settings, Fennell said.

"The teaching of specific skills is a particular strength of our program at UW-Eau Claire," Fennell said. "The new equipment allows for observation of eye contact, facial expressions and body language, all very important skills that students need to be guided to develop."

Each student in the individual and group interviewing courses keeps a videotape record of their laboratory work, which is used to assess their progress throughout the semester.

"The videotape tells a semester-long story of their growth. It's like watching a wonderful transformation to see their progress over the course of a semester," said Fennell.

Staff members Norm Card and John Lee from the Teaching and Learning Technology Development Center on campus installed the equipment, which includes cameras, monitors, VCRs, amplifiers and other items.

-30-

JW

Back to:
Current year's news releases

All news releases
News and information home

 

Excellence. Our Measure. Our Motto. Our Goal.