I have now finished my first semester at uni and have ten days off before it’s time to go back and start semester two. It has been a manic few months but I did it all, just hope I pass! I was not sure if I should post about this as I am not sure how interesting people will find it, but then my blog has always been about my efforts to improve my life for myself and my family and this is a big part of that so here goes!
It has certainly been a challenging few months but I think that anything worth having in life takes a lot of hard work and effort to achieve.
This semester we had three main modules. The first was ‘introduction to social work and social care’, the second was ‘human health and lifespan development’ and the final was ‘preparation for practice’.
For introduction to social work and social care we had one lecture a week and a lot of self directed study and then we had to write a 2000 word assignment about the role of the social worker in a area of your choice.
For human health and lifespan development we also had one lecture a week and self directed study. I had to do a group presentation for 20 minutes on the fourth week of the course which was really hard as it was the first time I had done anything like that in years and also very early in the course but I managed to do my bit and received good feedback from my peers. Our assessment was a 2000 word assignment on the benefits and disadvantages of viewing life through the lifespan perspective on a chosen age group.
Preparation for practice is a bit more complicated to explain. We were put into three different tutor groups at the start and then our tutor group was our PBL (practice based learning) group as well. For PBL we were given a case study which we had to dissect and then put together an action plan of social work intervention. First we had to research assigned areas in pairs and then present our findings to the group. Then once we had put the action plan together we had to present that to our group and tutor. Then we had to do it all over again for a different case study. Over the space of this process I had to do a presentation by myself as my partner for the first pairs presentation left the course. I was chosen as one of five to present the first action plan to our tutor as well. I also had to chair a group meeting which was very nerve racking but I managed it with the brilliant help from my assistant chair and friend.
We also had a law and policy module which was part of this module where we had a lecture a week and had to write a 500 word analysis to put into our portfolio.
We also had occasional lectures for the preparation for practice module as well where we had to take part in a lot of role play too.
We had to produce a portfolio of work for this module like I mentioned above which also included a 1000 word assignment based on one of the case study’s that we worked on in PBL, a 1000 word assignment on group work and the aforementioned law and policy part.
We also had a few IT classes as we have a computer check list that we have to get checked off throughout the year.
Finally, before we left for Xmas we were given a case study of a service user which we would have to interview in January. I had to write a 500 word plan of how I was going to approach the interview and then on January 7th I had to go into a room with the service user (an actor) and I had six minutes to interview her. While I was conducting the interview I was being assessed by three tutors who were behind one of those mirrors like you see in police interviews and we were also filmed. When we go back to uni we have to watch the videos of each other in our tutor groups so that we can learn from our mistakes!
So, as you can see it has been a busy few months and quite an adjustment as it is not just the uni work but also running a home, being a wife, being a mother to three kids and planning Xmas and things. I just hope that I manage to pass it all! I hate the waiting to find out – wish me luck!