How does the resource work?
Most conventional learning resources - textbooks, open learning materials,
lecture notes, etc. are designed to be used in a linear way, that is,
by starting at a particular point, proceeding through a planned learning
experience (or sequence of them), and finishing at another fixed point,
often incorporating some form of assessment, e.g. an essay, test or
Because this resource is aimed at two distinct audiences, students
and practitioners, it has been designed to function in two different
but complementary ways.
For students on social work/care qualifying courses the resource is
primarily intended to be used in pursuit of specific knowledge and skills
required for research literacy, as laid down by the regulatory bodies
for social work education and training. These competency standards and
benchmarks are set out in the Who
is this resource intended for? section of this resource. Starting
points which provide links to relevant sections of the resource. include:
Of course, as a student you can also browse the resource, using it
as a source of ideas, concepts and examples about research mindedness.
For staff working in practice settings, who are likely to have already
acquired some experience of using research to inform policy and practice
decisions, the resource is more likely to be of value when used in a
non-linear way. Indeed, in developing it we have assumed that the potentially
wide range of social work and social care staff who might visit it may
each have very different reasons for doing so - ranging from simple
curiosity to a particular and/or urgent need for specific information.
So, for its practice audience it does not have a set of objectives
based on achieving specific learning outcomes. Instead, as a professional
worker you will be encouraged to explore the concept and application
of research mindedness in a rigorous and systematic way, whilst pursuing
your own learning objectives at whatever breadth and depth you think
is right for you.
This process is aided by the section entitled Are
you research minded?, designed to be accessible and usable by anyone
who has, or wishes to develop, an interest in research mindedness. It
will engage you in self-assessment about your current research mindedness,
and learning how to improve it, right from the outset.
Whether you are a student or someone in a practice setting, the Research
Mindedness resource can be of help to you in your studies and/or work.
Its use also requires a minimum of proficiency with information and
communications technology. If you have reached this point, you have
the necessary ICT skills!