A learning community approach: embedding authentic assessment in social work curriculum

Deborah West, David Heath

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


This paper explores the theory and practice of embedding authentic learning and assessment activities into the social work curriculum at Charles Darwin University in the Northern Territory. Authentic pedagogies are a natural fit for social work education more broadly, but also fit with the specific ‘learning community’ approach that the University applies to local social work education. The focus of this paper is on implementing a partnership based process for developing authentic learning tasks. Four case studies exploring diverse authentic learning tasks from the University’s social work curriculum are presented. These relate to field education, community work, building safe communities and research methods.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 32nd HERDSA Annual Conference
Subtitle of host publicationThe Student Experience
Place of PublicationDarwin
PublisherHigher Education Research and Development Society of Australiasia
Number of pages10
ISBN (Print)0908557787
Publication statusPublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

'Copyright © 2009 Deborah West and David Heath: The authors assign to HERDSA and educational non-profit institutions a non-exclusive license to use this document for personal use and in courses of instruction provided that the article is used in full and this copyright statement is reproduced. The authors also grant a non-exclusive license to HERDSA to publish this document in full on the World Wide Web (prime site and mirrors) on CD and in printed form within the HERDSA 2009 conference proceedings. Any other usage is prohibited without the express permission of the authors.'


  • authentic learning
  • learning communities
  • social work


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