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Developing A Learning Contract

 

In order to make the most effective use of the field placement experience, students are required to develop a learning contract that defines learning goals and establishes learning activities that support the goals. The learning contract should be developed in collaboration with the field supervisor and the field supervisor must sign the final copy to show support for the goals and learning activities. The seminar instructor is also involved in final approval of the learning contract. Students will learn about the process of developing a learning contract in the Pre-Field Seminar. The learning contract provides an opportunity for the field supervisor and student to clarify learning needs and agency expectations.

 

Sample Goal for Learning Contract

Skill Goal:

1)      Develop skills and style for effectively facilitating an alcohol education group.

 Learning Activities:

a)      Shadow my field supervisor and other counselors as they lead groups.

b)      Read agency materials on activities and strategies for leading groups on this topic.

c)       Discuss group facilitation with my field supervisor during supervision.

d)      Reflect on facilitation in a journal.

e)      Co-facilitate a group with another professional staff member.

Assessment:  Meet with the co-facilitator to de-brief immediately after the first group co-facilitation and ask for immediate feedback on my facilitation.  Journal about the experience to develop an honest and fair evaluation of my own performance that recognizes my strengths as well as areas for improvement.  

Note:  Assessment or measuring outcomes  is often the most difficult aspect of setting goals.  Other ways to assess the goal above could include videotaping and/or developing an assessment tool that the group participants fill out either at the end of the individual session that is co-facilitated or at the end of a series of sessions that are co-facilitated.  Videotaping raises issues relating to confidentiality and may not be appropriate depending on the nature of the group.  Videotaping also involves specific equipment and technical expertise that may not be available at the agency.  Discuss with the student intern methods for assessing progress that fit within agency policies and procedures.  

Examples of verbs that can be used to develop goals:

                Analyze

                Develop

                Explore

                Determine

                Synthesize

                Assess

                Create

                Comprehend/Understand

                Know