Vol. 9, No. 2 February 2008
Blended Pre-Service Training
by Ginger Caldwell, Program Consultant/Trainer, NC Division of Social Services
Pre-Service training—its formal title is Child Welfare in North Carolina— is a mandatory course that has been preparing line workers and supervisors for child welfare work in North Carolina since 1998.
Prior to September 2007, Pre-Service was a 12-day, face-to-face classroom course. Now Pre-Service is a “blended” course. This means face-to-face classroom experiences are combined with online learning experiences. Blended Pre-Service integrates 11 face-to-face classroom days with approximately 6 hours of online content delivered through self-paced online modules and live online experiences.
Blended Pre-Service is the result of collaboration between the NC Division of Social Services and the Jordan Institute for Families at the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Social Work.
Why Create a Blended Pre-Service?
Other ways county DSS staff benefit from the blended Pre-Service training include: increased flexibility regarding when they take the self-paced online portions of Pre-Service, the option of reviewing the online content at any point (even after the course has ended), and exposure to a variety of instructional approaches designed to meet the individualized learning needs of participants.
Is the Content the Same?
Is the Blended Pre-Service Working?
County IT staff members play a key role by making sure Pre-Service participants’ computers have what they need to access the online portions of the training. Supervisors help ensure workers have “protected time” and support for participating in online coursework. Website staff and NCDSS trainers are available to answer questions about accessing and participating in the online portion of Pre-Service.
Is this Course Being Evaluated?
After the blended Pre-Service was piloted in April 2007, the course was revised to incorporate feedback from pilot participants. Today the Division continues to gather feedback and suggestions through classroom Participant Satisfaction Forms (PSFs), surveys, and focus groups. This information will be reviewed and incorporated in future revisions.
How Do I Register?
© 2008 Jordan Institute for Families