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Educational Alternatives, Volume 19, 2021

Tamar Darvish, Dassi Postan-Aizik
Pages: 277-289
Published: 4 Oct 2021
Views: 436
Downloads: 36
Abstract: Since the first wave of the COVID-19 outbreak higher education institutions in most of the world have replaced traditional classes with remote online learning. The sudden shift presents unique challenges for experiential learning in general, and for classes that are centered around in-person human interaction and group dynamics in particular. The current research examines the online shift in a group-work course for BSW students at the Yezreel Valley College in Israel. To respond to the challenges of online experiential learning during the first wave of COVID-19, reflection-before-action and metaphor-making were used as a framework to prepare students. We employed a qualitative case study methodology to explore the experiences and perceptions of students who transitioned to online group facilitation. Drawing on data from a sample of student's reflective texts (N=15), the research questions focused on students’ thoughts and feelings regarding online group facilitation during the pandemic; their coping strategies; and the use of reflection-before-action and metaphor-making to mitigate the student's challenge. The study finding suggest that student's feelings and perceptions were multifaceted. Despite expressions of stress and uncertainty, students also described a sense of anticipation as they acknowledged the unexpected experience as a learning opportunity. Students’ strategies for managing the challenge centered around problem-solving that require individual practical planning or asking for support from their fellow group members. Lastly, most students used the framework of reflection-before-action and metaphor-making to construct new meanings for the stressful situation, reframe the challenge and mitigate the difficulties associated with it. We refer to Antonovsky’s Salutogenic paradigm to discuss the findings and explore how reflection-before-action and metaphor-making can be used in education to empower students to cope with stressful situations in the future. The educational and institutional implications in the reality of a global pandemic and other social and environmental impending threats are discussed.
Keywords: experiential learning, social work education, reflection, metaphors, online group intervention
Cite this article: Tamar Darvish, Dassi Postan-Aizik. EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING DURING COVID-19: REFLECTION-BEFORE-ACTION AND METAPHOR-MAKING IN SOCIAL WORK ONLINE EDUCATION. Journal of International Scientific Publications: Educational Alternatives 19, 277-289 (2021).
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