Hughes, Jackie (2016) Using Digital Stories as a method for developing students’ understanding and recording of service users’ views. In: Inspire Conference 2016, 21st June 2016, University of Huddersfield. (Unpublished)

This paper is based on teaching sessions with students on social work courses at the University of Huddersfield. The intention was to help them to recognise both the importance of reflection in practice (Schon 1991), and also the views of people who use services (Oliver et al 2012). As part of their study, they have considered the experiences of people with learning disabilities (Thomas and Woods 2003) and person centred planning principles (O’Brien 2002). They were encouraged to apply this understanding to case studies that highlighted the experiences of people with learning disabilities who had left long stay hospitals (Kielty and Woodley 2013). Throughout the courses, students are encouraged to apply person centred approaches in their work with service users (Adams et al 2009, and Rogers 1986) as well as ensuring the inclusion of the views of service users (Warren 2007). The reflective practice modules before the start of their first 70 day placement aim to develop students’ skills in reflection and prepare them to work with service users and their families. They study a module; ‘Working together with Service users and Carers’ concurrently, where most of the teaching is carried out with the direct involvement of service users outlining both their lived realities, and their experiences of services. These experimental teaching sessions were designed to complement the module by asking students to develop one page profiles (Hughes and Roberts 2014) or person centred plans (O’Brien et al 2010) through the use of digital stories.

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