Clinical Social Work Journal

, Volume 47, Issue 1, pp 124–133 | Cite as

The Importance of Feedback in Preparing Social Work Students for Field Education

  • Toula KourgiantakisEmail author
  • Karen M. Sewell
  • Marion Bogo
Original Paper


Feedback is an important mechanism that enhances student learning in supervision and field education. Constructive feedback that is specific, timely, and based on observations; bridges theory and practice, enhances self-awareness, and builds holistic competence in social work students. There is scant social work research examining how this teaching mechanism facilitates student learning. In this qualitative study we examined the role of feedback in student learning using a simulation-based learning activity aimed at developing holistic competence in the classroom to prepare students for field learning. The study examined the impact of feedback on student learning and the key elements that facilitated learning related to feedback. We identified four themes that described the impact of feedback on student learning: (1) feedback enhanced knowledge, (2) feedback improved skills, (3) feedback developed professional judgment, and (4) feedback increased self-reflection. The processes influencing the impact of feedback were the source of the feedback, type of feedback given, and delivery of feedback. The results deepen our understanding of feedback as a learning mechanism with implications for field education.


Feedback Field education Supervision Social work education Simulation-based learning 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social WorkUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada

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