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Social work in the laboratory: using microworlds for practice research

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Social work in the laboratory: using microworlds for practice research. / Broadhurst, Karen; Wastell, D.; Peckover, S.; White, Susan; Hall, C.; Pithouse, A.

In: British Journal of Social Work, Vol. 40, No. 4, 2011, p. 744-760.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

Harvard

Broadhurst, K, Wastell, D, Peckover, S, White, S, Hall, C & Pithouse, A 2011, 'Social work in the laboratory: using microworlds for practice research', British Journal of Social Work, vol. 40, no. 4, pp. 744-760. https://doi.org/10.1093/bjsw/bcr014

APA

Broadhurst, K., Wastell, D., Peckover, S., White, S., Hall, C., & Pithouse, A. (2011). Social work in the laboratory: using microworlds for practice research. British Journal of Social Work, 40(4), 744-760. https://doi.org/10.1093/bjsw/bcr014

Vancouver

Broadhurst K, Wastell D, Peckover S, White S, Hall C, Pithouse A. Social work in the laboratory: using microworlds for practice research. British Journal of Social Work. 2011;40(4):744-760. https://doi.org/10.1093/bjsw/bcr014

Author

Broadhurst, Karen ; Wastell, D. ; Peckover, S. ; White, Susan ; Hall, C. ; Pithouse, A. / Social work in the laboratory: using microworlds for practice research. In: British Journal of Social Work. 2011 ; Vol. 40, No. 4. pp. 744-760.

Bibtex

@article{7c765dda1346427ca1a773d72360e2f5,
title = "Social work in the laboratory: using microworlds for practice research",
abstract = "In cognitive ergonomics, laboratory experimentation using computer-based simulations (microworlds) has played a significant role in understanding human decision making and reasoning. In this paper, we describe the design and deployment of a social work microworld (BRIGIT), which simulates the electronic recording systems now widely implemented in UK children's services. BRIGIT provides a fabricated but realistic social work environment, enabling the fine structure of professional information processing to be studied in response to experimental manipulations, such as time pressure, etc. A preliminary experiment is described here, which shows BRIGIT to provide a convincing psychological experience and a useful research tool. As well as demonstrating its face and external validity, the results highlight BRIGIT's utility as a way of probing {\textquoteleft}practice culture{\textquoteright} and for examining different patterns of professional sense making. We conclude that the microworld paradigm provides a valuable and innovative approach for researching social work practice. A range of possible applications are discussed, not only in fundamental research, but as a practical tool for use in the workplace, such as for supporting staff selection. There is also obvious potential for {\textquoteleft}design research{\textquoteright} aimed directly at improving the usability and effectiveness of electronic systems, which is important given the widely reported problems of current ICT systems in social work. ",
author = "Karen Broadhurst and D. Wastell and S. Peckover and Susan White and C. Hall and A. Pithouse",
year = "2011",
doi = "10.1093/bjsw/bcr014",
language = "English",
volume = "40",
pages = "744--760",
journal = "British Journal of Social Work",
issn = "0045-3102",
publisher = "Oxford University Press",
number = "4",

}

RIS

TY - JOUR

T1 - Social work in the laboratory: using microworlds for practice research

AU - Broadhurst, Karen

AU - Wastell, D.

AU - Peckover, S.

AU - White, Susan

AU - Hall, C.

AU - Pithouse, A.

PY - 2011

Y1 - 2011

N2 - In cognitive ergonomics, laboratory experimentation using computer-based simulations (microworlds) has played a significant role in understanding human decision making and reasoning. In this paper, we describe the design and deployment of a social work microworld (BRIGIT), which simulates the electronic recording systems now widely implemented in UK children's services. BRIGIT provides a fabricated but realistic social work environment, enabling the fine structure of professional information processing to be studied in response to experimental manipulations, such as time pressure, etc. A preliminary experiment is described here, which shows BRIGIT to provide a convincing psychological experience and a useful research tool. As well as demonstrating its face and external validity, the results highlight BRIGIT's utility as a way of probing ‘practice culture’ and for examining different patterns of professional sense making. We conclude that the microworld paradigm provides a valuable and innovative approach for researching social work practice. A range of possible applications are discussed, not only in fundamental research, but as a practical tool for use in the workplace, such as for supporting staff selection. There is also obvious potential for ‘design research’ aimed directly at improving the usability and effectiveness of electronic systems, which is important given the widely reported problems of current ICT systems in social work.

AB - In cognitive ergonomics, laboratory experimentation using computer-based simulations (microworlds) has played a significant role in understanding human decision making and reasoning. In this paper, we describe the design and deployment of a social work microworld (BRIGIT), which simulates the electronic recording systems now widely implemented in UK children's services. BRIGIT provides a fabricated but realistic social work environment, enabling the fine structure of professional information processing to be studied in response to experimental manipulations, such as time pressure, etc. A preliminary experiment is described here, which shows BRIGIT to provide a convincing psychological experience and a useful research tool. As well as demonstrating its face and external validity, the results highlight BRIGIT's utility as a way of probing ‘practice culture’ and for examining different patterns of professional sense making. We conclude that the microworld paradigm provides a valuable and innovative approach for researching social work practice. A range of possible applications are discussed, not only in fundamental research, but as a practical tool for use in the workplace, such as for supporting staff selection. There is also obvious potential for ‘design research’ aimed directly at improving the usability and effectiveness of electronic systems, which is important given the widely reported problems of current ICT systems in social work.

U2 - 10.1093/bjsw/bcr014

DO - 10.1093/bjsw/bcr014

M3 - Journal article

VL - 40

SP - 744

EP - 760

JO - British Journal of Social Work

JF - British Journal of Social Work

SN - 0045-3102

IS - 4

ER -