Abstracts of Volume 16 (1,2/3,4) of Journal of Technology in  Human Services, 1999

Volume 16(1), 1999

Access and Use of Information Technology by Human Service Providers by Robert Hughes, Jr., (hughes.239@osu.edu) Eunjee Joo, Shannon R. Zentall, & Kerrie Ulishney

KEYWORDS:  Internet, World Wide Web, computer usage, human service providers, professional development

ABSTRACT:  Increasing amounts of scientific and professional information are available through information technology, therefore, it is important to understand the extent to which human service providers have access to these capabilities and whether they find them useful.   A random sample of one-hundred and forty-nine human service providers in Ohio were surveyed by mail about their use of information technology.  Findings indicate that about seventy-five percent had computers on their desks.  About fifty-three percent had access to email and fifty-one percent had access to the WWW from their own computers.  Those providers who were in direct service were less likely than those in administration to have computer access.  Across the entire sample, human service providers strongly agreed with the need to use Internet for educating clients and professional development.  In general, providers reported limited access to many types of information and strong needs for assistance in developing information technology skills.  Suggestions for future directions are discussed.

ATOD-TV:  A case study on developing interactive multimedia by Joel Epstein (epstein@mimh.edu), Missouri Institute of Mental Health and Annette C. McGaha (mcgaha@hal.fmhi.usf.edu), Louis de la Parte Florida Mental Health Institute.

KEYWORDS:  Multimedia development, substance abuse prevention, attitude change.

ABSTRACT:  ATOD-TV (alcohol, Tobacco, and other drugs), an interactive multimedia program funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, was designed to teach the general public about the importance of substance  abuse research and treatment.  This article examines the process used to develop the program and argues that its success is due more to careful planning and formative evaluation than the use of sophisticated tools and techniques.

Psychology Software Listings from the PsycLinkŌ Software Information Service by Peter A. Hornby, Psychology Department, Plattsburgh State University, Plattsburgh, NY

The listings contains entries added to the PsycLinkŌ catalog since the last publication in September 1996.

Volume 16(2/3), 1999:  Special Issue

Impact of information technologies on social work practice edited by Jo Ann R. Coe and Goutham Menon,  Proceeding of the Information Technologies Conference:  Charleston SC, August, 1998

Introduction by Jo Ann R. Coe and Goutham Menon 

Using Case-Based Reasoning To Develop Computerized Guidance for Effective Practice by Ray Carlson

KEYWORDS. Expertise, experience, case-based reasoning, child welfare training

ABSTRACT:  Research on expertise suggests that several years of extensive practice should lead to the development of good insights into effective practice.  This paper describes this research and what it suggests about ways to capture and utilize such expertise in a computerized training simulator.  Case-based reasoning is looked at as a way to interpret this research and its utilization.  The paper also summarizes a project that is collecting such experience-based insights in the child welfare field.  Particular attention is directed at ways to validate the experiential insights collected.

Direct Service Application of Videoconferencing Technologies:  Case Examples from Korea and the United States by Paul Freddolino, Michigan State University and Abraham Seonghee Han, Kongju National University 

KEYWORDS:  Videoconferencing, Korea, USA, social work practice

ABSTRACT:  This paper describes practice applications of videoconferencing technologies in two settings.  In Korea, people who live in areas which lack social welfare expertise receive services such as education, counseling, diagnostic assessment, and therapy through a system linking the central site with three service agencies in three different cities.  In the United States, an interactive video breast cancer support group links women in three distant communities monthly.  Evaluative feedback concerning these applications from professional and lay users will be reviewed in detail.  Implications for the use of videoconferencing in social work practice will be discussed.

Utilizing and Evaluating ITV Workshops for Rural Community Leadership Training by C. David Hollister, University of Minnesota and Chandra M.N. Mehrotra, The College of Saint Scholastica

 KEYWORDS:  distance learning, volunteer and leadership training

ABSTRACT:  Interactive television has potential merit as a medium for reaching rural audiences. The Blandin Foundation has recently explored the use of ITV for its workshops for leadership training in rural Minnesota communities. This paper presents the findings of a formative evaluation of a pilot ITV workshop on “Attracting and Sustaining Community Volunteers,” in terms of its technical aspects, acceptability to participants, learning impacts, and accessibility. Criteria for selecting distance learning modalities and ITV networks and providers are suggested.


The Application of Artificial Neural Networks for Outcome Prediction in a Cohort of Severely Mentally Ill Outpatients by David A. Patterson and Richard Cloud, University of Tennessee, Knoxville 

KEYWORDS:   Neural networks, rehospitalization, prediciton

ABSTRACT:  Social workers and other mental health workers lack clinical decision support tools to predict which clients are at greatest risk of psychiatric rehospitalization.  Artificial neural networks (ANNs), are computer decision support tools that make prediction and classification decisions based on accumulated experience and information contained in successfully solved cases (correct decisions).  This study evaluates the use of ANNs in predicting rehospitalization of severely mentally ill outpatients.  Eight Bayesian ANN models achieved correct prediction rates ranging from 75% to 93% for two prediction conditions.  These results support the utility of Bayesian ANN models in the development of clinical decision support tools. 

Fashionably Late?  Social Work and Television Production by Kristine D. Tower, University of Nevada, Reno

 KEYWORDS:  Broadcast television, social work, TV production

ABSTRACT:  In the enthusiasm for faster and more efficient technology for practice and education, social workers should not deny the obvious.  Television has been, and will continue to be, the most influential tool of communication in American society. This article examines the role of social workers in broadcast television and describes the mechanics of TV production for novice social worker/producers.

Technology Investment Trends by Brenda R. Kunkel, IBM

 KEYWORDS:  Human service agencies, investment trends

ABSTRACT:  Social service agencies across the country are investing in a wide range of technological, business process reengineering, and organizational change projects.  These projects include:

Successful projects have a clearly identified business need and a strategy for addressing that need.  This strategy includes understanding the process, organizational and technological context, evaluating alternative means of meeting the need, and developing a solid program management plan.

Moving Toward Technology-Supported Instruction in Human Service Practice: The “Virtual Classroom” by Philip M. Ouellette

KEYWORDS: technology-supported instruction, social work education, virtual classrooms, telelearning

ABSTRACT:  With the challenge for human services faculty to better integrate classroom materials to the realities of today’s practice and the advent of several new communication technologies and technology‑mediated instructional software, the use of Web-base instruction and the “Virtual Classroom”as a pedagogical strategy may be a viable added dimension to the learning process for human services practice courses with the  potential to improve learning efficacy. Possible teaching strategies are discussed as well as implications for  research.

Internet-Based Instruction as an Innovative Approach to Managing Prerequisite Curriculum Content in a Graduate Social Work Program by Jerome R. Kolbo and Earlie M. Washington, University of Southern Mississippi

 KEYWORDS:  Internet course, orientation course, social work, course design and development

ABSTRACT:  Students admitted to graduate social work programs possess varying levels of understanding of prerequisite curriculum content.  Compounding this situation is that social work educators teaching at the foundation level are now required to provide an expanded array of curriculum content in their courses.  This article conceptualizes an Internet-Based orientation course as a unique tool for preparing students with prerequisite curriculum content necessary for successful integration and mastery of a graduate curriculum.  Several steps are presented in the design and development of the course: obtaining support and approval, identifying and collecting data, designing and developing course components, and implementing and evaluating the course.  Although course development occurs within a social work education setting, findings from this Internet-Based orientation course are applicable to other educational and human service settings.

The Virtual Community:  Computer Conferencing for Teaching and Learning Social Work Practice by Diane S. Falk, The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey 

KEYWORDS:  Web based conferencing, generalist social work practice course, virtual classroom

ABSTRACT:  This author describes the use of a web-based conferencing program to augment classroom learning in generalist social work practice courses in a BSW program.  This “virtual classroom” allows students to have more or less continual access to the instructor and to each other, greatly expanding opportunities for teaching, learning, and communication.

Computer-Facilitated Instructional Strategies for Education:  Designing WebQuests by Debra Gohagan, Minnesota State University, Mankato

 KEYWORDS:  WebQuest, pedagogical constructs, social work curriculum

ABSTRACT:  This article describes the use of WebQuests, a computer-facilitated instructional strategy for social work education.  Pedagogical constructs relevant to the use of WebQuests as a computer-facilitated instructional strategy are identified and discussed. Examples of the application and integration of WebQuest activities in an undergraduate social work curriculum are presented.

Perspectives from Consumers (Students) in a Distance Education Program by Jo Ann R. Coe and John T. Gandy, University of South Carolina

 KEYWORDS:  Distance education, student's perceptions of distance teaching

ABSTRACT:  This paper presents a literature review of social work programs’ distance education evaluation studies with an emphasis on the strengths distance education programs offer to students relative to standard programs.  The authors discuss quality issues in relation to teaching and learning in distance education programs with a panel of distance learners who will discuss their experiences.

Reframing from Site Bias to Site Identity:  Pedagogic Issues in Delivering Social Work Courses via Interactive Television by Ronald H. Rooney, Elena Izaksonas, Jane A. Macy, University of Minnesota

 KEYWORDS:  Distance education, site identity, student's perceptions

ABSTRACT:  Tension between instructors and students at distance sites has been called site bias. Additional sources of site tension sometimes occurs between cohorts at different sites and within the originating site cohort. This paper describes how site tension can be reframed as site identity and utilized to promote goals of teaching about social justice and diversity.

Volume 16(4), 1999

Using a Listserv to Extend Classroom Learning:  A Content Analysis by Wallace J. Gingerich, Eileen Mazur Abel, Amy D'Aprix, Gigi Nordquist, and Joanne Riebschleger

KEYWORDS:  listserv, adult learning, on-line learning, content analysis

ABSTRACT:  An integrated theoretical model of adult learning and distance education is used to describe and analyze our experience using a listserv to extend and expand the learning begun in a classroom-based doctoral seminar. Our postings on the listserv provide the data for our study, and we analyze their content to identify themes in how we used the listserv. The content analysis demonstrates that the listserv enhanced the course-related learning of all participants, helped the student participants feel connected with the university and their student role while engaged in their careers back home, and provided social support for professional and personal development.

Computer Attitudes of Psychology Students and a Mild Attempt to Influence Them by Valerie S. Smead

KEYWORDS.  Attitude, aversion, computer, confidence, Internet

ABSTRACT:  With the advent of the World Wide Web mental health practitioners who dislike computers or lack confidence in their skills are at a disadvantage.  In exploring this problem, computer attitudes of psychology students, tomorrow’s professionals, were assessed.  A mild attempt by the instructor to influence them during the semester also was tested.  At time 1 attitudes were quite positive.  Females reported no more computer aversion than males, but slightly less confidence.  Consistent relationships between Internet usage and positive attitudes occurred.  Treatment and control group students did not differ significantly in their attitude change from time 1 to time 2.

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