Context, aims & learning outcomes


This module has been designed for use by those who are undertaking the Practice Learning Qualification (Social Services). The specific scenario included in the module is of an experienced social worker who is supervising a student undertaking a social work degree programme. However, because communication is important to all interaction between learners and those who are contributing to their learning experience, the materials contained in the module (information, exercises and resources) will be of interest to candidates across all stages (1 to 4) and SCQF levels (7 to 11).


The learning object aims to introduce Practice Learning Qualification (PLQ) candidates to key concepts and theories relating to communication within the contexts of education, health and social services. It will use the specific context of practice learning within social work education to introduce and explore the themes of verbal, non-verbal and written communication, and communication across diverse situations. In particular it will highlight the values and techniques involved in giving and receiving feedback during professional practice learning.

Learning Outcomes

Through interaction with this learning object and the accompanying materials, PLQ candidates will be able to:

  • Understand theoretical ideas in relation to the concept of communication and identify the 'selves' that they bring to social encounters
  • Develop an understanding of the impact of power differentials within a learner/ educator dynamic, and consider ways to minimise the negative impact of this dynamic on the educational process
  • Develop an understanding of the impact of emotions on communication for learners in practice, and consider ways to communicate constructively around learners' emotions
  • Analyse and name the component parts of communication they observe, and take part in, using a variety of concepts relating to verbal and non-verbal behaviour and taking account of issues of difference
  • Plan and carry through a supervision session with a student which incorporates affirming and challenging feedback