Ongoing benefits of a knowledge- exchange project codesigned with students


  • Irene De Haan University of Auckland
  • Cherie Appleton University of Auckland
  • Jerry Lo University of Auckland, Aotearoa New Zealand


Social work education, field education, Covid-19, knowledge exchange


While the innovative practicum project described in this paper was an emergency measure, it continues to enhance our pedagogy for preparing social work students for placement. The project was designed collaboratively with postgraduate students when their imminent placements in statutory agencies were indefinitely delayed by Aotearoa New Zealand’s first Covid-19 lockdown, beginning late March 2020 and extending for 7 weeks. The prevailing uncertainty was stressful for our students, who needed to complete placement for degree completion and professional registration. As the staff team responsible for their practicum, we needed to quickly devise a robust alternative learning experience. This endeavour evolved into a codesigned, collegial knowledge-exchange project combining academic knowledge and practice wisdom gathered through students’ consultation with academic and practice experts. The project’s key components were focussed analysis of practice research, interviews with experienced social workers, production of a succinct “practice briefing”, application of knowledge gained to a “real life” practice story, and sharing accumulated knowledge. From a pedagogical perspective, we highlight our learning about promoting professional communication to underpin collaborative work, and the usefulness of intensive orientation to practice context before students begin placement.


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How to Cite

De Haan, I., Appleton, C., & Lo, J. (2024). Ongoing benefits of a knowledge- exchange project codesigned with students. Aotearoa New Zealand Social Work, 36(1), 137–148. Retrieved from



Practice Notes