SW-Vircamp research projects

Social Work-Virtual Campus (SW-VirCamp): Co-construction of knowledge in an international e-learning study in community work

In 2009 two researchers from HiB, Anne Karin Larsen and Grete Oline Hole started a research project following the development of the new Community Work module. The project is continuing the second year and follows the second cohort of students in the study programme: Community Work from and International Perspective.

The title of the project is: Co-construction of knowledge in community work within an international virtual campus.

This research project aims to explore how knowledge about community work (CW) can be developed through cooperation among students and teachers in a virtual campus within a participatory action research (PAR) and participatory action learning (PAL) framework.

The analysis of data is an iterative process going on parallel with the data collection. A complete analysis of all data has not been done at this stage, and has to continue. Within our mixed methods approach, simple descriptive statistics of quantitative data as well as more in-debt text and content analysis from different sources of qualitative data are collected.

A central part of our research-data stems from the continuous evaluation of the education programme.  The data collection started in 2009 and ended in 2010 with the first cohort of students, and new data collection from the second cohort in 2011 will be conducted (table 1). Rich data sources are available and in phase 3 the data analysis process has started, papers and reports have been written and will continue in phase 4 and 5.

Phase 1 (2009) Phase 2 (2010) Phase 3 (2010-2011) Phase 4 (2011) Phase 5 (2011-2012)
Data collection during the development period. -Curriculum  planning-Course development-Feedback processes  with teachers -Starting the course.-Data collection during the study period.-Feedback processes with students and teachers. -Analysis of data.-Publications.-Starting the next course-Preparing the next data collection -Data collection with students in the second cohort spring 2011-Feedback processes with students and teachers -Analysis of data.-Publications

Table 1: Phases of the research project

Presentation of the research project at the International Congress of Qualitative Inquiery at the Illinois University, Champagne-Urbana, USA, 16-19 May 2012.

See the presentation: ICQI 18May Hole and Larsen

International Cooperation on community work

Starting to developing the online course in Community Work, contacts were made With colleagues in South Africa, Norway, Denmark, Sweden and Spain, and two seminars focusing on community work in Research, Practice and Education were held in 2008 in Stellenbosch, South Africa in 2008 and in Bergen in 2009.

Participant at the Mont Fleur Meeting in Stellenbosch


Bilde2 Mont Fleur

Participant at the Mont Fleur Meeting in Stellenbosch

The inspiration from these seminars resulted later in a book on Participation in Community Work – International Perspectives, (editors: Anne Karin Larsen, Vishanthie Sewpaul and Grete Oline Hole) published by Routledge in 2014. The book is included in the Reading list for the online community work course.


aa DSC_4209 redaktørene

The editors from left: Grete Oline Hole, Anne Karin Larsen, Vishanthie Sewpaul

bookcover small