Innovations in Social Work Training: A Pilot Study of Interprofessional Collaboration Using Standardized Clients

Document Type


SoTL Category

Cross-course Collaboration; External/Clinical Experience

SoTL Discipline


Publication Date



A pilot study depicting a collaborative learning experience involving students in the helping professions (i.e., social work and paramedic) is presented, whereby students put discipline-specific practice behaviors into action in a training exercise using standardized clients (SCs). Real world scenarios commonly encountered in emergency response situations were replicated, providing students with opportunities to utilize assessment, intervention and referral skills in a carefully controlled, technologically enhanced learning environment. Simulations were observed and reviewed by faculty and classmates in debriefing sessions following student-SC interactions. Emergent themes, lessons learned and recommendations for further study are presented.


This article was published in International Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education. Vol. 27, Number 1. (2015).