Child and Youth Care Forum

, Volume 34, Issue 5, pp 371–389 | Cite as

From Pedagogy to Technagogy in Social Work Education: A Constructivist Approach to Instructional Design in an Online, Competency-Based Child Welfare Practice Course

  • Gerard Bellefeuille
  • Robert R. Martin
  • Martin Paul Buck


This article documents the design and pilot delivery of a computer-mediated, competency-based child welfare practice course founded on constructivist instructional principles. It was created in 2003 as part of the University of Northern British Columbia (UNBC) Social Work program’s child welfare specialization stream. Offered to learners via the internet using web-based tools and resources, the course expanded access to the child welfare specialization option for social work students studying at UNBC’s three rural regional campuses. The article examines emerging teaching and learning options across four components of online course development and delivery. The background of the specialization stream in the social work program is reviewed, constructivist instructional design theory is summarized, and a rationale for adopting this approach is discussed. This is followed by a brief report on the findings of the formative evaluation of the pilot delivery. Finally, the evolving underpinnings of online instruction are considered, including shifts in the roles of learners and instructors and the role of pedagogy in an evolving educational paradigm.


constructivism; e-learning; online; child protection; technagogy; child welfare; social work education 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gerard Bellefeuille
    • 1
  • Robert R. Martin
    • 3
  • Martin Paul Buck
    • 2
  1. 1.University of Northern British ColumbiaCanada
  2. 2.Camosun CollegeCanada
  3. 3.FTR and Associates/eLearnerWorksBCCanada

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