Remote | Part-time
Simmons University

Virtual Field Lab Section Instructor, SocialWork@Simmons

Remote – National

Part time

R06075

SocialWork@Simmons is an online Master of Social Work (M.S.W.) degree program that prepares clinical social workers who draw upon a range of evidence-based approaches in working collaboratively with their clients to identify and achieve their goals. SocialWork@Simmons’s rigorous curriculum prepares students with the knowledge and skills to pursue social work practice in clinical settings. The program blends self-paced coursework with live, collaborative online classes and field placements in or near students’ communities.

The Virtual Field Lab (VFL) Section Instructor is the adjunct faculty responsible for the academic success of students enrolled in an online course in accordance with program and course objectives and course syllabi. All SocialWork@Simmons courses are taught from a Master Syllabus that is created by the Course Designer, in consultation with faculty. The VFL Section Instructor should be knowledgeable about the subject matter for their assigned course, and maintain expertise in the subject area. The VFL Section Instructor is expected to actively monitor and track individual student progress and provide support and direction, both during class and outside of class as needed and appropriate. The expected start date of this role is July 2020.

Course description:

The Virtual Field Lab is a 14-week course that precedes in-person agency placement. The course will include weekly asynchronous content and live sessions in addition to out of class reading, review of resources, and assignments. This course creates a learning lab where students can apply generalist knowledge and skills, in the context of social work values, to practice scenarios and simulated interactions with standardized client-actors. Additionally, the course provides opportunities for students to learn about field education and to prepare for practice-based learning, grounded in exploration of affective and cognitive processes, including self-reflection and self-regulation, critical thinking, and cultural humility, that influence learning and practice. Students will practice use of field education learning tools, including the field education learning plan and competency-based evaluation, process recordings, and other reflective tools; will receive preparatory information about planning for safety in practice settings; and will be introduced to the purpose and practice of supervision, as well as field education expectations.

Students will attend two 2-hour Live Sessions a week, with 9 of the 14 weeks centered around live simulations with two client-actors, each playing a scripted character who will be followed throughout the course. Using this format, students will practice engagement, assessment and planning, intervention, evaluation and ending skills, including exposure to risk assessment and working in interprofessional teams. Simulated client roles will represent social identities and life experiences of marginalized people, including experiences of intersectionality. This content will also be incorporated into assignments, feedback, and discussion. Students will receive coaching and feedback from classmates and theVFL Section Instructor.

Up to four hours of asynchronous content each week will include lectures, text pages, external resources, interviews, and scripted skills demonstrations interspersed with knowledge application questions and reflective prompts. Students will follow the trajectory of two consistent actors portraying social work students who model the learning process that VFL students may experience. Students will also be introduced to four community agencies representing different service sectors through on-location filming and key stakeholder interviews. Agency and larger system contexts for services, as well as the impact of social and economic policy on agencies and clinical practice, will be woven throughout the course in the asynchronous and live session content.

It is expected that the VFL Section Instructor will spend 4 hours per week facilitating and teaching in the online classroom and approximately 10 hours per week outside of the classroom preparing for live sessions, providing support to students, reviewing asynchronous course materials, and responding to written assignments, and evaluating student progress.

Specific Duties:

  • Teach material from approved curriculum in accordance with the syllabus and course design
  • Assume responsibility for the academic supervision and teaching of enrolled students
  • Participate in up to 10 hours of training that will take place both prior to and over the course of the term.
  • Provide full coverage and interactive facilitation for all scheduled live sessions
  • Facilitate simulations and group debriefs in live sessions
  • Maintain and evaluate records of student’s performance within the grading systems of the Learning Management System (LMS) and the University
  • In accordance with the required time frames, provide meaningful feedback on asynchronous reflection posts, live session reflections/participation and feedback forms, written assignments , attendance, asynchronous completion, and final evaluations.
  • Maintain communication, both online and virtual, with Course Lead on a regular basis regarding course and student-related performance, problems, and concerns
  • Participate in process with Course Lead to address concerns with student performance and progress that are not resolved at the instructor/student level
  • Respond in a clear and well-expressed manner to student questions within 24-48 hours
  • Foster and encourage an online culture of learning that values professionalism, accountability, empathy, lifelong learning, respect for diversity, and ethically-minded practice, as well as personal and professional development

General Qualifications:

  • MSW required
  • Highest level of licensure in the State preferred
  • At least 5 years’ post-master’s clinical experience with strong preference for agency-based, team-oriented and/or multidisciplinary work experience included
  • At least 5+ years’ field instruction required
  • Experience facilitating group supervision or other methods of practice-focused interactive learning experiences in a group setting strongly preferred
  • Graduate level teaching experience preferred
  • Online teaching exposure/experience preferred

Proprietary Issues:

The online courses and materials relating hereto, in whatever form, offered by Simmons University are and shall remain the sole and exclusive property of Simmons University. All models, curricula, programs, materials and systems designed or developed by faculty engaged by Simmons University in connection with the teaching such courses shall be and remain the sole and exclusive property of Simmons University.

Online Technology Training:

Simmons University provides all VFL Section Instructors with tailored training for online and hybrid course delivery models. It is mandatory that all VFL Section Instructors complete the Online Technology Training provided by Simmons University prior to starting their first class. The course introduces faculty to the expectations and best instructional practices at Simmons University. The orientation will take approximately 5 to 6 hours to complete with a combination of synchronous and asynchronous sessions.

Goals of the Online Technology Training

Upon successful completion of the training, the VFL Section Instructor should be able to:

  • Facilitate an online process that has a significant requirement for student interaction, as contrasted to lecture-type formats typically used in on-ground environments
  • Navigate the online classroom and assist students in navigating the online classroom
  • Use learning-centered strategies to engage the student
  • Explain programs expectations of its students and instructors

Technology Requirements

VFL Section Instructors are required to provide their own hardware (PC or Mac Computer), software, and internet access to facilitate the online courses at Simmons University. Simmons University is not responsible for the purchase, upgrade, or maintenance of online instructor’s telephone, computer and Internet service. Required software for courses will be provided at no additional cost to the instructor.

The following are the recommended specifications for VFL Section Instructors:

PC – VFL Section Instructors will need to be able to access MS Office and any other software relevant to teaching courses. Below is a list of the minimal recommended hardware requirements needed to be successful but could vary depending on area of study.

  • Processor – Intel® or AMD x86 processor running at 1.3GHz or faster
  • Operating System – Windows XP SP3 (or Newer)
  • Windows 7 (64-bit required if running OS X 10.7.x) – Additional 20 GB HD Space required for Windows Partition
  • Stereo Sound Card, Speakers and/or Headset
  • Microphone and Webcam (built-in or external)
  • Internet Speed : DSL or Cable Internet highly recommended

MAC – VFL Section Instructors will need to be able to access MS Office and any other software relevant to teaching your courses. Below is a list of the minimal recommended hardware requirements needed to be successful but could vary depending on what area of study you will be teaching. * Please note not all software required are compatible with Mac and may require Dual-boot Intel processors*

  • Processor – Intel based Mac Pro or MacBook Pro computer (64-bit support)
  • Operating System – Mac OS X v10.6.8, v10.7.2 or higher
  • Stereo Sound Card, Speakers and/or Headset
  • Microphone and Webcam (built-in or external)
  • Internet Speed : DSL or Cable Internet highly recommended