ASWB breaks new ground, hosting a successful webinar for educators

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For the first time ever, ASWB hosted a live webinar for audiences outside its membership. Intended for educators, the December 7 event officially launched the new suite of free exam resources for educators.

The webinar, called Helping students be prepared to show competence on the social work licensing exams: Free exam resources for educators from ASWB, had more than 800 registrants and was attended by more than 400 people, most of them social work educators. It was led by CEO Stacey Hardy-Chandler, Senior Director of Examination Services Lavina Harless, and two ASWB item development consultants, Amanda Duffy Randall, Ph.D., LICSW, and Stacey Owens, MSW, LCSW-C.

Image from a webinar, with a slide that reads "Speakers: Stacey Hardy-Chandler, Ph.D., J.D., LCSW, CEO. Lavina Harless, MSW, LCSW, Senior Director of Examination Services. Stacey Owens, MSW, LCSW-C, Item Development Consultant. Amanda Duffy Randall, Ph.D., LICSW, Item Development Consultant." The speaker appears in a small inset window on the right.The presenters offered a behind-the-scenes look at how the ASWB exams are developed and the steps ASWB takes to guard against bias and maintain reliability and validity. Harless shared information about ASWB’s initiatives to bring more voices into the creation of exams for the future of social work and to enhance the testing experience to reduce barriers.

The highlight of the webinar was the launch of the recently released exam resources for educators, presented by Duffy Randall. The suite includes exam performance data for each social work school and program, the new ASWB Examination Guidebook, the Educator Guide to the Social Work Exams, and the on-demand online training in writing questions according to ASWB standards. Duffy Randall, who is the emeritus director of the Grace Abbott School of Social Work at the University of Nebraska Omaha, invited her colleagues in social work education to use them in their teaching.

The one-hour webinar included 20 minutes for a Q and A session. Presenters answered questions from attendees about topics that included ASWB’s action steps in addressing the issues raised by the pass rate information published in August, writing exam questions for ASWB, practice questions, the shift to three-option multiple-choice questions, and license mobility.

“This is the first time we’ve created this outreach opportunity directly for educators,” Harless said. “It’s encouraging to know that educators dedicated to preparing students for the social work profession are interested in hearing directly from ASWB.”

Informed by the level of engagement from educators and other audiences, ASWB plans to offer more webinars in the future, with the next presentation expected in the first quarter of 2023.