A Delphi Study in Field Instruction: Identification of Issues and Research Priorities by Experts

Raskin (1989) full text summary PDF

For which topic were research priorities identified?

field instruction

In which location was the research priority setting conducted?

North America - USA

Why was it conducted at all?

Although field instruction is seen as an important component of the social work curriculum (BSW and MSW), it is an area which has been subjected to minimal empirical research and has received even less attention in the professional journals.

What was the objective?

to identify the research needs or issues in field instruction

What was the outcome?

a ranking list of 5 research questions

How long did the research prioritization take?

March 1982 - December 1982

Which methods were used to identify research priorities?


How were the priorities for research identified exactly?

Step 1: field instruction statements taken from literature and from questions repeatedly raised at national social work conferences which did not seem to be resolved. Step 2: Delphi round 2: participants were asked to rate each of 28 items. Step 3: Delphi round 2: participants were asked to re-rate each of 28 items. Step 4: Delphi round 3: participants were asked to re-rate each of 28 items and asked to identify 5 areas they felt needed most attention

Which stakeholders took part?

Experts in the field of field instruction. Delphi round 1: 17 participants. Delphi round 2: 14 participants. Delphi round 3: 15 participants.

How were stakeholders recruited?

Twenty field instruction experts were identified. To determine who is viewed as an expert in field instruction by social work educators, a letter was sent to the directors of field instruction of all eighty-eight graduate schools of social work in the United States and to a random sample of sixty-eight directors of field instruction of accredited undergraduate programs in March of 1981. Each director was asked to list individuals whom they considered to be experts. 201 names of experts were generated by the sixty-nine respondents.

Were stakeholders actively involved or did they just participate?

Stakeholders were mere participants of the research prioritization process; they were not actively involved in the process.