Skills practice session and reflection assessments

A skills practice session is a role play that allows you to try out the skills you have learnt about in your course. The role play may be completed in class, or you may be required to record the session on video. After the skills practice session, you are usually required to reflect on your experience, which might involve participating in a class discussion or writing a self-critique.

Most skills practice sessions are based on a case study scenario. This means that you will be given information about a situation and/or client, and you will take the role of a counsellor, case manager or youth worker in that scenario.

The skills practice session may focus on evaluating different skills, such as:

  • Your communication skills, e.g. opening a session and building rapport
  • Your understanding of professional requirements, e.g. your ability to explain your position on confidentiality and record keeping to the client
  • Your application of certain techniques, e.g. your use of counselling therapies discussed in the module

The reflection is usually based on guidelines or questions given with the assessment information. For example, you may be asked to identify the strategies you used to build rapport, or describe the counselling and/or communication skills you used and discuss how effective they were. You might also need to transcribe or paraphrase parts of the dialogue to give as examples. You will usually also be asked to reflect on areas for improvement and future development.

The skills practice session should be appropriately sequenced. For example, you will usually first need to open the session and make the client feel comfortable, then you may need to ask questions to gather relevant information before making recommendations or a plan of action. Also ensure you close the session appropriately. If you are recording the role play, you need to begin the recording by stating your full name, your student ID number, the name of the module and the assessment number.

The structure of the reflection should follow the guidelines or questions given with the assessment information.  If you are responding to short-answer questions, it is a good idea to include the numbered questions in your assignment so it is clear exactly which question you are responding to.

Ensure your language is professional when doing the role play. Remember to speak clearly and not too quickly. Be relaxed, confident and natural. This is easier said than done, but it’s vital to your success.

In the written reflection, first person (I, me, we) can be used as you are talking about your personal experiences, observations or opinions. However, avoid using first person when referring to theories or course content. Also try to avoid writing in an overly emotive or subjective way. Even though you are expressing your own experiences, you must convey this information in a professional style.