Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Online technology and counseling microskill development: A mixed-methods approach
by Nelson, J. Scott, Ed.D., Northern Illinois University, 2013, 178; 3596665
Abstract (Summary)

Emergent popularity and student consumer/educational administrator demand for online technology in counselor education is also increasing the need to research its impact and potential effectiveness/ineffectiveness as a pedagogical tool. Research shows that the trend toward online coursework is likely to increase in the future and also that the new trend is moving away from asynchronous text-based delivery toward virtual environments using video and audio (Robey, 2009).

Counselor educator led preparation programs are experiencing more pressure to join the online bandwagon and yet lag behind other professions in utilizing technologies in education (Karper, Robinson, & Casado-Kehoe, 2005). Although some studies have investigated the use of online technology in counselor education, very few studies have explored using virtual simulated clients in counselor education in order to develop counseling skills (Engen, Finken, Luschei, & Kenney, 1994; Hayes, Taub, Robinson, & Sivo, 2003; Karper et al., 2005).

Furthermore, self-efficacy is a critical component of counseling skill development for counselors-in-training (CITs; Levitt & Jacques, 2005). Therefore, the purpose of this mixed-methods dissertation was to investigate whether online learning technology using synchronous, online, video-based, computer-guided, simulated-client microskills drills in real time influenced microskills development for counselors-in-training.

Further, I used Counselingskills on Demand (COD) online virtual client microskills drills within the framework of Bandura's (1977) social cognitive theory that performance is the best indicator of self-efficacy and explored how online microskills drills influence counseling student microskills performance and developmental process.

Qualitative data analysis suggested that participants were comfortable with online learning, found virtual client microskills drills most beneficial while developing a basic understanding of the difference between microskills and how to use them, and less useful once a basic understanding and ability to use the microskills was established. Overall, study results appeared to indicate that online learning technology using synchronous, online, video-based, computer-guided, simulated-client microskills drills in real time may be beneficial, may assist counseling students in the developmental process of increasing cognitive complexity and self-efficacy, could lead to decreased anxiety when doing counseling, and might help develop microskills understanding and basic proficiency.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Pender, Debra A., Myers, Charles E.
Commitee: Lauka, Justin D., Moody, Steven, Myers, Charles E., Pender, Debra A.
School: Northern Illinois University
Department: Counseling, Adult and Higher Education
School Location: United States -- Illinois
Source: DAI-A 75/01(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: School counseling, Educational psychology, Educational technology
Keywords: Counseling microskills, Counseling student, Counselor education, Online, Simulation training, Virtual client
Publication Number: 3596665
ISBN: 978-1-303-43782-3
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