Healthcare and Medicine Reference
that may be less emotional and complex (discussion of new proce-
dures, for example).
Gainor and Constantine (2003) note that, while their findings would
suggest the superiority of face-to-face supervision, other researchers
have had more positive experiences with web-based supervision. For
example, Myrick and Sabella (1995) report that school counselor trai-
nees and practicing counselors reported more advantages than disad-
vantages to web-based supervision, including more accessible
assistance and encouragement, interpersonal closeness and openness,
the ability to read and review at one's convenience, and spirited
There are important concerns about the use of web-based supervision
that are quite apart from whether it is effective. Van Horn & Myrick
(2001) raise concerns about inappropriate people accessing confidential
information, particularly when others have access to computers used by
supervisees (as in university or public library computer labs). The authors
suggest that some trainees have very limited knowledge of computers and
that confidential information may inadvertently be sent to others. How
many of us have done this in our personal lives? I certainly have when
I'm in a rush. And while we can expect most students to be very com-
puter literate, older students often aren't, and some students have built up
quite a negative reaction to technology in general and computers specifi-
cally that make their use very problematic.
On the other hand, I (Glicken) used a web-based approach to teach-
ing a graduate research course by putting my notes on the web for every
class meeting. The scores on research tests were almost 15% higher than
before I used the web. Reading material rather than taking notes in class
improves learning for many people. For that reason, among many others
discussed here, you should consider web-based supervision as a way of
enhancing learning but not as a substitute for face-to-face contact with
workers who may need a more personal and confidential approach.
Feedback that is highly personal or may include a negative confrontation
is hurtful if received as an email message.
A Case Example: You be the Supervisor
You have been asked to provide input on a $300,000 state-funded grant
to enable use of the Internet and various interactive technologies to pro-
vide services to frail elderly adults living some distance from your agency.
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