Karen Zgoda is a social work educator, a Doctoral Student in Public Policy at the University of Massachusetts in Boston, MA, and a founding member of #MacroSW, an online community for macro social workers. In this blog post, she shares her tips for helping social work students learn how to be professional in online learning environments.
Now published – Digital Literacy in Social Work Education: A Case Study Incorporating Technology and Social Media Within the Social Work Curriculum in the Special Section on Multimedia in Nonprofit Education of the Journal of Nonprofit Education and Leadership. I discussed this work at CSWE APM back in October. Here is the abstract:
To remain competitive and culturally competent, social work education must incorporate digital literacy and technological instruction to prepare students for work with clients and colleagues throughout their professional lives. When instructors offer a grounding in technology skills for modern social work practice and provide feedback to students in a supportive classroom setting, social work students become more confident and poised to handle the complications of technology and social media while interacting with clients, agencies, nonprofit organizations, and society as a whole. The purpose of this article is to present a case study of a social work course on classic and contemporary communication skills that focuses on communication, writing, and digital literacy, designed for BSW students. The article includes rationale for course development, course description, and sample digital writing activities from the course.
I worked with amazing social work writer Kryss Shane on this article. Special thank you to Jimmy Young, editor of this special issue, for your feedback and support to improve this work. To access the article (log in required), head to the journal’s web site. To follow updates on this work, head to my ResearchGate page for the article.
In Boston, it’s currently snowing sideways so hard I can barely see across the street. It’s reasonable to expect at least one or two snow days during the school year in these parts and, having grown up in Buffalo, NY, I enjoy them greatly.
A Twitter conversation with a colleague prompted me to compile resources for staying on top of course material when the weather refuses to cooperate. If campus was closed and I was due to teach a face to face course today, I would hold the class online using the campus LMS discussion board. This is also helpful for situations in which falling behind on course material would negatively impact the rest of the semester (statistics and research courses, I’m looking at you).
Here is the syllabus language I use to communicate snow day expectations to students. We also review it together on the first day of class to address any questions or concerns students may have:
Inclement Weather: In the event of inclement weather and campus is closed, class will be held online using the discussion board in Blackboard. Instructions for class participation will be emailed to you.
Here are resources I have found helpful for holding class online:
- Online Teaching, It Turns Out, Isn’t Impersonal
- Developing Online Learning Activities for Blended Courses
- Online Teaching Tools and Resources from Yale University Center for Language Study
- MERLOT: Multimedia Educational Resource for Learning and Online Teaching
- Netiquette: Ground Rules for Online Discussions (I use this often)
- Online Discussions from Cornell University Center for Teaching Innovation
- Online Discussion Rubrics
- Create Accessible Narrated Powerpoint for Content Delivery Online
- Screencasts (I love Screencast-O-Matic)
- Consider adapting some of these Interactive Techniques for your campus LMS
- Crossword Puzzle Maker – great for learning vocabulary
- Online Scavenger Hunts
- Fill in the Blank Worksheet Creator
The hardest part of a snow day should be making sure you have french toast ingredients and keeping a mischievous cat out of trouble.
Stay warm and stay safe!
Written communication skills are so important for students to learn. As a social work instructor for nearly 10 years, I often gave students feedback and guidance to improve their writing. The following list contains the most common writing mistakes I encountered and suggestions for how to fix them. This list is geared toward social science writing and use of APA Style.
Most Common APA Style Errors
- General APA advice
- APA In-Text Citations
- APA In-Text Citations: Author Format
- APA Reference Lists: Basic Rules
- APA Reference List: Articles in Periodical
- How to Cite Something You Found on a Website in APA Style
- How to Cite Something You Found on a Website in APA Style: What to Do When Information Is Missing
- APA Tables, Appendices, Footnotes and Endnotes
- APA Style Quick Answers—Formatting
Properly Using the Work of Others
- How Not to Plagiarize
- Decide when to Quote, Paraphrase and Summarize
- Quoting, Paraphrasing, and Summarizing
- Floating Quotations
- Writing Tip: Use active, not passive sentences
- Fused/Run-On Sentences
- Rules for Finding and Fixing Fragments
- 1st vs. 3rd person
- Using “By Zombies” to Help You Identify Passive Voice
Writing Research and Other Scientific Papers
- Tips & Tricks: Try “Writer’s Math”, Dr. Greer’s More-or-Less Formula for Better First Drafts
- Using Topic Sentences to Write Stronger, Better-Organized Scientific Manuscripts
- Writing the Empirical Social Science Research Paper: A Guide for the Perplexed
- Common Errors in Student Research Papers
- 10 Rules for Writing Numbers and Numerals
What is missing? What would you add to this list?
For additional back to school tips for social workers, check out my eBook: Back to School Guide for Social Work Students.
Wishing all the new and returning students (myself included!) much success in the coming year!
I created the following Sway presentation for both the Teaching & Technology Center as a Teaching & Technology Faculty Advisor and Writing Across the Curriculum (WAC), a “faculty development program that holds workshops, hosts guest speakers, runs retreats, awards grants, provides faculty time and space for their own scholarly writing, and supports faculty in their endeavors to improve student writing” at Bridgewater State University. The presentation contains a broad overview of digital tools for engaging writing assignments presented during a series of workshops. It includes many resources and videos with more information that could not be covered adequately during the workshops.
Southeastern Massachusetts Quantitative Engagement and Literacy is an annual meeting of higher education faculty and staff around teaching, learning, and student success with quantitative literacy across the curriculum. Faculty and staff from the region are invited to attend, present, and share.
Thursday, January 12, 2017,
8:30am – 2:30pm, at
Bridgewater State University
Burnell Hall 132
100 Burrill Avenue
Math anxiety and avoidance not only interfere with students’ test-taking success; they can also keep students from engaging with quantitative content elsewhere in their coursework and career. SEQuEL 2017 invites proposals and sharing around how to understand and mitigate our students’ (and our own!) anxieties around numbers, and locating and building instead on quantitative strengths in the college classroom.
Call for Proposals
We invite proposals for presentations, workshops, and round tables.
Proposals will be reviewed by conference organizers, and this call will close October 31, 2016. Presenters will be notified on November 18th.
Source: SEQuEL 2017
Have you considered incorporating technology or social media into your courses? If you have, then you are not alone. However, it can be daunting, given that there seems to be an increasing push to use these digital tools but not much direction as to how to do it. In this podcast, four social work educators talk about how they have used digital tools in their teaching. Professors Karen Zgoda, Melanie Sage, Jonathan Singer, and Lauri Goldkind offer examples from their work as they share thoughts about, and experiences with, integrating technology-mediated assignments into their coursework.
Karen Zgoda is an instructor in the School of Social Work at Bridgewater State University. She starting hosting online social work chats in 2000 and is currently a collaborator and chat host for the #MacroSW Twitter chats focused on macro social work practice. Karen previously wrote the SW 2.0 technology column for The New Social Worker Magazine and served as an AmeriCorps VISTA member and project coordinator at CTCNet working on digital divide issues. Her research and pedagogical interests include technology in social work and education, macro social work, social policy, and research methods.
Melanie Sage, PhD, is an assistant professor and BSSW program director at University of North Dakota, where she conducts research in areas of both child welfare and technology. She has trained over 1,000 social workers in the ethical use of social media and is especially interested in how technology is used in child welfare practice and in social work classrooms. She teaches coursework in direct practice with individuals and families, children’s mental health, and motivational interviewing. Dr. Sage holds a PhD in social work and research from Portland State University and an MSW from East Carolina University and spent most of her pre-academic social work career in child welfare and mental health settings. Currently, she’s working with colleagues, Dr. Laurel Hitchcock and Dr. Nancy Smyth, on a book titled “Teaching Social Work with Digital Technology.” You can join her for conversation and virtual coffee on Twitter: @melaniesage.
Jonathan B. Singer, PhD, LCSW, is an associate professor of social work at Loyola University Chicago and founder and host of the Social Work Podcast. His practice, teaching, and scholarship focuses on suicide intervention, cyberbullying, family-based interventions, community services, school social work, technology, and podcasts. Dr. Singer is the author of 45 publications, including the 2015 book “Suicide in Schools: A practitioner’s guide to multilevel prevention, assessment, intervention, and postvention.” He has given over 100 academic and continuing education presentations nationally for the U.S. Military, community mental health agencies, school districts, and clinical social work organizations. He can be found on Twitter as @socworkpodcast.
Lauri Goldkind, PhD, teaches at Fordham across the foundation and advanced year curricula as well as in the masters of nonprofit administration program. She holds an MSW from SUNY Stony Brook with a concentration in planning, administration, and research and a PhD from the Wurzweiler School of Social Work at Yeshiva University. Her practice experience was focused in the in youth development, education, and juvenile justice realms. Prior to joining the faculty at Fordham, she served as Director of New School Development and Director of Evaluation at the Urban Assembly (UA), a network of specialized public schools located in Brooklyn, the Bronx, and Manhattan. At UA she supported principals through the new school process, helping them earn start-up grants valued at over $500,000 per school; additionally, she provided technical assistance to principals and school-based staff on data-driven decision making, development and maintenance of data management structures and the effective use of data to improve student achievement.
APA (6th ed) citation for this podcast:
Episode 199 – Karen Zgoda, Dr. Melanie Sage, Dr. Jonathan Singer, and Dr. Lauri Goldkind: Technology-Mediated Assignments for Real World Learning. (2016, September 12). inSocialWork® Podcast Series. [Audio Podcast] Retrieved from http://www.insocialwork.org/episode.asp?ep=199