1st Edition

Active Learning Lessons, Activities, and Assignments for the Modern Social Work Educator

By Karen Zgoda Copyright 2023
    410 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    410 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This text infuses the field of social work with dynamic and evidence-based active learning, offering fresh ideas to increase students’ abilities to effectively implement their social work practice.

    To practice social work in the real world, students need to be energized and engaged with the realities of the modern social work landscape. Written in an accessible and practical style, the impressive array of contributors provide social work educators with structured lesson plans, practice exercises, and assignments that can be used in both the physical and virtual classroom. Combining the latest research with current social work practice trends, the chapters cover cutting-edge topics such as ethics, social work technology, the importance of self-care, and social justice and activism, bridging the gap between current social work education and the needs of the modern social work student.

    This book is invaluable reading for both social work educators and their students, providing tools to seamlessly integrate innovative techniques into the classroom as well as helping their students navigate a career in social work after graduation.

    Chapter 1 History of Social Work Practice

    Dana B. Marlowe, PhD, LCSW

    Charity Organization Society Workers Vs. Settlement House Workers Debate

    White House Conference on the Care of Dependent Children Simulation

    Chapter 2 Ethics

    Kathryn Peterson, MSW

    Difficult Conversations

    Michelle Sunkel, DSW, LICSW, LAC, MBE

    Anti-Racism Experience and Leaning-In Assignment

    Antiracist Literature Review and Action Plan Assignment

    Opportunities for White People

    Chapter 3 Communication

    Fredi Giesler, MSW, Ph.D.

    Managing Group Conflict Simulation

    Chapter 4 Clinical Practice

    Kathryn Peterson, MSW

    In-Depth Case Analysis

    Dana B. Marlowe, PhD, LCSW

    Groupwork Skills Role-Play

    Using Activities in a Therapeutic Group

    Tami Micsky, DSW, LSW, CT

    Life Change Loss Interview Assignment

    Elspeth Slayter, MSW, Ph.D.

    Evidence-based Practice Dialogue

    Choosing an Evidence-based Practice with Scarce Resources

    Dana B. Marlowe, PhD, LCSW & Elisabeth Cannata, Ph.D.

    Home Visits Role-Plays

    Elaine S. Rinfrette, RN, MSW, PhD, LCSW & Natalie M. Montero, MSW

    Week 1 - Safety and Self-Care

    Week 2 - Understanding Trauma-Informed Care

    Week 3 - Working with Trauma Survivors in General Practice

    Week 4 - The Neurobiology of Trauma

    Week 5 – Quiz

    Elaine S. Rinfrette, RN, MSW, PhD, LCSW & David Pugh, MSW, Ph.D.

    Week 1 - Is addiction a disease or a choice?

    Week 2 – Stigma

    Week 3 - Defense Mechanisms and Stages of Change

    Week 4 - The Family

    Week 5 - Harm Reduction and Medication Assisted Treatment

    Carla Sofka, Ph.D., MSW

    Advance Directives (Advance Care Planning)

    Defining a "Good Death" / Facilitating Conversations about End of Life Planning

    Options for Final Disposition (Scavenger Hunt / Discussion)

    Chapter 5 Macro Practice

    Fredi Giesler, MSW, Ph.D.

    Facilitating a Collaborative/Interprofessional Task Group

    Elissa Thomann Mitchell, Ph.D.

    Social Policy Online Debate Assignment

    Policy in the News Assignment

    Who Represents You? Assignment

    Community Meeting or Event Reflection Assignment

    Elspeth Slayter, MSW, Ph.D.

    Community-based Disability Accessibility Assessment

    Developing a Sexuality Policy and Procedures Manual for a Group Home

    Legislative Advocacy Assignment

    Michelle Sunkel, DSW, LICSW, LAC, MBE

    Forensic Social Work and Experiential Assignment

    Chapter 6 Fundraising and Social Work Administration

    Fredi Giesler, MSW, Ph.D.

    Preparing for Job Performance Feedback

    Presenting Client Progress Using SOAP

    Presenting to a Board of Directors or Policy Decision-making Group

    Patricia Welch Saleeby, PhD, MSSA

    Macro Change Through Fundraising

    The Grant Review Process

    Understanding the Relevance of Grants and Fundraisers Assignment

    Grant Writing - The Needs Statement Assignment

    Chapter 7 Research & Evaluation

    Jesse Capece, Ph.D.

    Ways of Knowing

    Research Concept Maps


    Survey Construction

    Analyze Qualitative Data

    Research Proposal Assignment

    Elspeth Slayter, MSW, Ph.D.

    Agency Evaluation Practice Assessment

    Chapter 8 Social Work Technology

    Jennifer M. Frank, PhD, LSW

    Online and Technology Enhanced Assignment

    Thomas P. Felke, Ph.D., MSW

    Introduction to Digital Mapping

    Introduction to Static Online Mapping

    Using the Census Data Mapper

    Using PolicyMap to Spatially Explore Data

    Introduction to Geocoding with BatchGeo

    GIS-Supported Community Assessment

    Dana B. Marlowe, Ph.D., LCSW & Gregory Acevedo, Ph.D.

    Digital Advocacy Campaign

    Chapter 9 Social Justice and Activism

    Dana B. Marlowe, Ph.D., LCSW

    Social Justice Issues - Digital Storytelling Assignment

    Elissa Thomann Mitchell, Ph.D.

    Cultural Competence Community Meeting or Event Reflection Assignment

    Kathryn Peterson, MSW

    Identifying Implicit Bias

    Chapter 10 What to Do After Graduation

    Ellen Fink-Samnick MSW, ACSW, LCSW, CCM, CCTP, CMHIMP, CRP, DBH(c)

    Identify Strengths

    Understand Professional Competencies

    Develop Mission and Vision Statements

    Build a Professional Brand

    Promote a Professional Brand

    Narrated Presentation: Professional Branding

    Chapter 11 Self-Care

    Tami Micsky, DSW, LSW, CT

    Self-Care for Social Work Students

    Photovoice for Social Work Practice & Research

    Photovoice Self-Care Assignment


    Karen Zgoda, LMSW, is Director of the Care Center at Villa Maria College. She has vast experience in social work, social work technology, higher education, and course development.

    "Active learning exercises are an important part of professional social work education but creating good ones is difficult and time-consuming. Fortunately, Karen Zgoda’s new book gives instructors a wealth of useful and well developed exercises, nicely organized and keyed to critical areas of the curriculum. This book is a must-have for social work faculty but would be useful to faculty in other fields as well."

    -John McNutt, PhD, MSW; Professor, Joseph R. Biden, Jr. School of Public Policy and Administration, University of Delaware

    "Active learning is a fundamental instructional approach to helping students critically engage in thoughtful intellectual discourse designed to maximize student’s ability to apply and transfer knowledge. Karen Zgoda’s new book, Active Learning Lessons, Activities, and Assignments for the Modern Social Work Educator, provides social work faculty with a myriad of useful tools that can easily be applied to promote critical thinking about the application of social work principles to research, policy and practice." 

    -Tanya L. Sharpe, MSW, Ph.D.; Associate Professor, Endowed Chair in Social Work in the Global Community; Founder & Director, The CRIB, https://www.the-crib.org; Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work, University of Toronto

    "Great book for social work educators across the curriculum who are looking for creative and engaging activities. Reflects important core knowledge, value and skill areas beautifully—with an eye on the future. Strong foundation that would be easy to put one's own touches or weave in local priorities or concerns." 

    -Laura Nissen, Ph.D., Professor, Portland State University; P.I. Social Work Health Futures Lab

    "Karen Zgoda’s latest book, Active Learning Lessons, Activities, and Assignments for the Modern Social Work Educator is far more than a standard academic text. The fluid nature of the health and behavioral health industry are only eclipsed by the myriad of roles and opportunities for social work professionals. Preparing the next generation of the workforce for these roles takes a novel approach by educators and Zgoda supports that action!

    By identifying critical touchpoints for the next generation, Zgoda provides a robust social work curriculum with practical lesson plans. This book goes where none have ventured, from ethical communication, anti-racist practices, and technology application to fundraising, activism, and research alignment. Focus is on balancing self-care with the rigors of practice realities, as well as defining professional competencies and branding for entrepreneurial roles. The book leverages the ability of educators to ensure a dynamic (virtual or in-person) classroom experience for students, while providing social workers necessary didactic and practical information to solidify a successful career trajectory."

    - Ellen Fink-Samnick, LCSW, ACSW, CCM, CCTP, CRP, DBH-C; EFS Supervision Strategies, LLC; author; educator, and entrepreneur