Social Work 6061 

Common Course ID: Social Work 6061 - Generalist Macro Practice I

CSU Instructor Open Textbook Adoption Portrait

Abstract: All students in this course are first year Master of Social Work Students. All have applied to be admitted to the program. Like all students at CSUSB, the students come from a wide range of socio-economic demographics.  

About the Textbook

No Textbook was used in course
Formats: List formats available including PDF, web, ePub, bookshare, etc. Link to any publisher information including print copy availability.

Supplemental resources: List resources including online homework systems, interactive study guides for students, and faculty-only resources such as solutions and slides that are available. [Link to publisher information]

Cost savings: The hardcover version of the eliminated text costs $215. Multiplied by 28 students this is $6020. 

Accessibility and diversity statement: Certainly the conversion to the no costs materials made the content more affordable. Posting it on Blackboard made it instantly accessible. Providing diverse learning material made it more accessible to different types of learners.  

Sharing Best Practices I think simply raising awareness among faculty about the cost of learning materials they are requiring and the existence of high-quality free substitutes. Sharing this at faculty meetings is a good forum. We also have dedicated curriculum committee meetings where this information can be shared. I think slow to adapt faculty need to see specific examples whereas quicker adapters just need to know this is possible and they seek out material.

About the Course

Course Number: SW 6061

Description:  Overview of social welfare, social service sectors, and social work history and its mission in the U.S.  Introduction to generalist model of practice with communities including theories of practice for planned change within communities. 

This is a required course for MSW students. It is one of the first courses they take in the program. 

Learning outcomes: Upon successful completion of the course the student will be able to:

1.Demonstrate understanding of the range of policy responses (historically and currently) to social welfare needs in the US and globally.

 2. Identify major elements of ethical social work practice and begin to apply these elements to macro practice

 3. Apply the generalist model (including diversity, social work ethics) to the various social work macro practice roles at agency, community, and global levels.

 4. Differentiate between a “concept,” a “theory,” and an “ideology” as it relates to social work macro practice.

 5. Discuss major social welfare sectors (e.g. health, mental health), the issues in service delivery, and the roles social workers play in these sectors.

Curricular changes:  What did you change as part of the OER adoption?   The learning material. I found a free online text to address social work history and also found relevant videos on the topic. 

How and where do students access materials?   Every URL or other access information was in week-by-week folders in the Blackboard course. For example: Week 2 had a link labeled “Social Work Practice and Social Welfare Policy in the US: A History” and this description “Read chapter 7 “The Birth of a Profession”…the link should take you to the online access link to select and read the assigned chapter. From there I recommend downloading the chapter as only one person can access the book at one time.”

Teaching and learning impacts:  I think that more of us are looking for alternative learning material. It makes an impact when one faculty member states they have found good material that does not cost the students as much. Sometimes colleagues are not aware of the cost of materials or the availability of alternatives. The impact of the new material seems unchanged from the old material for SW 606A?6061. There was no goal for it to have a greater impact. 

With an increased awareness of costs and availability of alternative material, I used no textbook for another course first offered in fall of 2020. Students did not have to purchase any learning material. The result of putting in the time to locate excellent material was that the course material was rated very highly by students, with a number stating it was their favorite course. In this course, I also gave student the opportunity to find relevant learning material on their own. This highly engaged them and I would feature what they found at the beginning of class sessions. 

Textbook Adoption

OER Adoption Process

Briefly describe what motivated you to adopt OER for this course   I noticed that we were requiring an expensive textbook that was only being used for part of the semester. It seemed like it would be possible to find substitute material so that students would save hundreds of dollars. We all know they struggle with book costs. 

How did you find and select OER for this course? I browsed Merlot and also textbooks that are free to students through the library. I also searched for web sites and material such as YouTube videos that would provide the material needed to achieve the learning goals of the course. 

Describe any challenges you experienced and how you resolved them. The main challenge was finding the time to locate and evaluate alternative learning material. Also it needed to be sequenced or organized. Using an expensive textbook that has been used for years is easier. However, knowing that students got equivalent or even better learning materials (because they were varied) which left them more money for life essentials made it worthwhile.

Student feedback or participation:  It is always appreciated by students when they find out the faculty member has made an effort to lower their costs yet still provide them with high quality learning material.

Laurie Smith

Professor Laurie Smith has been on the faculty of the California State University, San Bernardino School of Social Work for nearly 20 years. She served as Director of the BASW Program and as the Director of the School of Social Work. Now returned to teaching she is eager to find high-quality low-cost material for student in her courses which include macro practice and Human Behavior in the Social Environment.