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Social Work
in Health Care
SOWK 551
Social Work in Healthcare is a graduate course at the MSW level that examines and develops, at an advanced level, the practice knowledge and skills required to be a social worker within a continuum of health care contexts.
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Welcome to the SOWK 551 for the renewable assignment wiki project space.

Overview of Open Education and Renewable Assignments

Open education is a broad umbrella term that refers to a wide range of processes, products and licences in academia that lowers barriers to knowledge by making it more accessible and transparent. The Open movement has its roots in democracy, equity and social justice.

Open pedagogy, one aspect of open education is an access-oriented commitment to learner-driven education. It involves using processes and tools for learning that enable students to shape the public knowledge commons of which they are a part. Renewable assignments are a component of open pedagogy where students have the opportunity to become creators of information rather than simply consumers of it. Renewable assignments allow students to meet course learning objectives, personalize their learning by engaging in work and projects that are meaningful to them, and add value to the world by becoming co-creators of knowledge. By licensing your work with a creative commons license (your choice), you have the option to share your work with the community and contribute knowledge to the field of health care social work. Renewable assignments grant permission for others to engage in the 5 R’s (re-use, re-mix, revise, retain and re-distribute) of open educational resources.

Future MSW healthcare student and community social workers will use these literature reviews to learn about specific topics related to health care social work. Future students can revise and/or update the literature reviews in a particular topic; use the literature reviews as the basis for classroom or practicum projects such as build best practice guidelines, group curriculums, information material for patients/family, education sessions for multidisciplinary team members etc. Community health care social workers can also use these literature reviews in their practice in similar ways.

Assignment Description

In this assignment, students are asked to create an open educational resource for health social work practice. Students will research a particular topic or issue related to health care social work, provide a synthesis of the most recent literature on the topic and make suggestions for the application to social work practice in health care.


  • Analyze the latest research/ literature/ knowledge about a specific topic related to health care social work using variety of sources
  • Synthesize the literature to highlight major themes
  • Apply this knowledge to social work practice by outlining recommendations for use in practice
  • Share your work with a wider audience to add value to the field of health social work

Assignment Instructions

  1. Choose a topic or issue related to social work practice in healthcare that particularly intrigues you. We have reached out to health care social workers in the lower mainland for suggestions on research topics that would be useful in their work and benefit the field of health care social work. Please see attached list of ideas. You may choose one of these topics or choose your own (please discuss your topic with your instructor first). Make sure to narrow the focus of your topic and develop a specific research question so that it can be adequately researched in this assignment.
  2. Search the literature. Be sure to define keywords in your search, and consider your source selection criteria (specific time frame, location focus, specific patient population, specific therapeutic modality etc. It is important to include any articles that are contrary to your point of view. Use a minimum of 10-15 sources (most sources should be peer reviewed journal articles, but high quality grey literature can also be included) to gather the most current information about the topic.
  3. Read the articles thoroughly and evaluate them. Look for themes or patterns ( common findings/ trends in the research/ influential theories). Develop a thesis statement based on your conclusions.
  4. Write your paper synthesizing the information gained from multiple sources, weaving them into a coherent discourse, using the sources as evidence to support key points.
  5. Publish your work with a creative commons license. Use the license creator and upload your assignment to the class wiki page. You have the option of publishing your work anonymously if you prefer.