January Term

Featured Online Course

Social Welfare Policy II (SW 926)

December 27 - January 17 100% online course

CRN: 30005, Credits 4.0

Instructor Bio: Jerry Marx, Ph.D.

Meet the instructor and watch a course introduction video.

A continuation of the exploration of social policy issues begun in SW 820. Students review various methods of social policy analysis and apply these to issues of concern at the state, local, and agency levels. The course's key organizing concept is the integration of social policy concerns with social work practice and the promotion of client well-being. Prereq: SW 820.

Questions for Jerry Marx, Ph.D.

How does teaching this course online change your approach?

There are several features of this social welfare policy course that I think students will find attractive:
1. The course is totally asynchronistic, so that students can do assignments at a time and place of their choosing. There are no campus visits, parking, or driving in snow storms.
2. The course allows students to learn the material in one of several ways: text reading, listening to lectures, sample papers, documentary films, and writing assignments. Because each lecture is filmed and relatively short, students can watch certain lectures more than once. All of us learn best in different ways; this course tries to take advantage of that fact.
3. The final policy analysis term paper is broken down into several mini-papers, meaning that each mini-paper is a section of the final term paper. This allows students to get started writing their term paper right away and allows me to give them graded feedback. This way I am tutoring each student as they read and write and not just judging the final product in the form of a final grade.

Why should students be interested in this subject matter?

SW926 is a required course for UNH graduate social work students, but the course would be valuable for any graduate student who is interested in social justice and any of the social welfare-related topics in the news (health care reform, world poverty, women in poverty, Wall Street reform, the negative influence of Big Box retailers on local communities, etc.).

Do you have a philosophy about learning?

My teaching philosophy for teaching online courses emphasizes the following 10 items:
1. Offer a variety of learning opportunities including video lectures, documentary films, and sample papers.
2. Give students regular feedback.
3. Let students work at their own pace.
4. For each student, be more of a tutor than a lecturer.
5. Interesting required readings make for lively and informative online class discussion.
6. Be available for questions.
7. Be as concrete as I can be with directions and assignment instructions.
8. Be well organized in my course preparation.
9. Let students get started as early as possible.
10. Make sure students know how to get technical support if needed.