Fall 2021 SOWK 486 Class 13 Weekly Email

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Unit Introduction and What You Will Learn

This week is a guest presentation from Judy Dirks about the Vagus nerve.

Unit Resources

Judy will be talking some about the Vagus nerve (Read the basics about it on Wikipedia). One aspect that she will be talking about is the the Polyvagal Perspective (Porges, 2007). In looking at the topic of the Vagus nerve, there is a lot that is happening right now in a number of different different fields. Cimpianu et al. (2017) provide an overview of many recent studies looking into Vagus nerve stimulation and its use in mental health treatment.

You can view SOWK 486 - Week 13 - Vagus Nerve with Guest Presenter Judy Dirks

View SOWK 486 - Week 13 - Vagus Nerve with Guest Presenter Judy Dirks.


Porges, S. W. (2007). The polyvagal perspective. Biological Psychology, 74(2), 116-143. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biopsycho.2006.06.009

Cimpianu, C.-L., Strube, W., Falkai, P., Palm, U., & Hasan, A. (2017). Vagus nerve stimulation in psychiatry: A systematic review of the available evidence. Journal of Neural Transmission, 124(1), 145-158. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00702-016-1642-2

Unit Assignments

A-01: Class Engagement and Participation

Attend class

A-04: Interviewing Skills Video Role-Play and Reflection Paper

Worth 200 points, or 50% of the student’s final grade, the assessment assignment has two parts, each worth 100 points. Used as a key assignment for SOWK 486, the interviewing skills video role-play and reflection paper assignment have two distinct components. This assignment gives you the opportunity to view yourself in the role of a social worker conducting an interview. The goal is to self-critique your engagement and interviewing skills. Students without access to video equipment (a smartphone video recording is sufficient) should see the professor for guidance.

Assignment 04a: Interviewing Skills Video Role-Play

Meta: Points 100 pts (25% of student’s final grade); Deadline Friday 11/19/21 by 11:55 PM; Completion Students will post a forum in Assignment 4a Forum that they can find in the assignments Assignment 04a: Interviewing Skills Video Role-Play of MyHeritage.

Purpose: The Interviewing Skills Video Role-Play supports students in confirming the acquisition of interviewing skills (application of person in the environment, empathetic responding, reflective responding, and other interpersonal skills).

Task: Students will work with a partner to record a 10 to 15-minute interview. The interview should be of an initial meeting with a social worker and a fictional client. Students have the freedom to develop their own settings for the interview. This assignment is designed to offer the student the opportunity to demonstrate competency six, which is “engage with individuals, families, groups, organizations and communities” (CSWE, 2015, p. 8). The following is the language used in education and policy standards for the CSWE (2015):

Social workers understand that engagement is an ongoing component of the dynamic and interactive process of social work practice with and on behalf of diverse individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities. Social workers value the importance of human relationships. Social workers understand theories of human behavior and the social environment, and critically evaluate and apply this knowledge to facilitate engagement with clients and constituencies, including individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities. Social workers understand strategies to engage diverse clients and constituencies to advance practice effectiveness.

Apply knowledge of human behavior and the social environment, person-in-environment, and other multidisciplinary theoretical frameworks to engage with clients and constituents.

Use empathy, reflection, and interpersonal skills to effectively engage diverse clients and constituencies (pp 8-9).

The following are the instructions for this assignment:

  • Students will record a 10 to 15-minute role-play with a classmate. There are two general formats students can complete this activity with. To complete this in-person, students would use a tripod or stable surface to record the role-play, or for a distance version, students would use Zoom or another online meeting service to record a role-play.
  • Each role-play will have three parts (a) introduce the role-play setting, (b) completion the client interview using listening and attending skills discussed and practiced in class, and (c) de-brief with role-playing with your partner.
  • The intention is to demonstrate your ability to use attentive listening, open-ended questions, empathetic responding, and other skills. The focus is not on solving the person’s problem or difficulties.
  • Each of the three parts can be done with the camera rolling. During the debrief with your partner discuss (a) the things that you said/did that helped the other person feel comfortable and open up, and (b) The things that you could have improved, and (c) any suggestions or feedback from your partner.
  • After completing the first interview, switch roles and do another 10 to 15-minute role play following the same format.
  • Save the video to a cloud service that will allow you to share a link or embed the video on My Heritage. Most students upload the video to a YouTube account. Students can upload it as “unlisted,” meaning it will not show up in YouTube searches. Please make sure that it is not set to private, or the instructor will not see it. Additionally, your video can also be saved to OneDrive, Dropbox, Google Drive, or any cloud sharing that allows you to share a link to the video as a way of submitting the assignment.
  • Share the link to the video (or embed the video) on My Heritage in the appropriate forum. Make sure to provide a brief description of what you are sharing (e.g., who is in it, what the setting is).
  • You may watch other student’s video presentations; replies are not required for this discussion forum.

Success: Each student will submit a video of themselves that demonstrates their use of interviewing skills. Grades will be based on the Practice Behaviors Rubric, which evaluates students based on the CSWE competency six. In addition, the Engagement and Micro Skills Role-Play Rubric evaluates students regarding the actual role-play video looking at content, organization, and skills. Feedback from the instructor will be completed by no later than Sunday, 12/05/21.

To Do Lists

  • A-01: Class Engagement Attend class
  • A-04a: Interviewing Skills Video Role-Play is due Friday 11/19/21 by 11:55 PM.
  • Consider watching some of your peers video interviews
  • Consider reading either the Cimpianu et al. (2017) or the Porges (2007) articles.