Faculty Service Learning
Create a Service Learning Project for Your Students
- Identify relevant learning outcomes for the course.
- Identify the relevant learning outcomes that can be (best) achieved through service-learning.
- Determine how the combination of service and academic content will enable students to achieve the learning outcomes.
- Determine the type(s) of service appropriate for the course.
- Determine in advance whether screening is appropriate/required for a given service-learning opportunity.
- Determine whether the service is required or optional.
- Suggest the number of service hours.
- Determine course materials and classroom activities.
- Select readings or other materials that will complement the service.
Benefits of Service Learning
- Enhanced student learning (more engaged students)
- Reinvigorated teaching
- Enhanced relationship with students
- Professional development
- Research/publishing opportunities
- Sense of making a difference
In the development of service-learning opportunities, it is important to consider:
- Students’ diverse learning styles
- A screening process to ensure students can undertake a given opportunity
- The established criteria our committee uses to approve faculty proposals
Service Learning must:
- Be relevant, meaningful service related to the subject matter and learning outcomes of the course
- Enhance understanding of the course material and the development of students’ competencies
- Be purposeful civic learning that promotes the common good
- Consider other questions:
- How many hours of service should be required?
- How much is “enough”?
- Should the service be optional or mandatory?
- How are students graded?
Tracking Service Hours
Service hours earned by each student must be reported to Dr. Megan Boccardi for record keeping.
Requests for a student’s earned hours must be submitted to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Guide to Reflection
There are a wide range of meaningful reflective practices and strategies that can be incorporated into service-learning, including the frequently used approaches listed below.
- Discuss and/or have a speaker on a certain issue that relates to the students’ service experiences.
Have guided discussion questions in large or small groups that challenge students to critically think about their service experiences.
- Find events in the community that students can attend together and debrief about afterwards.
Find articles, poems, stories or songs that relate to the service students are doing and create and discuss questions around relevant social issues. Or, ask students to write or bring in such items and describe how it is relevant to or reflects their service experience.
- Use case studies or scenarios for students to act out and discuss something they did not know how to handle during their service in the community. Have the students role play appropriate and inappropriate responses to the situation.
- Ask students to create a map that shows how their service-learning experience connects to larger issues at the state/national/global level and where community involvement and citizenship fit in.
Have student view a video or documentary to elicit discussion about critical issues that relate to their service experiences.
- Write letters-to-the-editor or to government officials that address issues important to the community organizations with which they are working and that can help inform the general public.
- Have students make a collage to express how they view their service site and their service.
- Have students maintain a print or electronic reflective journal. Writing in journals is widely used by service-learning programs to promote reflection. Journaling exercises are most meaningful when instructors pose key questions for analysis and description concerning their opinions before and after the service-learning experience.
- Faculty Tool Kit for Service Learning
- Sample Syllabi: