Using Service Learning in my Course
- Common Methods: Incorporating service-learning (S-L) into a class takes many shapes and forms.
- Types of Service: when deciding how to incorporate S-L into your course, consider the different ways students could be involved in the community.
– actual interaction with the people, environment, and/or animals
- Caring for dogs at an animal shelter, tutoring children, performing income tax assistance
– action is not seen by the people who may benefit from the service, but it meets a real need.
- Collecting clothes for a domestic violence shelter, doing a beach clean-up, collecting books for a library.
– action that causes others to be aware of an issue and encourages them to take action.
- Writing letters, working on a political campaign, speaking at a hall meeting.
– gathering and reporting information that helps a community or a campaign.
- Surveying neighborhoods on an issue, testing water quality, veteran interviews.
- Use the PARE model: to insure your S-L will be complete and beneficial to all parties.
- Preparation (includes research) – Students study an issue or set of issues, analyze community needs, and create an action plan for applying course objectives to meet those needs
- Action – Students complete the service with a community nonprofit agency
- Reflection – Students reflect on how the experience, knowledge, and skills they've acquired relate to their lives and career aspirations. Students must attempt to place this experience in a broader context, challenge initial assumptions, and connect with the academic material.
- Evaluation – Students demonstrate what they've learned through their direct service experience and reflection. Examples include a presentation, journal, essay, or portfolio.
- Important Logistical Steps: discuss the following with the S-L coordinator or director at your campus.
- Offer a S-L presentation to your students at the beginning of the semester.
- Discuss with S-L coordinator and class how paperwork will be collected (by professor first or directly to the Institute for Civic Engagement and Democracy) when completed.
- Understand the deadlines and paperwork students must meet and complete.
Please contact your campus' iCED office for a consultation on how to incorporate S-L into your specific course and to begin forming a partnership with a community agency or developing curriculum-based around a critical community issue.
View Course Development Worksheet as a guide to incorporating Service Learning into your curriculum.
Watch "Introduction to Service Learning" (YouTube)
Watch "Service-Learning Registration Instruction" (YouTube)