Design Your Service-Learning Course
In the process of integrating service-learning into a traditional course, consider the following issues as specifically as possible:
- The learning objectives of the new service component in relation to the overall objectives of the course. (Keep in mind, students are evaluated on the learning attained, not the service performed. Although students should provide quality service, it is the quality of the learning that makes service-learning such a powerful teaching and learning tool);
- The kinds of placements and projects that facilitate your service-related objectives;
- The kind of service such placements/projects provide to the larger community;
- The best format for the service component (i.e., mandatory, elective, short-term, long-term);
- Adjustments you might want to make to the course’s traditional workload (e.g., less reading or fewer problem sets; fewer tests or cases). Ask yourself what kinds of learning the service related-work facilitates that currently are covered or addressed in another way;
- Strategies that are useful in helping students link their field-based and classroom-based work (e.g., journals; focus groups, face-to-face or electronic; presentations, case writing, etc.)
- Course-appropriate broader, non-technical reflection topics (e.g., professional responsibility, equal opportunity, diversity and stereotypes, peace and justice issues, democracy and citizenship);
- Appropriate assessment strategies (e.g., pre- and post-tests, journals, work logs, supervisor reports, project deliverables).
This material is adapted from a handout from a presentation by Edward Zlotkowski, Ph.D (Bentley College and AAHE). Dr. Zlotkowski edited the multi-volume series, Service Learning in the Disciplines, for AAHE, which is available in our library. Each volume relates to a specific discipline. In addition, each volume includes articles of general interest as well.
Resource for any interested faculty member: Faculty Guide to Service-Learning, wonderful compliation of information distributed by Florida Campus Compact. This is the best of the best in one handy publication; best of all our office can make copies for any and all faculty members. Just ask!
Remember to submit a request to have your course approved the first time it is offered. Contact Lisa Paige, X-7015 firstname.lastname@example.org for information and approval.