Things to Think About....
Service-Learning Course Design Checklist
By now, you have probably already considered your desired goals in adding a service component to your course. It is possible however, that there is an angle you did not consider. Below are a series of questions designed to assist you in thoroughly planning a service-learning course.
- Have you established clear, demonstrable objectives for your service-learning activities?
- Have you considered the needs and readiness of community-based organizations, the university, and your students in planning your service-learning program?
- Do you have clear performance expectations and guidelines for your students, for the community-based organizations?
- Have you established clear roles, responsibilities, provisions for student orientation and training, monitoring and supervision of student progress in your service-learning plans?
- Have you planned critical reflection opportunities for students to reflect on their service, the needs andconditions of the community, and the themes of the course?
- Can you assess student performance in relation to stated objectives in order to fairly evaluate the learning outcomes from their service experience?
(Taken from Falbo, Mark C. Serving to Learn: A Faculty Guide to Service-Learning. The Center for Community Service, John Carroll University. p. 25.)
Goals of Service-Learning
- Manifest the Dominican ideals of study, reflection, service, and community
- Foster students' understanding of the dynamic relationship between theory and practice by providing the opportunity to apply what they learn.
- Meet community needs through service that is meaningful and necessary.
- Create the opportunity for students to explore/build their own core values.
- Help students consider the ethical implications of the application of knowledge in professional and civic life.
- Increase the civic and citizenship skills of students, faculty/staff.
- Expose students to societal inadequacies and injustices and empower students to work for remedies.
- Increase multicultural literacy for students, faculty/staff via the opportunity to learn from members of diverse communities.
- Better prepare students for their careers / continuing education.
- Re-affirmation of students' careers choices.
- Increase leadership opportunities and development.
- Excite and motivate students.
- Give student greater responsibility for their learning.
- Impact and raise awareness regarding local/global issues/ needs.
- Develop an environment of collegial participation among students, faculty, staff and the community and a culture of engaged scholarship on our campus.