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An integral component of Service-Learning pedagogy, faculty-directed reflection is the process through which students integrate their experiences in the community with the theory they study in the classroom so that they can begin to respond to experience using a more critical framework. Reflection is most meaningful when structured as a series of questions that have students connect their service experience to the larger issues you wish them to consider in their readings.
Compiled by Kathleen Rice, informed by many sources, listed below.
Sources: Cruz, 1995; Eyler, Giles and Schmiede, 1996; Mintz and Hesser, 1996.
The UD Writing Center has developed a tipsheet for faculty called Using Reflective Writing in Service-Learning. Which provides suggestions for using low- and high-stakes writing in course design, managing the paper load, and grading.
In addition, a tipsheet has been developed to be specifically tailored for reflective writing in service-learning courses in science and engineering.
Service-Learning Online Course Survey
The Community Engagement Initiative, in conjunction with the Office of Educational Assessment, has developed an online Qualtrics survey to evaluate students’ experiences in service-learning courses. This set of questions is meant to be used as part of the traditional end-of-course evaluation. In addition, open ended questions provides students the opportunity to comment on their experience. Contact Susan Serra to request the link to the survey.
Report from the Fall 2005 Retrospective Pre-test Pilot Survey
In Fall 2005, UD piloted a retrospective pre-test survey to assess the impact of service-learning on 186 undergraduate students. The executive summary noted that service-learning positively influenced students commitment to community service, civic efficacy, awareness of social problems, ability to see applications of course concepts to real world settings, and skills that include creative, logical and ethical thinking. Students’ responces to an open ended question about the value of service-learning indicated that 78% of the sudents reported clear benefits to a service-learning course as compared with a traditional college course. The complete report can be found below.
Faculty interested in participating in future studies should contact the Community Engagement Initiative for more information.
For additional information on course assesssment please see the Office of Educational Assessment website.