Research Resources


Research Primer

Responding to the need for information and resources on how to conduct high-quality and rigorous research on service and learning, CSL faculty and staff created and published a research primer through the National Service-Learning Clearinghouse.

This Service-Learning Research Primer provides a comprehensive look at what constitutes high-quality and rigorous research by providing in-depth explanation on the following:

  • Processes and procedures useful in conducting research on service and learning
  • Process of designing service and learning research, including the research cycle, qualities of good research, and differentiating between research and evaluation
  • Description of how to define research variables
  • Research designs, common problems in service and learning research and how to address them, and ethical issues
  • Measurement issues in service and learning
  • Common types of assessment tools used in service and learning research, such as surveys, focus groups, and content analysis
  • Discussion of the characteristics of good measurement instruments (reliability, validity, and practical concerns)
  • Pros and cons of whether to use existing tools, to adapt from those that have already been developed, or to create new tools to fit a specific purpose
  • Resources for conducting online surveys
  • Data analysis and interpretation
  • Description of most commonly used forms of quantitative analysis, descriptive, and inferential statistics
  • Avenues for disseminating research
  • Qualities of good quantitative research articles
  • Publication outlets for research on service and learning