Research Resources


IUPUI Taxonomy for Service Learning Courses

In order to assess student learning and improve the quality of course design, CSL developed a framework (i.e., taxonomy) for course design. After conducting an extensive literature review on service learning research and best practices, CSL identified six essential attributes of service learning courses. Next, CSL articulated a range of characteristics for each attribute (from level one to level three) based on research findings. CSL then obtained feedback from colleagues and content experts, presented a draft of the taxonomy through a webinar series sponsored by the International Association for Research on Service Learning and Community Engagement, and made subsequent revisions. The IUPUI Taxonomy for Service Learning Courses has the potential to contribute to the campus and to research on service learning because the taxonomy:

  1. Creates a common approach in working with instructors to support the fidelity and quality of high impact teaching practices, including service learning courses.
  2. Supports institutional assessment and research on high impact practices by asking instructors to report on selected course attributes and then explore the relationship between these course variables and student outcomes;
  3. Informs and advances a research agenda for service learning by identifying those course attributes (i.e., variables) that may relate to student outcomes, (e.g., civic learning, academic learning, personal growth), as well as other outcomes (e.g., faculty development, community impact, community partner collaboration and satisfaction).
  4. Supports institutional and multi-campus research on service learning courses through the use of a common taxonomy that describes variations in course attributes.
  5. Provides a framework and approach for other institutions to either adapt or adopt the taxonomy, depending upon how service learning is conceptualized within institutional mission and context. 

Learn more about Taxonomy and Service Learning: Taxonomy or at Scholar Works.

Past Workshops

  • Applying the IUPUI Service Learning Taxonomy to Further Service Learning Practice and Research

    Date: Wednesday, November 9th, 2016
    Time: 3:30 to 5:00 pm
    Location: Hine Hall (IP) 234D

    This highly interactive workshop will use the new IUPUI Service Learning Taxonomy to provide a framework for improving service learning pedagogy and research. The Service Learning Taxonomy was informed by current research and developed by the Center for Service and Learning as a tool to 1) support institutional assessment and research on high impact practices, 2) inform and advance a research agenda for service learning by identifying those variables (dimensions of the course design that may vary from low to high) that may relate to student outcomes, specifically civic outcomes and 3) develop a resource in working with faculty to support the fidelity/quality of service learning course design. Attendees will be able to compare their current service learning practice to the framework of the taxonomy and discuss ways to enhance selected components of course design. Further, attendees will be able to discuss potential research studies on service learning based on the taxonomy.