Service Learning Course Design
Effective and high-quality service learning requires more than the proverbial “add service and stir” approach to designing courses and programs. As a dimension of university-community engagement, service learning can be defined as a “course or competency-based, credit-bearing educational experience in which students:
- Participate in mutually identified service activities that benefit the community
- Reflect on the service activity in such a way as to gain further understanding of course content, a broader appreciation of the discipline, and an enhanced sense of personal values and civic responsibility” (Bringle and Clayton, 2012; adapted from Bringle and Hatcher, 1995, see references)
Instructors interested in using service learning as a dimension of their teaching tool kit can use this experiential pedagogy most effectively when they intentionally draw on the principles of good practice in service learning (Howard, 2001) course design.