Generating Learning Through Community and Civic Engagement
To enhance student learning, it is critical that instructors devote time and attention to designing reflection activities. Reflection is the intentional consideration of an experience in light of particular learning objectives. Reflection should be both retrospective and prospective: students consider their service experience in order to influence their future action. Effective reflection activities are linked to particular learning objectives of the class, are guided by the instructor, occur regularly throughout the course, allow for feedback and assessment, and include opportunities for the clarification of values. When reflection activities are integrated into class discussion and appear on exams, students report higher levels of satisfaction with the course and greater academic gains from the experience. A service learning class should include some type of reflection activity that can be evaluated by the instructor. This affords students the opportunity to document the learning that has occurred from the service component.