Identify learning objectives and student-learning outcomes that the service-learning experience will meet.
Determine in what way the service will tie in with course content.
Decide whether service-learning will be a requirement or an option within the course.
Determine a minimum number of service hours the students must complete for the course (A minimum of 15 hours of service-learning is recommended, but actual requirements vary on average from 10-30 hours.)
If faculty choose to teach the course online while still providing a local/regional service experience, it is recommended that the faculty member be experienced in online instruction before introducing service-learning to the course. Faculty who use this model need to be particularly attentive to preparing well in advance of the start of the course. Of special importance, too, is working with the community partners to determine how they will communicate, recognizing that the technology may/may not be available to facilitate communication.
Revise the course syllabus to incorporate a description of the service and how learning will be assessed.
Identify a community partner and establish a service activity or project with the help of the Civic and Community Engagement Office.
Attend our community partner meetings to gather information from community partners and to share information about your course.
Check out our list of current partners in the Community-Engaged Partnerships section. Additional information on building successful partnerships can be found there as well.
Strive to create a mutually beneficial service-learning opportunity that addresses the community-identified priorities and matches the learning outcomes for your course.
Consider whether the service activity is place-based or project-based.
Make sure to define course requirements to both students and community partners, as well as expectations and logistics.
Provide students with a service-learning orientation or invite your SL coordinator to present to your class. Students may need help understanding the issue they will be addressing and community priorities.
Check in to make sure students are engaged in their service activity or project. Are they reporting to the site or making progress on their project?
Provide students with structured reflection activities to relate the experience back to the course. Reflection is a critical and necessary component of a successful service-learning course. Please refer to the refection section for suggestions and ideas.
Communication is key to a successful partnership! Communicate with the Civic and Community Engagement Office, community partners, and students throughout the semester.
Schedule check-in meetings, especially at the mid-semester, to make sure the service-learning activity and/or project is on track and students are making progress.
Evaluate the students’ learning based on course content. Did the students meet the learning objectives and student learning outcomes for the course?
Please invite your community partner to any final presentations and make sure any materials are delivered to the partner.
Schedule a wrap-up meeting to receive feedback on what went well and ideas for future improvements.
Recognize your students for their contributions! Certificates of Completion will be available to students who successfully complete their service-learning course. We want to encourage a life-long commitment to community and civic engagement.
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