Service-learning is a teaching approach integrating academic instruction with meaningful community service; it engages students in civic responsibility, critical and creative thinking and structured reflection, as it supports partnering agencies who meet vital community needs.
Learning outcomes for Whitworth Service-Learning Courses will include:
- Students will be able to articulate one or more needs of the Spokane community and identify one or more factors that create these needs.
- Students will be able to explain ways that they can have an impact on their community.
- Students will be able to apply course content to community based experiences.
- Students will be able to identify a community organization's mission and communicate effectively on its behalf.
- Students will be able to articulate the different identities and cultural perspectives of community groups.
- The above learning outcomes apply to all service-learning courses at Whitworth University and are derived from the essential learning outcomes of the LEAP initiative.
Service-learning does not require significant changes to a course's organization, content or pedagogy. Here are some easy steps to make service-learning useful in your courses:
- Have a learning objective in your syllabus, whether devoted to the development of knowledge, skills or values, that mentions service as a means to fulfilling that course objective.
- Be intentional in reinforcing the connections between service and learning to students over the semester. Encourage students to talk about their service in class. Connect their experiences to course content, skills in your field or values that you wish to develop in students. By bringing service up in class, students will begin to make connections between their own service experience and their learning.
- Include an appropriate reflection piece as a graded assignment for students. This not only conveys the importance of service as a part of your course, but also creates a time and space for students to make meaningful connections of their own to their learning and their evolving understanding of a personal vocation.
- Quick Faculty Guide to Service-Learning
- Sample Syllabi from National Service-Learning Clearinghouse
- Tips for Meaningful Reflection (MS PowerPoint)
- Sample of Reflection Assignments at Whitworth
- What is Community Engaged Scholarship? (MS PowerPoint)
- Publishing and Presenting on your Community Engaged Scholarship (MS PowerPoint)
- Connecting Your Students' Service to a Sense of Vocation