What is Effective?
Specifically, there are critical elements found in successful service-learning assignments. These include:
- Service assignments must be connected with the curriculum on a regular basis throughout the course.
- Service activities should be clear and specific.
- Reflection is a critical component and should be integrated into the course in multiple ways. (See “ Value of Reflection")
- Where possible and appropriate, students should have some choice in service assignment.
- Each student should complete and submit a " Learning Plan" prior to starting their service hours.
- Students should receive orientation and training from both the instructor and their site supervisor.
- Service should involve a minimum of 15 hours, with 20 or more hours preferred.
- Students should sign-in and sign-out each time they serve at a site.
- Faculty should be trained in utilizing service-learning best practices.
- Faculty should regularly communicate with community partners. Before, during and after the semester is ideal.
- Ongoing assessment of student and community partner experiences should be included.
- Student accomplishments should be acknowledged by the community partner and the faculty member.