Proposal Abstract

Research has pointed to a myriad of benefits associated with experiential learning, including students' enhanced critical thinking and improved decision making skills and their increased ability to connect traditional academic learning with “real world” application. Service-learning, a form of experiential learning, includes a community involvement component and thus is seen as contributing to students' civic-minded growth as well. Increased interest in service-learning brings with it the challenge of how to effectively structure and evaluate the learning component in service learning. The use of reflection assignments is cited as one of the tools that can motivate deeper, more reflective thinking in students, but it also can be used as a qualitative method to evaluate student learning. This session will discuss how to 1) develop a semester-long course that connects the classroom component with the service-learning component; 2) structure reflective-type assignments to encourage these connections; and 3) analyze the level of learning that occurs, using Kolb's experiential learning theory, deep versus surface learning, and the hierarchical levels of learning model.

Location

Room 2905

Publication Type and Release Option

Presentation (Open Access)

 
Mar 7th, 3:00 PM Mar 7th, 3:45 PM

Are Students Learning? Evaluating the Academic and Experiential Components of Service-Learning

Room 2905

Research has pointed to a myriad of benefits associated with experiential learning, including students' enhanced critical thinking and improved decision making skills and their increased ability to connect traditional academic learning with “real world” application. Service-learning, a form of experiential learning, includes a community involvement component and thus is seen as contributing to students' civic-minded growth as well. Increased interest in service-learning brings with it the challenge of how to effectively structure and evaluate the learning component in service learning. The use of reflection assignments is cited as one of the tools that can motivate deeper, more reflective thinking in students, but it also can be used as a qualitative method to evaluate student learning. This session will discuss how to 1) develop a semester-long course that connects the classroom component with the service-learning component; 2) structure reflective-type assignments to encourage these connections; and 3) analyze the level of learning that occurs, using Kolb's experiential learning theory, deep versus surface learning, and the hierarchical levels of learning model.