Service Learning Research Primer

Service-learning is defined as a “course-based, credit bearing educational experience in which students (a) participate in an organized service activity that meets identified community needs, and (b) reflect on the service activity in such a way as to gain further understanding of course content, a broader appreciation of the discipline, and an enhanced sense of personal values and civic responsibility” (Bringle & Hatcher, 2009, p.38). The service component can be an option within a course, required of all students, a one-time service project, a disciplinary capstone course, or a fourth credit option in a three credit hour course (Enos & Troppe, 1996). Well-designed service-learning courses engage students in service activities that are mutually beneficial to community stakeholders (e.g., agency, recipients, community) and meet the educational objectives of the course.

Resource Author(s): 

Katheryn S. Steinberg, Robert G. Bringle, Matthew J. Williams

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