Thirsty for a Strong Instructional Practice?
As instructors we are often met with students wondering why our content is important. Incorporating service learning into your course will help students intrinsically see the value of your content because they will be using the content in real-world applications.
What is Service Learning?
At MSU Denver, service learning is a form of experiential learning in which students combine classroom experience with community-based service that:
- Meets an identified community need
- Provides a structured opportunity for students to reflect on the service activity in such a way as to gain further understanding of course content
- Balances student goals and community goals through collaborative development of course content and service opportunity
- Engages students in structured preparation for, participation in, and reflection on service experience
Examples of Service Learning:
- From 101 Bright ideas for service learning http://www.gcsu.edu/engagement/docs/101_BRIGHT_IDEAS_FOR_SERVICE_LEARNING.pdf
- For Biology: Conduct workshops at elderly resident homes on “What’s Happening to My Body.” In this way, students will learn about the particular nutritional needs of the elderly and physical changes they are going through.
- For Accounting: Work with neighborhood leadership/advisory boards to put on workshops for residents of low-income areas on household finances, budgeting.
- For Art: “A Day Without Art”- Students from the Yale School of Art designed and executed a one-day fund-raising and advocacy event in the fall semester around the issue of AIDS. The event included student created remembrances of artists who have died of AIDS-related causes, readings, performances and exhibitions were put on.
- For History: Work with local politicians and policy makers to inform them of the history of an issue and possible strategies for resolving the issues, so that they will be better able to evaluate the opinions and actions of local government officials.
Still Thirsty? Take Another SIP of Service Learning
- Campus Compact of the Mountain West: http://www.ccmountainwest.org/ – organization that helps campuses with ways to engage students through service learning – grants available.
- Helpful Service Learning Syllabi: syllabi by discipline at http://www.compact.org/category/syllabi/
- National Service-Learning Clearinghouse at http://www.servicelearning.org/search/apachesolr_search?filters=type%3Aslice
- Asset-Based Community Development (ABCD) Institute at Northwestern: http://www.abcdinstitute.org/
- MSU Denver Applied Learning Center: www.msudenver.edu/appliedlearningcenter