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Helping Students Find Time for Service-Learning in Courses Dr. Tania S. Smith Assistant Professor University of Calgary EngageNOW Conference Calgary, October.

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Presentation on theme: "Helping Students Find Time for Service-Learning in Courses Dr. Tania S. Smith Assistant Professor University of Calgary EngageNOW Conference Calgary, October."— Presentation transcript:

1 Helping Students Find Time for Service-Learning in Courses Dr. Tania S. Smith Assistant Professor University of Calgary EngageNOW Conference Calgary, October 1, 2009

2 Curricular CSL 2 locations for CSL –Curricular (within curriculum, credit courses) –Co-curricular (non-credit programs offered by the institution) Both are valuable, complementary Different from other experiential learning Practicum, internship, co-op for credit Volunteerism, workplace learning Social learning (sports, clubs, family)

3 Benefits of Curricular CSL Accessible to more students Integration with academic learning Social development, not just career & academic development Faculty & student engagement Transformation of curriculum & teaching methods Problem-based, Inquiry-based, collaborative Sustainable community partnerships

4 Time for Service-Learning QuestionU of C 4 th years Participated in a community-based project (e.g., service learning) as part of a regular course Never 72% Sometimes 18% Often 6% Very often 4% Community service or volunteer work (not service-learning) Have not decided 10% Do not plan to do 23% Plan to do 14% Done 53% *National Survey of Student Engagement 2008 NSSE* student survey datastudent survey data

5 Student Time 2008 CUSC* student survey datastudent survey data Task Canadian students Hrs / week U of C Hrs / week Commute to campus Time in class Time studying Employment (of the 48-50% of students who are employed) Service / Volunteer (of the 48-49% of students who volunteer) Totals Canada (n = 11,981) | U of C (n =248 ) *Canadian University Survey Consortium

6 Student Time for Community Activity done often or very often Canadian students U of C students Participated in on/off-campus community service / volunteer activities 22% 25% Attended campus lectures (outside of class) 23% Attended campus social events 21% 15% Attended campus cultural events (theatre, concerts, art) 14% 9% Participated in student clubs 20% Participated in student government 7% 3% 2008 CUSC student survey datastudent survey data

7 Time within courses Class time (lecture, lab, tutorial) 3 h / week Study time5 h / week Total8 h / week 3 courses / term24 h / week 5 courses / term40 h / week

8 Why CSL Needs Time Give a significant benefit to community Make it worthy of the effort; reputation 2 aspects of CSL time for Students Time for the service activity Estimated hours / term Time for preparation, related academic learning and assignments Equal or greater in proportion to service activity 2 aspects of CSL time for Faculty & Community -- not covered here! -- institutional time needed Pre-term preparation, Post-term evaluation and research

9 CSL Preparation Time Before service, students learn… What is CSL and Why are we doing it? Who is the community partner? organization, people, local histories What are the issues and concepts the community partner needs us to understand? How will our learning be structured? How does CSL relate to The rest of the course (readings, assignments) The students backgrounds & personal futures

10 CSL Implementation Time During service, students do… Group communication (if group project) Partner communication or liaison Class visits, telephone, , real-time internet Transportation (if class or service off-campus) Assignments: Reporting & Reflection Service & lectures, readings, etc. Service & personal development Service & organizational, social development

11 Solution #1 = Within Course If CSL required for all students enrolled Downsize & simplify the service 1-3 hrs / week of service This includes student communication & planning time needed to conduct service One community partner per TA / Faculty Easier to integrate community content into course Try on-campus projects Clubs, offices, task forces, campus issues Less student preparation, transportation Limit (or omit) group assignments Group work usually requires additional time within & outside of class.

12 Solution #1 = Within Course CSL in registrar-scheduled class time Group meetings, Lectures CSL presentations (I.e. progress, final) Partner visits, field trips CSL integrated with content & methods Some lecture time on CSL Some readings cover CSL issues/skills as well as course content/skills Student assignments: CSL or integrated

13 Solution #1= Within Course CSL course (2 alternatives) h/week Academic h/week Integrated Learning* h/week Service h/week TOTALS Course A Class time 2114 Course A Out-of-class time 2024 Not more than normal8 Course B Class time 1113 Course B Out-of-class time 2215 Not more than normal8 * integrated learning = lecture or required readings on the theme of the CSL project; reflection assignments that ask students to synthesize academic learning with service experience

14 Solution # 2. CSL In & Beyond If course requires significantly more time & effort from all students enrolled If CSL is optional, an additional unit built on top of the course If some students volunteer extra CSL time and effort on the project It is still credit-based learning, not volunteerism/co-curricular

15 Solution # 2. CSL In & Beyond Alternative assignments for CSL students Quality & integration requires extra individualized instruction for CSL students Can be perceived as unfair treatment Extra credit hours (3 cr + 1 extra credit) Administrative policies, paperwork E.g. at Missouri State University and Georgetown University center for social justice, and Miami UniversityMissouri State UniversityGeorgetown University center for social justiceMiami University Students do the paperwork, obtain signatures, submit proof

16 Solution # 2. CSL In & Beyond h/week Academic h/week Integrated Learning h/week Service h/week TOTALS Class time 2114 Out-of-class time 23*38 1/3 More than normal course12 * Students may be assigned additional readings by the community partner, I.e. reports by the organization, literature review on the issue, additional observation / training in the community

17 Solution #3. Directed Study Some students interested in CSL, but… NO room in normal course for CSL 3-5 students in concurrent directed study course Synergies: With the same teacher. Students may play a leadership role in the regular course, share lecture time in reg. course, do complementary assignments, orally present to the reg. course Costs: additional faculty member time, faculty member expertise in CSL, student recruitment & planning Alternative : Subsequent directed study course Useful to conduct CSL follow-up or evaluation

18 Solution # 3. Directed Study h/week Academic h/week Integrated Learning h/week Service h/week TOTALS Course A Class time 3--3 Course A Out-of-class time 5--5 normal course8 Directed Study Class time 1113 Directed Study Out-of- class time 1225 normal course8

19 Solution # 4. Learning Community Concurrent enrollment in 2-3 courses on a related theme 1 of the courses is CSL intensive 1 course is primarily academic 1 optional course or non-credit workshop focuses on integration or skills (I.e. writing, research, teamwork, leadership) Normal credit for each academic course

20 Solution #4 Learning Community Benefits Collaboration and shared learning for all More service hours & better preparation Interdisciplinarity Can be scheduled as 1 course with 2x credit in a single term 1 Fall Academic course + 1 Winter CSL course Costs Students must be recruited or required Registrar must accommodate Faculty & community time & help to plan together

21 Solution #4 Learning Community h/week Academic h/week Integrated Learning h/week Service h/week TOTALS Academic Course Class time 3--3 Academic Course Out- of-class time 5--5 normal course8 CSL Course Class time 0213 CSL Course Out-of- class time 0235 Complementary normal course8

22 Summary: Finding Time 1.Within course time 2.In and beyond course 3.Directed study courses 4.Learning communities Solutions 1-4 arranged in order: Increasing CSL time, quality, potential Short to Long-term implementation #1 requires the instructor to be the CSL expert. Integration is not easy. #4 requires institutional teamwork

23 References Juganue. (2009). Clock texture. [Background image] deviantART. Retrieved September 27, 2009 from Canadian University Survey Consortium (CUSC). (2008, June). Undergraduate Student Survey. Retrieved September 27, 2009 from the University of Calgary website National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE). (2008, August) University of Calgary: Mean Comparisons. Retrieved September 27, 2009 from the University of Calgary website (p. 23, 28)


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