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Ma te Mahi e Ako ai (Learning by Doing): Research on the Influence of Service- Learning on Student Engagement Lane Perry* PhD Candidate - Higher Education.

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Presentation on theme: "Ma te Mahi e Ako ai (Learning by Doing): Research on the Influence of Service- Learning on Student Engagement Lane Perry* PhD Candidate - Higher Education."— Presentation transcript:

1 Ma te Mahi e Ako ai (Learning by Doing): Research on the Influence of Service- Learning on Student Engagement Lane Perry* PhD Candidate - Higher Education University of Canterbury Christchurch, New Zealand *Dr Billy O’Steen and Dr Peter Cammock

2 Our Journey…  Setting the Stage… NZ Higher Education Environment  Framing my Study… Contextualizing Further: Relevant Literature  Illuminating my Study… Service-Learning in two NZ classrooms

3 NZ Higher Education Environment setting the stage…

4 NZ Higher Education Environment Brief Historical Overview  1961: University of New Zealand 125,000 EFTS at 8 universities  Special Admission  NZ Education Act of 1989 “User-Pays”

5 NZ Higher Education Environment Current General Environment  3-Year Bachelors Degree Programmes  AUSSE/NSSE: Measuring Student Engagement Student Engagement? AUSSE/NZ & NSSE/US

6 AUSSE/NZ & NSSE/US (2009): Student Engagement

7 NZ Higher Education Environment Specific University Context  AUSSE/NSSE: Measuring Student Engagement AUSSE/U & AUSSE/NZ – US/NSSE

8 AUSSE/U & AUSSE/NZ – NSSE/US (2009): Student Engagement

9 Contextualizing Further: Relevant Literature framing my study…

10 Relevant Literature  current use of the NSSE/AUSSE  identifying the relationship and influence among  student engagement  service-learning  outcomes attributed to service-learning

11 Background of NSSE/AUSSE  NSSE emerged from demand to identify engaging activities based on…  student involvement theory (Astin, 1984)  efforts to increase retention (Tinto, 1988)  seven good practices (Chickering & Gamson, 1987)  since 1999 NSSE – 1400 universities & 2.5 million students (Kuh, 2009)  AUSSE followed suit making its debut in 2007 – roughly 4000 UC students have completed the survey

12 Link of NSSE/AUSSE to Service-Learning  Over 165 definitions of SL (Stanton, 2008)  experiential education (EE) => experiential learning (EL)  EE – Criteria for educative projects via experience  must generate interest  be worthwhile intrinsically  utilize problems that open new curiosity  extended investment of time (Eyler & Giles, 1994 from Dewey)

13 Service-Learning: An Engaging Practice Creates Engaging Conditions  SL identified as engaging pedagogy: (Astin et al. 2000; Belchair, 2001; Kuh, 2003; Schmidt et al., 2004; Heller, 2004; Watts, 2005; Hicks & Lee, 2008; Kuh, 2008).  SL is of a “considerable value to students and that well- defined research on CSL and its theorising within university pedagogy is warranted” (Parker et al., 2009, p. 586).

14 *Outcomes Attributed to Service-Learning Personal Growth Civic Engagement Academic Enhancement Service-Learning (*Center for Service-Learning IUPUI, 2009; Clayton and Day, 2003; Roldan, Strage, and David, 2003; Eyler et al, 2000)

15 Service-Learning in Two NZ classrooms: Two Approaches illuminating my study…

16 Research Questions 1.What do students from differing engagement backgrounds experience in two university classes that use service-learning? 2.How do these students’ experiences relate to an established model of service-learning and the outcomes typically attributed to it? 3.How does the use of service-learning in the two university classes appear to influence student engagement? 4.How can these students’ experiences inform and potentially influence teaching and learning at other universities? (approach I SL & approach II SL)

17 Data Collection: Methods & Design  qualitative specifics: Naturalistic Inquiry (Lincoln & Guba, 1985)  utilizes qualitative research methods…  observation, interviews & artefacts  quantitative specifics: AUSSE (preliminary & follow- up)

18 What is Service-Learning in a NZ Context? Approach I service-learning is…  Added component  Conducted in small groups outside of class  Purpose, apply course concepts & enhance learning outcomes  Work with not-for-profits and reflect on overall experience Approach II service-learning is…  Fully integrated  Conducted in small groups with tutors which serves as the class  Purpose, progress as researchers & develop knowledge & skill- oriented outcomes towards the research process  Intentionally work with community leading to a memorable exp.

19 From Quantitative Data Analysis – CLASSE & AUSSE/UC - NSSE/US (2009): Student Engagement Post-SL

20 From Qualitative Data Analysis – An Emergent Model: Service-Learning in a New Zealand Context

21 (1) “It is like we have been put in a test tube with all this muddy water and everything. The mud, stones and sands, everything, and we do not know what we are doing because the thing keeps stirring. The more we stir, the less you can see and you get a bit more confused. As the progress continues it stirs faster and faster and eventually the sands and all the sediments fall to the bottom and you can see through it. First you have to find out what you are researching. No one is telling you. Basically, you get given this very vague question and you go and find out what you want to know and what you need. No one is telling you here is the thing, now go and find it… it is definitely self-directed” (interview, Tabitha, moderate, approach II SL, October 19, 2009). (2) “The most memorable thing will be… when I went and spoke to the board [of trustees] for CO. I saw the people who were working for CO and the things they were doing and… they were business men. They were out there trying to make a difference. Not just in ‘for profit,’ but by helping people as well. They were really committed to it… and that made a bit of an impact on me, getting to see that. I have had the experience and I saw the value and saw the reward you can get from helping people by volunteering and working for a not-for-profit. I think that will be something that probably has changed my opinion on that in this course” (interview, Derek, moderate, approach I SL, October 19, 2009). (3) “I haven’t really done that many projects like this, which have involved group work and stuff like that. It is quite unique. I’ve had one or two courses that have involved talking to people outside the university and to business people, but nothing where you have been working with them to this extent… I have never had the opportunity to do stuff like that in anything so far” (interview, Derek, moderate, approach I SL, October 19, 2009). – external “I actually got a bit more involved in this class than I normally would because of the project [ACGP]… [I was] being a part of it versus being a person in the back of the room that would have never even talked to anyone” (interview, Eric, low, approach I SL, October 21, 2009). – internal (4) “I have been involved in many projects with small groups before, but the methods and approaches were often already laid out for us. By being introduced to this approach, I have learnt to think critically and attempt to solve a problem that is not ‘scenario-based’, but actually beneficial to others outside of university” (critique, Megan, low, approach II SL, 2009). “Inside the ACGP I was able to have positive interactions with people in discussing theory and I learned most of them, well at least the theories we decided to apply inside our consultancy group. I know a lot of those theories quite well now. As opposed to the ones that were just discussed in class and talked about and… held off at arm’s length” (interview, Walter, high, approach I SL, October 19, 2009). (5) “The PBL/SBL process as a whole was great, but for me… the fact that it was service based was really the best aspect. This would have been the first time, for some in the group, where work they do actually contributes to peoples’ lives in a real sense” (critique, Mark, moderate, approach II SL, 2009). “…we were doing something worthwhile… that intrinsic thing… although we were getting assessed and we had to do it to get marks to pass the course, that [marks] sort of felt like a secondary motivation” (interview, Derek, moderate, approach I SL, October 19, 2009).

22 Implications & Transferable Lessons  Understanding more about what students experience, learn, and gain from a SL environment can help inform future pedagogical questions in a NZ context.  From a NZ context, the students who are involved in SL have different experiences than they are used to having in their typical courses.  These different experiences combine to invite these students to step out of their comfort zones and into an environment that offers elements conducive to their engagement.  By ‘being a part of a group internal and external to university,’ ‘active learning’ in the form of ‘hands-on, self-driven, free thinking,’ and having a community project and counterpart viewed as ‘intrinsic and worthwhile’, these students experience a different academic environment that cultivates growth and development.

23 Implications & Transferable Lessons  SL has a definitive influence on these students’ engagement, despite their previous extent of engagement at university.  These student’s previous extent of involvement and interaction with conditions and practices likely to generate engagement does not seem to influence the likelihood of their future engagement; particularly when SL is involved.  SL pedagogy increases and makes more robust the interactions among students, faculty and community.  SL pedagogy positively influences the type and amount of active learning opportunities in the form of hands-on learning and self- driven, creative, free thinking.  SL pedagogy generates an environment where these students see a greater emphasis on the value of their time and effort based on the intrinsic, worthwhile quality of the projects they are working on.

24 What questions do you have? Lane Perry PhD Candidate – Higher Education College of Education University of Canterbury +64 03 364 2987 ext. 7701

25 References Astin, A. (1984). Student involvement: A developmental theory for higher education. Journal of College Student Personnel, 25, 297-308. Astin, A., Vogelsang, L., Ikeda, E., and Yee, J. (2000). How service-learning affects students. Los Angeles, CA: Higher Education Research Institute. Center for Service & Learning, Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis (2009). Service-learning: What is service-learning?. Retrieved January 27, 2009 from Chickering A. & Gamson, Z. (1987). Seven principles for good practice in undergraduate education [special insert], The Wingspread Journal, 9(2). Clayton, P. and Day, M. (2003). Reflection session guidebook: Student edition. North Carolina State University Service-Learning Program. Eyler, J., Giles, D., Stenson, C., and Gray, C. (2001). At a glance: What we know about the effects of service- learning on college students, faculty, institutions and communities, 1993- 2000: Third edition. Corporation for Learn and Serve America National Service Learning Clearinghouse. Giles, D. and Eyler, J. (1994). The theoretical roots of service-learning in John Dewey: Toward a theory of service- learning. Michigan Journal of Community Service Learning, 1(1), 77-85. Hicks, M., and Lee, P. (2008). Transforming teaching and learning at an institutional level. Higher Education Academy Conference Paper presented June 2008. Kolb, D. (1984). Experiential learning: Experiences as the source of learning and development. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, Inc. Kuh, G. (2003). How are we doing at engaging students? About Campus, 8(1), 9-16. Kuh, G. (2008). High-Impact educational practices: What they are, who has access to them, and why they matter. Association of American Colleges and Universities.

26 References Kuh, G. (2009). High impact activities and implications for curriculum design. Queensland University. July 6, 2009. Lincoln, Y., and Guba E. (1985). Naturalistic inquiry. Beverley Hills, CA: Sage Publications. Parker, E., Myers, N., Higgins, C., Oddsson T., Price, M., and Gould, T. (2009). More than experiential learning or volunteering: A case study of community service learning within the Australian context. Higher Education Research & Development, 28(6), 585-596. Roldan, M., Strage, A., and David, D. (2004). A framework for assessing academic service-learning across disciplines. In M. Welch and S. Billig (Eds.) New perspectives in service-learning: Research to advance the field. Boulder, CO: Information Age Publishing. Schmidt, M., Marks, J., and Derrico, L. (2004). What a difference mentoring makes: Service learning and engagement for college students. Mentoring and Tutoring 12(2), 205-217. Stanton, T. (2008). Community engagement and critical analysis: Essential elements for character building education in the United States and South Africa. In G. Chuan, V. D’Rozario, A. Heong, and C. Mun (Eds.) Character development through service and experiential learning. Singapore: Prentice Hall. Tinto, V. (1988). Stages of student departure: Reflections on the longitudinal character of student leaving. The Journal of Higher Education, 59(4), pp. 438-455 Watts, M. (2005). Becoming education: Service learning as a mirror. In C. Gibson (Ed.) Student Engagement and Information Literacy. Association of College and Research Libraries.

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