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Service-Learning in Science and Technology : Project Design for Service to the Community Jan Shoemaker, Academic Coordinator of Service-Learning
© LSU Center for Community Engagement, Learning, and Leadership Questions for Discussion 1. Do scientists have responsibilities to their communities? If so, what are they? 2. Why do so few students think of those responsibilities? 3. Under what circumstances could service to the community actually be a disservice? 4. What does dissemination of knowledge mean? 5. Why are so few science grads choosing to work in research Universities?
© LSU Center for Community Engagement, Learning, and Leadership Service-Learning Definition A credit bearing educational experience… in which students participate in an organized service activity… that meets identified community needs… and reflect on course content… with a broader appreciation of of the discipline… and an enhanced sense of civic responsibility. - Bringle and Hatcher 96
© LSU Center for Community Engagement, Learning, and Leadership Service-Learning Examples ISDS student teams design, code, test, document, and implement a software development project for a non-profit agency.
© LSU Center for Community Engagement, Learning, and Leadership Architecture students work with MidCity Redevelopment Alliance and Sweet Olive Cemetery, Inc. to assist community members in developing a strategic vision and then prepare a preliminary development plan and a web site for community organizations to facilitate community development and communication.
© LSU Center for Community Engagement, Learning, and Leadership ELRC students develop computer- based instructional materials for Scotlandville Elementary teachers.
© LSU Center for Community Engagement, Learning, and Leadership Veterinary Clinical Sciences students contact practicing veterinarians and ask if there is a problem they have encountered with a surgical case or procedure that they need help with. The student presents the problem to his/her mentor, researches the problem, and writes a solution with appropriate references, after presenting and discussing the solution with mentor and classmates.
© LSU Center for Community Engagement, Learning, and Leadership Interior design, English, and landscape architecture students work for Bluebonnet Swamp Nature Center to design floor plans for exhibit layout, demonstration garden with native plants, interpretive text and graphics for trail stations, interaactive nature exhibits, and scripts for audiotapes
© LSU Center for Community Engagement, Learning, and Leadership Oceanography students collaborate with Baton Rouge Zoo and Bluebonnet Swamp Nature Center in planning, instruction, stocking, maintenance, and focus-group testing of living educational displays and associated educational tools of living fish habitats.
© LSU Center for Community Engagement, Learning, and Leadership Civil engineering students coach area high school students for a pasta bridge competition, then run and judge the competition.
© LSU Center for Community Engagement, Learning, and Leadership Microbiology students work with elementary students to design and construct environmentally complementary playgrounds and butterfly gardens. They also design and construct animal environments for Mike the Tiger and the Southern mascot.
© LSU Center for Community Engagement, Learning, and Leadership Civil engineering students work with civic organizations to develop solutions to traffic flow problems that have contributed to deterioration of a community. The solutions are presented at public meetings and recommendations are made to traffic planners.
© LSU Center for Community Engagement, Learning, and Leadership Civil engineering students provide assessment of earthquake vulnerability, assistance in upgrading building codes, education and research, and economic retrofit prioritization to local governmental agencies. They also help to disseminate information such as changes in codes.
© LSU Center for Community Engagement, Learning, and Leadership Biology students develop and provide in-service workshops in human genetics for pre-college biology teachers.
© LSU Center for Community Engagement, Learning, and Leadership Chemistry students take paint samples in a neighborhood and then test them in the lab to determine the prevalence of lead metal in house paint. Information is provided to health authorities as well as to homeowners.
© LSU Center for Community Engagement, Learning, and Leadership Mechanical engineering students work with public schools to provide resources to support hands-on learning of sciences. Examples: tools and activity packets to investigate and demonstrate wind energy, and the impacts of wind on the energy consumption of air travel.
© LSU Center for Community Engagement, Learning, and Leadership Student Learning Outcomes Academic: discipline specific and/or general education Career Civic Personal Ethical Social
© LSU Center for Community Engagement, Learning, and Leadership Principles of Good Practice Adapted from Jeffrey Howard. PRAXIS I: A Faculty Casebook on community Service-Learning Assigns academic credit for quality of learning, not quantity of service Maintains academic rigor Sets goals for synthesizing theory and practice Establishes criteria for selection of service sites
© LSU Center for Community Engagement, Learning, and Leadership Plans educationally sound reflection assignments. Teaches skills for gleaning learning from experience Redirects faculty role, from dissemination of information to facilitating learning Allows more variation in student outcomes Cultivates corporate learning, commitment to community, and civic responsibility
© LSU Center for Community Engagement, Learning, and Leadership A Question of Rigor Definition is Important (Palmer Parker 1998) Rigor arises from a willingness to disagree, to engage in honest questioning, to challenge current thought, and in acknowledgement of what one does not know
© LSU Center for Community Engagement, Learning, and Leadership CAEL Recommendations Experiential education programs which abide by these standards can be confident of the quality of their assessment practices. The Principles include over 100 statements and commentary on each. They include the following: 1.Students should be required to differentiate clearly between learning and experience. College credit is not appropriate for an experience alone.
© LSU Center for Community Engagement, Learning, and Leadership 2 Prior to the experience itself, students should develop a learning plan that specifies the principle tasks to be performed, learning objectives, how learning objectives will be pursued, and the evidence required to document the learning.
© LSU Center for Community Engagement, Learning, and Leadership 3 There should be formative evaluation of learning. Students should be encouraged to negotiate new learning objectives if their experiences so indicate.
© LSU Center for Community Engagement, Learning, and Leadership 4 Care should be taken to discriminate whether particular documentation describes learning, or provides evidence of learning.
© LSU Center for Community Engagement, Learning, and Leadership 5 Assessment itself should be a useful learning experience.
© LSU Center for Community Engagement, Learning, and Leadership Group Discussion In your groups, brainstorm at least three potential projects that might serve the community and connect with research interests of group members. Begin by choosing someone to facilitate, then someone to present your list to the larger group.
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