Community Based Learning for Faculty
Community Based Learning is a pedagogical strategy in which clearly articulated learning goals are met through community engagement. Both the community partner’s needs and the students’ learning goals should be met so that the experience is mutually beneficial. This approach differs from volunteerism or community service in which there is generally greater benefit to the community partner and less emphasis on learning goals. It also differs from internships and practica in which the purpose is primarily pre-professional development. Below you will find principles for integrating Community Based Learning into courses as well as further resources for exploring the theory and practice of this field. (NB: In the literature, service learning and community based learning are interchangeable terms.)
Integrating Community Based Learning into a Course
Adapted From: Service Learning Workshop Curriculum Guide, Indiana Campus Compact. Edited by Cathy Ludlum Foos and Julie A. Hatcher.
Principles for Integrating Community Based Learning Into the Curriculum
- Academic credit is for learning, not for community based learning.
- Do not compromise academic rigor.
- Set learning goals for students.
- Establish criteria for the selection of community project placements.
- Provide educationally sound mechanisms to harvest the community learning.
- Provide support for students to learn how to harvest the community learning.
- Minimize the distinction between the student's community learning role and the classroom learning role.
- Rethink the faculty instructional role.
- Be prepared for uncertainty and variation in student learning outcomes.
- Maximize the community responsibility orientation of the course.
- National Service Learning Clearinghouse - Resources
- Campus Compact - Faculty
- Campus Compact - Syllabi
Fundamentals of Service-Learning Course Construction. A hands-on resource with practical guidance to assist faculty in designing, developing, and constructing service-learning courses. This information-packed guide offers six models for service-learning courses, components of an effective syllabus, and a catalogued sample of service-learning assignments.
Introduction to Service-Learning Toolkit Readings and Resources for Faculty (Second Edition). This toolkit is designed as a resource for faculty and others who are new to service-learning. Both of these are available to check-out from The Center for Spirituality and Social Change; they are also available for purchase through Campus Compact, where you will also find the table of contents.