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Service‐Blogging: Using Collaborative e‐Publication as a Bridge to Community Engagement Matthew Cazessus
Why Service-Learning? Consistent improvement in… • Student engagement • Knowledge retention • Applying course concepts ! Service Project Kendrick 1996, Blau 1999
Why the Reluctance? “wrong neighborhood” Not “my town” Community service = punishment Too busy Can’t make a difference No transportation Hattery 2003, Mobley 2007
Bridging the Distance to Service Community: shared learning with peers Confidence: “expertise” on subject area Coordination: develop/perform service together Community Confidence Coordination Service Project
Phase I: Community Survey student interest by theme Sort students by interest to create “weblogs” (blogs) about subject area Blog groups become identifiable peer group Peer-enforced responsibility to contribute
Application: Social Problems Students identify a social problemthat impacts the community around campus Educational Inequalities Domestic Violence Sexual Identity and Behavior Failing Infrastructure and Government Waste Substance Abuse Crime and Policing Gender Discrimination Health and Nutrition Homelessness and Poverty
What are Your Subject Areas? Think about the course you might convert into a service-learning course What are the main topics of that course? How do those topics intersect with needs in your community?
Phase II: Confidence Topical “e-publishing” by students: • Commentary on news/opinion • Review movies, books, media • Personal reflections
Blog Rubric and Best Practices Grading standards: • Relate content to course concepts • Contribute new information • Credit and link back to sources • Professional presentation How am I going to grade all of this?!
Practicality Check Solutions: • In-site review • RSS Feed – Google Reader google.com/reader • Student empowerment
Access and Control Best practices: • Students help compose and sign a contract about blogging behavior • Instructor has “admin” rights over all blogs during course • Blog visibility set to only be seen by its contributors (may be adjusted later)
Blogging & Learning Outcomes Greenville Tech: College-Wide • Communication • Technological Literacy • Critical Thinking • Professionalism • Diversity
Phase III: Coordination Blog groups identify a service organization that intersects with their topic • Campus and community resources • In-class recruitment or service fair
Outcomes – Service Locations • Transitions – residential and case management for homeless adults • SC HIV/AIDS Council • Harvest Hope Food Bank • Sexual Trauma Services of the Midlands • Richland County School Districts
Outcomes - Quantitative “I feel well prepared for my future career.” “I am aware of volunteer opportunities within the City of Columbia and surrounding areas.”
Outcomes - Qualitative created via free online application at wordle.net
Outcomes – Anecdotal • Public relations major wrote press releases for non-profit’s events • Psychology major became trained as a “volunteer advocate” and used experience in application for graduate school in counseling • Public health major expanded service into an internship with SC HIV/AIDS Council • Exercise science major continues to volunteer with the USC Mental Health Team
Contacts and Commendations Special thanks to: • Jimmie Gahagan – Office for Student Engagement at University of South Carolina • Sara Catoe – Center for Teaching and Learning at Greenville Technical College Contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com Tweet with me @Matt_Caz