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Service-Learning in the STEM Disciplines

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  1. Service-Learning in the STEM Disciplines CIRTL-Cast: Feb. 19, 2013 Dr. Anna Karls, Dr. Paul Matthews – University of Georgia

  2. “Through [my service-learning experience] I have seen firsthand the benefits that can come from researchers and science students stepping away from their benches and going to work in the surrounding areas for the betterment of the community, themselves and the world. It’s exciting. It’s exhausting. I can’t wait to start again.”

  3. How familiar are you with Service-Learning?A: Not at all familiarB: Somewhat familiarC: Very familiar(Use the survey tool in Blackboard!)

  4. What is Service-Learning?

  5. First, what is it NOT?

  6. Academic Service-Learning • “Service learning is a course-based, credit-bearing educational experience in which students: • participate in an organized service activity that meets identified community needs, and • reflect on the service activity in such a way as to gain further understanding of course content, a broader appreciation of the discipline, and an enhanced sense of personal values and civic responsibility.”(Bringle, R., & Hatcher, J. (1995). A service-learning curriculum for faculty. Michigan Journal of Community Service Learning, 2, pp. 112-122.)

  7. Connecting the Missions

  8. Four Fundamental Components of Service-Learning

  9. Reciprocity: Who Benefits?

  10. Why Do Service-Learning? • What benefits has research demonstrated for service-learning? • What do our students themselves tell us?

  11. “The service-learning projects help you to better understand the subject being taught.” • “This is where the ‘real world’ experience comes from that I believe is more valuable than pure lecture style classes.” • “Getting involved in the community has inspired me to seek out a more active role in volunteer and charitable opportunities. It has helped me feel more connected with this town and the community, even after five years here.” • “This class prepares you for life.”

  12. “Service-Learning is an essential component to fully understand oneself. I have truly enjoyed all that this class has offered me, both in education and experiences.” • “It has made a huge impact on my college career and the relationships I've built. I feel so fortunate to go to a University that extends me this opportunity!” • “I really enjoyed the class. [It] helped me develop interpersonal skills and leadership skills.” • “Service Learning courses should be a requirement for all students.”

  13. Service-Learning’s Benefits for Graduate Students • Preparation as future faculty • Interdisciplinary understanding • Learn to communicate relevance of STEM research to public • Enhancement of grants/research

  14. What about for the instructor?

  15. But, a caveat… • These benefits and learning outcomes are true for GOOD QUALITY service-learning, not just for service in general…

  16. Relevant Service should be…

  17. Relevant Service • Many different ways to set up • Required vs. optional service activity • Group/individual project • Inside/outside class hours • Short- or long-term • Direct work with community members • Indirect work (like policy/advocacy)

  18. Project FOCUS:Fostering Our Community’s Understanding of Science

  19. Sample Service-Learning Activities

  20. Sample Service-Learning Activities

  21. Sample Service-Learning Activities

  22. UGA Campus Kitchen • Multi- and interdisciplinary service-learning and student-volunteer based initiative

  23. Academic Learning • For one of these examples, what kinds of learning outcomes or goals did the service activity support? • Give us your thoughts! (CHAT)

  24. Critical Reflection: Linking service & learning

  25. How Can You Get Started? IPARC/D: • Investigate • Community need and potential partners • Learning objectives • Plan • Logistics, transportation, timing, resources, roles… • What students need to know to be successful • Action: the service activity! • Reflection • Before, during, and after • Celebration/Demonstration • Evaluation • Sharing with the community

  26. “…I don’t see two institutions when I look at the university and the surrounding community- I see two species. There is no difference between these institutions and the bacteria/squid relationship, in terms of what each has to gain from a potential community-university symbiosis.”

  27. How Can You Get Started? IPARC/D: • Investigate • Community need and potential partners • Learning objectives • Plan • Logistics, transportation, timing, resources, roles… • What students need to know to be successful • Action: the service activity! • Reflection • Before, during, and after • Celebration/Demonstration • Evaluation • Sharing with the community

  28. What About Your Course/Students? • What Learning Outcomes could be enhanced with community-based work? • What Community Need(s) could be addressed by your students’ skills?

  29. A Final “Quiz”… Based on what you’ve heard today, how likely are you to try to implement service-learning in a future course? • A: I definitely want to try! • B: I might be interested • C: Probably will not (use the Survey tool!)

  30. Additional Questions and Ideas?Thanks! Dr. Anna Karls University of Georgia Department of Microbiology akarls@uga.edu Dr. Paul Matthews University of Georgia Office of Service-Learning http://servicelearning.uga.edu pmatthew@uga.edu