“Field experiences with community partners give students direct experience with issues studied in class; real-world learning and reflect in classroom. Connected to the curriculum and part of experiential learning”Peters, Tisdale, & Swinton, 2019
Service-learning and community-based learning provides organized experiential learning opportunities in which students are exposed to concrete, real-world environments and problems, following which students are asked to reflect on the service/community activities. These experiences can increase student motivation and provide a positive association with the learning process and work prospects (Bosman, Chelberg & Winn, 2017). Service learning at the undergraduate level can increase students’ awareness of what their role as a scientist can be in the field by challenging them to apply their knowledge and skills under low-stakes conditions (Bosman, Chelberg & Winn, 2017). Some studies have demonstrated that service learning increases the strength of associations that students make between classroom content and service-learning placements, and that students who engage in service learning exhibit improvements in reflective narrative essays following these experiences (Strage, 2000). Starting even in middle school, service-learning projects (STEM problem-based service learning) has been found to increase academic engagement and achievement (Newman, Dantzler & Coleman, 2015). College students’ science literacy has been shown to be positively affected by service-learning (Hayford, Blomstrom & DeBoer, 2014). In addition, service-learning was associated with skills and content knowledge and higher grades with students self-reporting that the service-learning projects enhanced STEM course content (Hayford, Blomstrom & DeBoer, 2014).
References and additional resources:
Bosman, L., Chelberg, K., & Winn, R. (2017). How does service learning increase and sustain interest in engineering education for underrepresented pre-engineering college students?. Journal of STEM Education: Innovations and Research, 18(2).
Hayford, B., Blomstrom, S., & DeBoer, B. (2014). STEM and service-learning: Does service-learning increase STEM literacy?. International Journal of Research on Service-Learning and Community Engagement, 2(1), 32-43.
Peters, A. W., Tisdale, V. A., & Swinton, D. J. (2019). High-impact educational practices that promote student achievement in STEM. Broadening Participation in STEM (Diversity in Higher Education) 22, 183-196.
Newman, J. L., Dantzler, J., & Coleman, A. N. (2015). Science in action: How middle school students are changing their world through STEM service-learning projects. Theory Into Practice, 54(1), 47-54.
Simonet, D. (2008). Service-learning and academic success: The links to retention research. Minnesota Campus Compact, 1(1), 1-13.
Strage, A. (2000). Service-learning as a tool for enhancing student outcomes in a college-level lecture course. Michigan Journal of Community Service Learning, 5.