Course Attribute: Service-Learning

Shakespearian Literature

Course Attribute: Service-Learning

Join us in implementing high impact learning practices that enhance active learning experiences for our students. Together we will ensure the realization of the competencies of a University of Nevada graduate!

This past academic year alone, over 40 courses are implementing some aspect of service-learning into the curriculum, but these faculty members are receiving minimal recognition for their efforts. With your help, we can reinforce a culture of service-learning on our campus. Encourage our students to engage with the community fosters the values of civically responsible citizens.

Course Attribute and Designation in MyNevada: Service-Learning

Academic courses at University of Nevada, Reno can become a designated "service learning" course through the Registrar's Office and will be listed in MyNevada if specific service-learning criteria are met. Service-Learning Courses are distinguished from other forms of experiential-learning courses (i.e., internships, volunteering, field education and/or practicum) when the following criteria are demonstrated.

1.     Service-Learning is integrated into the course syllabus and related to the course objectives and learning goals.

Clearly explain or demonstrate how service enhances this course and how service relates to the course objectives and learning goals.  This may also include course expectations on service requirements (hours, time log, percentage of grade, etc.) for students and how the service experience will be graded. Although service hour requirements will vary for a course, a minimum of 1 hour per week and typically 2-3 hours a week is common, resulting in a range of 15- 20 hrs. of student service for the semester.

2.     The service placements are both meaningful to the student and related to the course, and the service meets an identified community need or serves the public good.

Clearly explain or demonstrate how the service is meaningfully connected to the course and the community. A key criteria of service-learning, one that distinguishes it from other forms of experiential leaning, is that the service experience also meets a community identified need. Service experiences ought to be designed to benefit the community partner or agency in addressing a community need and not designed strictly for student learning benefits. 

3.     Critical reflection is a part of the student's service experience and is considered a part of the course.

Clearly explain or demonstrate how critical reflection will be a part of the overall learning experience in your course.  Reflection can be conducted a variety of ways and it can be either formal or informal.  Following best practices, we encourage the 4 C's of reflection, "continuous, connected, challenging and contextualized" (Eyler, Giles and Schmiede, 1996). In service-learning, the learning usually occurs during the reflection process where students can then begin to see and understand the service in a larger context of social justice and civic learning, rather than the context of charity (Kendall 1990).

4.     Plans for assessment and evaluation are incorporated into the service-learning course.

As a component of the course, and in partnership with OSLCE, service-learning designated courses should provide some aspect of assessment and evaluation of the service experience.  Assessment and evaluation will be determined by the course and the service-learning experience but could include, pre/post tests to gauge student learning and development, evaluation of the service experience and placement and course evaluations of the service elements.  Faculty members are welcome to use OSLCE student pre/post tests and evaluation forms as contained on our webpage, or create their own assessments.

The assessment and evaluation is intended to be beneficial for all involved in the service experience.  Data may also be provided to the community partner and/or serve for campus assessment regarding impact and tracking.  This data also encourages faculty to collect data that can be used for either publications or reporting evaluation measures for tenure and promotion.

Deadlines for Submissions

Fall Semester: February 15     Spring Semester: September 15

Please note: If you do not meet the deadline for submission, your application cannot be processed and will have to be considered for the following semester!

Service-Learning course attributes are being assigned now!! Please submit your application below.

Contact us at oslce@unr.edu for more information about the process of having your course identified with the attribute "Service-Learning".

Take the next step...