IDEA Objective 12: Learning to apply knowledge and skills to benefit others or serve the public good
What is this objective?
This learning objective aims at building competent leaders with extensive understanding of public life, excellent critical thinking skills and the ability to cooperate and collaborate with diverse groups to create change.
How can one teach this objective?
- Incorporate a service learning project as a part of the course curriculum.
- If you want to involve the students extensively with the community consider several important principles derived from the scholarship on service learning, for instance
- Carefully design the project goals so as to thoroughly integrate them with the course goals.
- Organization is the key to the success of community projects, so plan accordingly.
- Ensure that the students and partners understand and are committed to the ethical practices, mutual empowerment and open communication.
- Provide opportunities for the students to critically reflect on the relationship between course content and their projects.
- Encourage students and community partners to regularly evaluate and assess their progress through giving one another formative feedbacks, in addition to the summative feedback at the end of the semester.
- Use the institutional resources like Centers for Teaching and Learning and Public Service Centers wisely. These centers and the people involved can help you with overcoming challenges you would likely face while setting up a project.
How can one assess this objective?
- Community based projects should be graded and assessed based on the same discipline-specific grounds as any other assignments or projects.
- It is good to assess students’ social, emotional and ethical development. Though these cannot be used as the basis for grades, mid-semester/ course or end-of semester/course reflection papers or other assignments like blogs or journals can provide the students with a platform to discuss their growth by using skills of collaboration, ethical reasoning as measuring tools. Other tools like Civic Attitudes and Skills Questionnaire can also be used for assessment.
Reference and resource:
Author: Praveena Kanchupati, PhD. Candidate & GTA Consultant
Center for Enhancement of Teaching and Learning
Contact: Kevin Sackreiter, Ed.D., Director
Center for the Enhancement of Teaching & Learning
Contributions: Shelly Bayer, Ed.D.