5. How do I prepare students for Service Learning?
While each faculty member will find his or her own ways to foster the development of their learning goals, there are a few suggestions that will help in this area:
- Talk with students about learning goals early in the class and the role that service learning plays in reaching these goals. Remind them that this is a practice in active and reflective learning and that frustration and uncertainty are part of the process as they grow and come to understand the community they are working with and, ultimately, themselves.
- Include an orientation where students are introduced to the site and volunteer expectations and discuss some of the issues that they might encounter on-site.
- Have a service learning contract that includes the technical details such as location, number of hours to complete, assignments, etc., as well as a section where the student defines his or her role in this partnership (signed by student and agency).
- Include a book or information about service learning as part of a course reader and/or required reading.