Service Learning Network

Establishing course outcomes and learning outcomes

The following are helpful steps in developing learning outcomes for your service learning course:

-Review the core competencies and concepts necessary for study or practice in your field or discipline

-Communicate with community partner organization(s) to solicit their input regarding the outcomes they believe are important for service learning students

-Communicate with other faculty members and students about the kinds of outcomes they believe are important for students to take away from a service learning experience

-Establish learning and service objectives for the course; for example, in a nonprofit administration course, a learning objective could be that students will become familiar with the various sources of funding available to organizations in the nonprofit sector, whereas a service objective could be for students to write and submit a small grant for a local nonprofit organization.

-Determine what students must learn through the course in order to perform the tasks associated with the learning and service objectives.

-Determine how the successful completion of learning and service objectives can be measured and assessed.  Depending on the objective, this could be done through papers, reflective journals, tests, discussions, interviews, presentations, observations, etc.  Community partner organizations can and should play a role in the assessment process.  Students can also be asked to complete various self-assessments of their mastery of competencies and concepts.

Page last modified September 11, 2011