e-CBL Resources

All Community based learning experiences should:

  • Provide a community context for learning
  • Provide clear relevance to course learning outcomes
  • Provide an opportunity to engage in guided reflection both individually and with peers

Ideally,  e-community based learning experiences also provide students with an opportunity to connect virtually with community partners and showcase their interests, talents and abilities to make a positive impact and build experience. Students establishing new relationships with community partners can be highly instrumental in the acquisition of internships, fieldwork, practicum and future employment.

Faculty can provide students with clarity by acknowledging that different expectations exist for academic coursework where students are accountable to the professor and for service work where they are accountable to the community.

The need for physical distancing has created both challenges and opportunities. Serving and learning from community members can be done virtually with some creativity, planning and preparation. The continuum below provides a range of activities to consider as e-community based learning coursework.

If you must facilitate your CBL experience on-site, please consult the GVSU Group Travel Risk Assessment tool.

CBL continuum

Steps to building an e-CBL course

  • Establish rapport and seek to understand community partner perspective
  • Partnerships are stronger when the faculty facilitates connections
  • Set clear expectations upfront
  • Consider a student contract
  • Provide examples of quality work
  • Virtual guides
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  • Live reveal
  • Introduce students to community partners
  • Allow time for Q&A
  • Both parties go through a brief training
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  • Class discussions¬†
  • Mentorship / connect to resources
  • Quick response time to questions and concerns
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  • Weekly student journaling
  • Discussion board prompts / posts
  • Guided questions
  1. Is more information / research needed?
  2. What action is needed?
  3. What is the story? How will it be shared?


Page last modified June 20, 2022