Jan and Bud Richter Center
Putting It Together
Once you have laid out your objectives, met and collaborated with the agency, and determined service assignments, it is time to draw up the course syllabus. You can utilize the service learning syllabus template as a guide. The course syllabus should introduce the service ethic. In 1989, over 70 organizations interested in promoting and sustaining civic engagement came together to hail the importance of combining service and learning. Here are some critical elements:
- Introduces the service ethic
- Delineate assignments
- Clearly articulate what the students are expected to do
- Design assignments that help the student link the service
with the course curriculum
- Provide opportunities for agency input
- Incorporate ongoing opportunities to discuss, link, and reflect upon the service experience
- Include a reflection piece
As the semester progresses, weave the service-learning experience into class discussions. Think of the service-learning as a real-world lab experience for your students. Help them to think critically about what they are experiencing and connect theory and reality.
At the end of every semester, provide an opportunity for your students to give you feedback on the service-learning experience (through surveys, class discussions, reflection papers). You are also encouraged to make future service-learning course design adjustments based on your own experience teaching with this modality. Bottom line, you want it to be rewarding for the student, the agency, the population the agency serves, and you!