Service learning opportunities
Table of contents
What do those involved get from service learning?. 5
Why don’t students take advantage of the service learning to its absolute capacity? 7
How are the university and the local learning community affected by service learning? 9
In which ways can Nicholas State University compete with other universities in connection to implementing service learning?. 11
Should Nicholas State University put in place measures that will increase service learning in the future? 13
For some time now, there has been heated debate and discussion with basis on the element of service learning being put into practice into various levels of educational curriculums. As time goes by, from one cohort to another, many people have come to realize that things have changed. Many people have being arguing that systems which are based on traditional education do not offer the right knowledge and skill retention needed by people so as to be competitive in the current times. Equally, there has been debate concerning the efficiency and value of educational curriculums service learning. This paper analyzes the educational curriculums’ benefits and also the challenges in relation to the views of professionals, community and the students. The analysis will be used in determining the possible effectiveness of service learning at
Service Learning Opportunities:
With the constant change in the global environment, people ought to get different education than the previous ones so as to do extremely well. For the past couple of years, there has been a shift in focus from conventional educational learning to the integration of service learning to the curriculums of higher education. Some higher learning institutions have considerably changed their curriculum so as to support better, the service learning implementation into the environment of learning, while other learning institutions had not focus on the increasing the aspect of service learning like others. The basic idea behind service learning ought to be understood so as to of fully incorporate the benefits and drawbacks of service learning. In accordance with Jacoby, (1996), who is an associate in the faculty of leadership and community service learning at the Maryland University, ‘service learning is a form experiential education whereby students engage in activities addressing human and community needs together with structured opportunities which are structured intentionally for promoting the learning and development of students (Lamright, and Lu, 2010, pp. 118). With this basic idea in mind, the analysis will consider if Nicholas State University (NSU) is supposed to implement more opportunities for service learning into curriculum by answering these questions:
a) What do those involved get from service learning?
b) Why don’t students take advantage of the service learning to its absolute capacity?
c) How are the university and the local learning community affected by service learning?
d) In which ways can
Being acquainted with the effects involved with the above questions will help in comprehending the value that is added by service learning and the way
What do those involved get from service learning?
There have been various studies and research conducted demonstrating the advantages of service learning rather than conventional learning. Various studies have indicated that students who participate in activities of service learning portray a higher rate of retention contrasting to the ones not participating in these training (Tinney, 2006). When students take part in service learning, they are not just giving to the society but also making their life better. In the event that students have a vested attention and possession concerned with the service project type, the individuals are probable to achieve more value from the incident. The students who involve themselves in these types of reaching out activities are developing the right skills like conversing with persons from different backgrounds, which learners would not come across under usual conditions.
Tinto Vincent (1998), a normal scholar in the service learning field notes that students involved in learning activities actively and who spend more time on task, specifically with others have greater chancing of learning and as a result have higher likelihood of staying. There has been an unswerving relationship between students who are involved aggressively and their ability of being more confident, collectively proficient and with versatility in applying creative solutions to complicated problems. If one applies what is being learned in college in the usual life situations, where they get double advantage to better themselves as well as their communities, the opportunity of service learning offers greater preservation than the learning in the conventional classroom (Simonet, 2008, pp2). Service learning is not solely concerned with helping out the community or concluding a requirement of a course. This allows someone to have an emotional, behavioral, cognitive and social engagement. In connection to cognitive commitment, opportunities of service learning can increase the educational experience by creation of an environment of seamless education whereby students are able to connect what they learn with the real situation challenge. Since the service learning calls that students participate in activities which are of benefit to the community, students become qualitatively and quantitative invested into their educational experience. Often students are faced challenges which entail interacting with individuals in actual life circumstances, mostly the individuals may find themselves in living conditions that are worse that the one for students. Service learning can offer an application for the knowledge learned by the students; it has been found to create and meaningful environment of learning which is able to improve the attitudes and motivation of students (Simonet, 2008, pp.6).
One study has indicated that the way students perceive the effects of client organization has effect on the way students relate to the service learning to varied acquired skills. For instance, in the event that the students perceive the entire client organization as a single unit, then the student would end up relating the experience with general practices in business (Bradley et al, 2007). Looking back, in case the student was viewing the organization by the eyes of a specific agent, then the student related the experience to intrapersonal and interpersonal skills. Putting in mind these two aspects, it is critical that projects of service learning be designed to meet the requirements of those engaged at the level of student and organization fully. In case the project focus is based on personal development in the skills of communication, then the project ought to be more of a setting of one-on-one. Nonetheless, if the service learning purpose is being more conceptual like related to operations of business, then it ought to be viewed from the general perspective of the involved organization.
Experts like faculty administration have acknowledged service learning as an important instrument for involving their students in the educational system and the community at large. According to Tinney, (2006, pp. 58). Service learning programs are means by which administrators in the higher learning can create structured experiences of learning incorporating on-going service and academic, and classroom based reflection for the facilitation of development of the valued mode of community integration or membership. In the event that instructors are more involved in guiding the students who participate in service learning, the general opportunity of service learning offers a more efficient reinforcement of the various skills learnt by students. (Lambright and Lu, 2010)
Why don’t students take advantage of the service learning to its absolute capacity?
In many incidences, situations come up where students fail to take advantage of the absolute capacity of the opportunities of service learning. Tinney, (2006, pp. 60) study indicated that some demographic groupings were probable to partake in activities of service learning in larger proportions as compared to other factions. Nonetheless, the sociological factors which support the reason as to why the race was more involved have not been recently evaluated in research. Other individuals’ factions would have a higher likelihood of participating in service learning if the students living in campus unlike the ones commuting at their freshmen period. The major reason for increased participation from the individuals is that they are making effort of becoming more involved with the university and turn to be community part.
Learners have showed concern in connection to working on projects of service learning in groups. Students have the feeling that problem of group dynamic distract and hinder them from utilizing the experience of service learning to its full potential. Nonetheless, instructors can assist in solving this issue by dedicating time and labor into their service learning project, they can get themselves feeling worn out and as a result, they fail to get the benefits that they should from the experience (Lambright and Lu, 2010).
The college students are faced with tiring schedules of class and work. It becomes hard to find balance between their personal lives and their professional development and. From experience, it can be said that majority of students fail to take advantage of opportunities for reaching out or internships at the
How are the university and the local learning community affected by service learning?
Service learning can have a significant effect on both the levels of university and locally. For instance, at the Stanford-brown Colleges, there is a ‘Week of giving back’ annually. The idea behind this Week is enhancing education of family health and providing service learning opportunities for students at
Service learning that is project based can be a more hopeful experience for organizations than personal opportunities of service learning. From research it can be said that some organizations feel that an opportunity of service learning that is project based would be better suited for both the students and the involved organizations. Obviously, organizations usually want to go after projects which they may lack the proper funds for carrying out. Nonetheless by having a group based service learning experiences, students can apply their skills for conducting and completing the project and the organization can have the project that they wished to have it completed at a cost that is much lower (Hilgendorf et al, 2008). Even if originally the organization wanted one huge project for accomplishing goals, the organization can split it into smaller projects which are able to fit the time frame of the activities of short term service learning. Separation of the larger projects to smaller ones, the organizations would not have to worry concerning the time restraints which are usually placed on activities of short-term service learning.
While many communities may feel greater unity by the using of service learning, others may experience negative impacts on short term service learning projects. Some studies undertaken established that short-term service learning projects lay additional emphasis on both academic partners and community. Other concerns relative to short-term service learning comprise of students who are trained poorly in the environments of profession and business, emotional effect on young children since the service project end within a semester and interference with ordinary processes of business (Hilgerndorf et al, 2008).
In a study involving 67 participants, relatively about a third of the interviewees showed concern of the short-term service learning without being questioned on the topic. The interviewees showed particular concern about the varied elements of short-term service learning like supervision investment, time involved, project management, service problems and calendar issues. Often students who perceive the project of service learning as a core course instead of an opportunity of bettering themselves are assigned to organizations. Due to this, the students do not have selfless commitment and dedication.
Students who participate in opportunities of service learning ought to address the condition as if they were really employed at the organization involving them in the activity of service learning. The condition of unenthusiastic students in the activities of service learning is much related to unenthusiastic employees in the professional background – work is completed inadequately and time as well as valuable resources is in most cases wasted.
In which ways can
Majority of the Universities have made the transition from providing educational atmosphere to conditions having a concentration in service learning. For example, majority of universities in
Variety of studies indicates that service learning ought to be initiated during freshmen year so as to help transition of new students into the community of university. If NSU was to execute activities of service learning similar to the aforesaid students the involvements of students and morale may go up. For instance NSU can employ a design project which relates to the one of Queen’s University. The project of design and service learning must not have to be used specifically for those majoring in science. Those majoring marketing can as well benefit from having a project of service learning whereby they design and put into operation a campaign of marketing for local organizations. An affable competition at the end of the service learning experience in opposition to students would offer an initiative for students to actually engage their best efforts into marketing design strategy for the respective businesses. After all whenever there is chance of being declared a winner, a student will usually strive to obtain the position, which then results in work of better quality.
Efficient service learning is designed for maximizing the number of essential interactions amongst individuals from different backgrounds. The experience ought to be helped by constant and close contacts with the advisors of faculty and more individual ought to become engaged in the projects. While in college it is always suggested that you connect with your cohorts and instructors as well as other professionals from other faculties so as to expand the likelihood to become a better rounded-individual. Service learning ought to also have reflection activities which are active, engaging students in the classroom and interactive. The instructors ought to help students in seeing the relationship between their reflections and the development of their professional skills.
A research undertaken in
Despite the fact that the analysis is not conclusive on the effects of service learning in the educational atmosphere, NSU ought to provide more opportunities of service learning. As aforementioned, students get skills and apply their knowledge in ways that they would not normally do in a conventional classroom setting. Given the noteworthy advantages that students can receive from participating in these activities and the resistance that may be faced by the university due to the new change, the opportunities of service learning ought to be presented as optional. After students have become more used to the service learning idea, then the university should then shift from service learning being a non-compulsory to being a requirement for graduation.
There has been research which states that the most apposite time for initiating the opportunities of service learning is during the first year of learning. On the other hand, there has been research suggesting that service learning ought to be instigated during another year of study. Another probable achievement of service learning could be that when NSU provides service learning as an optional, it ought to be presented to students at the first year level. As the students progress through their study, there should be certain classes in relation to their major which would need that service learning so as to complete and excel in the course. From the students’ perspective, the opportunities of service learning would be very valuable for the development in any profession. With the implementation of opportunities of service learning, the university ought to include reflection exercises which are guided by the course instructor. Research has shown that the students who were needed to reflect on their experience have a better sense of competency and accomplishment in relation to the knowledge they have.
A present objective study at
On the other hand, research has suggested that in certain communities, service learning been having a negative impact on the involved organizations. In such situations, there is waste of resources, lower quality work is produced and the students are not willing to make extra steps. It is a sole responsibility of the organization to authenticate or decline position of service learning in their organizations. The risk to have a negative outcome is rather a thing that organizations ought to consider in comparison to the positives. Just a little is offered in research in regard to the types of communities or student calibers receiving these negative experiences. Considering the strong sense of community in the region of Bayou, it is probable that positive benefits will be perceived in the long run from the opportunities of service learning.
With the present condition of the educational funding and cuts in budget, an increase in opportunities of service learning may not be feasible prospect presently. Still measures have to be taken at the
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