Service Learning

Service-Learning: Service-Learning is a form of experiential learning that links community service with academic coursework. Service-learning may be used as an instructional method in any discipline. It may be incorporated as a course component (e.g. an assignment), or used as an organizing framework for an entire course, (e.g. a capstone experience). Quality standards for service learning in K-12, community-based, and higher education settings have been researched and established in practice over the past two decades. Common elements of service-learning quality standards across K-20 include: 1) meaningful service tied to curricular goals; 2) structured reflection; 3) mutually beneficial partnerships between education and community service setting; 4) progress monitoring and course evaluation to determine efficacy of service and learning components.

Evidence Base for Service Learning:

Articles and Websites
Blundo, Robert. “Participatory Research and Service-Learning: a Natural Match for the Campus and Community.” The Journal for Civic Commitment, 1.2 [Electronic Journal] Available: The author discusses a course combining service-learning and participatory research, and identifies common elements of both pedagogies.

National Service-Learning Clearinghouse: Provides multiple resources including publications focused on the evidence base for service-learning in higher education, K-12 service-learning, theory & practice, lesson plans, toolkits, bibliographies, webinars. User-friendly browsing by topic, resource type, or user role.

Project Service Leadership Service learning and civic engagement resources, especially for K-12. Includes a planning guide for service-learning.

Service Learning Providers Network: A web resource for service-learning professional development.


Eyler, Janet and D.E. Giles. (1999) Where’s the Learning in Service-Learning? San Fransisco: Jossey-Bass.
Eyler, Janet et. al (1996). A Practitioner’s Guide to Reflection in Service-Learning: Student Voices and Reflections. Nashville: Vanderbilt University. Moely, Barbara, S.

Billing, and B. Holland (2009). Creating Our Identities in Service Learning and Community Engagement. Charlotte, North Carolina: Information Age Publishing, Inc.