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Integrating Service-Learning into the Curriculum

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Integrating Service-Learning into the Curriculum Powered By Docstoc
					Integrating Community-based Learning into the
                Curriculum




           Faculty Handbook




                  Southern Oregon University
               WEBSITE: http://www.sou.edu/cbl
                        (541) 552-6183
                       perezd@sou.edu
            1250 Siskiyou Blvd., Ashland, OR 97520
Table of Contents
What is Community-based Learning? ........................................................................................ 3
  Examples ............................................................................................................................... 3
How do Faculty benefit?............................................................................................................. 3
What resources are available? ................................................................................................... 3
Common Questions ................................................................................................................... 4
Faculty Ask About Community-based Learning .......................................................................... 4
Recommendations From Experienced Faculty ........................................................................... 5
Useful Links ............................................................................................................................... 6
Disabled Student Services ......................................................................................................... 7
Institutional Review Board .......................................................................................................... 9
Ways to Get Started Teaching a CBL Class ..............................................................................10
Community-Based Learning Roles And Responsibilities ...........................................................12




                                                                      2
What is Community-based Learning?
Community-based Learning is a teaching strategy that integrates course content with relevant
community service. Through assignments and class discussions, students reflect on their
service in order to increase their understanding of course content, gain a broader appreciation
of a discipline, and enhance their sense of civic responsibility.
   Examples
                 Social Psychology students survey homeless populations about their experiences in
                  shelters and report back to the shelter Directors for program improvement. Students
                  learn how social service agencies function, critically examine the prejudices and
                  hardships homeless people suffer, and get to know and work personally with people
                  experiencing homelessness
                 Grant Writing students write real grant proposals in response to real RFP’s, resulting
                  in actual grant awards for local agencies.



How do Faculty benefit?
          More lively class discussions and increased student participation
          Greater student retention of course material
          Increased student- and self-awareness of community and "real world" issues
          More innovative approaches to classroom instruction
          Enhanced opportunities for research and publication



What resources are available?
The Community-based Learning Office (CBL) can provide the following assistance:
       A one-time mini grant for class development
       Logistical support (contacting and orienting agencies, providing forms, monitoring,
        record keeping, evaluation, etc.)
       Sample syllabi and other discipline-specific resource material
       Workshops and roundtables with other faculty
       One-on-one planning consultation
       Supportive network (with other faculty on campus participating in Community-based
        Learning)




                                                  3
Common Questions
Faculty Ask About Community-based Learning
                                                                            Adapted from Campus Compact



  How does Community-based Learning differ from internships?
     Internships provide students with experiences to develop professional skills. Community-based
     Learning links service experiences to learning objectives. Like internships, Community-based Learning
     integrates theory and practice, but it also emphasizes civic responsibility and community awareness.
     Community-based Learning experiences can often lead to internships. CBL provides students with
     shorter-term community experiences that can help them refine or redirect their goals for longer internships.


  Will Community-based Learning take a lot of time?
     It does take time to set up the logistics of a Community-based Learning class, to respond to individual
     students, and to work through the unanticipated challenges of agency partnerships. But there are ways to
     minimize the impact on time by garnering assistance from the Community-based Learning Program staff,
     former students, and teaching assistants. It does get easier each time you teach the CBL course. The
     amount of time required lessens as faculty/agency partnerships develop.

  Does CBL take too much class time?
     You are still in charge of how class time is used. Students can reflect on the experience outside of class
     through journals, on Blackboard, in chat rooms, or in more formal papers. However, research indicates
     that devoting time in class to discussing experiences that emerge from the community-based experience
     will increase student learning and satisfaction with the course. If students’ experiences become a text for
     the class, participants will integrate what they are learning, make connections to course material, and listen
     to the experiences of others.

  How do I evaluate students’ performance and learning?
     Instructors frequently use traditional evaluation techniques: papers that are graded on how well students
     relate their community-based experience to specific course concepts, theories, and objectives; oral
     presentations that show critical thinking; exam questions that ask students to describe a community
     application of a particular theory; or final products developed during the service experience that illustrate
     skill proficiency. For more conceptual ideas, visit the CBL website or the Center for Teaching, Learning
     and Assessment.

  How can my involvement in CBL strengthen my professional research?
     National conferences and professional academic associations now include sessions on Community-based
     Learning and the scholarship of engagement. Involvement in CBL can augment and redirect your
     professional research interest, especially when a strong partnership is created with the community agency.
     CBL can contribute to research by engaging students in action research and applied research projects.
     There are also many opportunities to publish findings around the scholarship of engagement.

  What risks are involved in Community-based Learning?

     Minimize risk by using the Agency-Student Agreement (see "Forms" on the CBL website). This agreement
     clarifies expectations and fosters a clear line of communication for reporting difficulties between students
     and the agency. Discuss (in class and at the agency) the risks related to the service, as well as the
     benefits and skills required. To find more details on risk issues, visit the CBL website.




                                                        4
RECOMMENDATIONS FROM EXPERIENCED FACULTY
                                               From faculty at Boise State University and Portland State University



 How can I help students understand why CBL is important?
    “If the service component is required of students, Community-based Learning must be at or very nearly at
    the center of your course if the goal of integrating course content and service activity is to be realized. You
    also must continually stress that the goal of Community-based Learning is to integrate ideas, theories,
    information, etc. from the course with experiences acquired during the service activity.”

    “Because students will be inclined to regard the Community-based Learning requirement as something
    additional, stress frequently that you have restructured the course to accommodate Community-based
    Learning without increasing the number of hours ordinarily expected of a student in a class of this level.”

    “Find ways to involve students in setting their own learning goals for the service, and participating in the
    assessment of those goals. Requiring students to invest in this activity increases their sense of
    accountability to the process and product.”




 How can I help students connect their Community-based experience to course content?
    “Journal entries are one of the best ways to determine if students are in fact integrating course content and
    service activity. If you have students do journals, structure the questions and establish guidelines for
    satisfactory entries and then have students e-mail you the entries every week (or every three weeks).”



 What if students can’t fit service into their schedules?
    “To help students avoid scheduling problems, stress at the beginning that students who are operating on
    very tight schedules must keep that fact in mind as they select a service agency. Students who live out of
    town, especially far out of town, may want to work on a service activity close to home rather than in
    [Ashland]. Things frequently occur that will require rescheduling. Working close to home cuts down the
    amount of time needed to work out such problems.”




 What if students encounter challenges at the community agency?
    “Allow enough time each week for students to participate in structured discussion about their service or
    project experiences, and to relate their experiences to the readings and other course material. Be
    especially attuned to the need for students to problem-solve potential challenges they encounter in the
    early stages of their community responsibilities. Unfortunately, this is usually the same time that many other
    things are going on in the course, so it can be easily forgotten or rushed. Try to achieve the necessary
    balance.”

    “Check in with agency partner often. Otherwise, they might assume (as they did in my case) that you are
    automatically aware of certain issues that should be brought to your attention.”



 What if students do not complete their hours?
    “Stress that NO credit will be given for any part of the service component unless all promised service hours
    (I require 20) are served. The agency will certify performance on a form provided by the Community-based
    Learning office. This means that students who fail to complete their hours usually cannot get a grade higher
    than C.”


                                                       5
   “If students can convince me that the fault was not entirely theirs, I will give them a choice of taking the
   grade they have earned or taking an incomplete. If they decide on the incomplete, I have them get back to
   me after the end of the semester, and we work out an alternative assignment(s) that enables them to earn
   a B or an A. This procedure is obviously awkward, but be aware that probably you will face the problem
   and so will need to decide how to come up with a grade. “




USEFUL LINKS
Southern Oregon University Community-based Learning Website
http://www.sou.edu/cbl
Dee Perez, Director
(541) 552-6183
perezd@sou.edu
Stephenson Union 312, 1250 Siskiyou Blvd., Ashland, OR 98520

Campus Compact-
http://www.compact.org
Campus Compact is a national coalition of nearly 1,100 college and university presidents — representing
some 6 million students — dedicated to promoting community service, civic engagement, and service-
learning in higher education. This site provides many useful resources and links.

Oregon Campus Compact
http://www.oregoncampuscompact.org
Oregon Campus Compact is a state affiliate chapter of Campus Compact,

The National Service Learning Clearinghouse
www.servicelearning.org
The national site for service-learning information.

Risk Management and Liability in Higher Education Service-Learning
http://servicelearning.org/page/?printable&page_id=120
A fact sheet you can use a basic guide to navigate you in the area of common liability and risk
management issues in higher education service-learning experiences. Be sure to contact a legal advisor
for other pertinent information.




                                                      6
Disabled Student Services
Faculty and staff work with students every day and have enormous impact on students' experience with
education. Disability Services ensures equal access to all students with qualifying, documented
disabilities, at all Southern Oregon University Campuses and Community Learning Centers, as defined by
federal legislation. The Disability Student Services office, location in the ACCESS Center in the lower
level of Stevenson Union, offers resources to assist you in ensuring that all students have equal access to
the educational opportunities here at Southern Oregon University.

    General Points for Faculty Concerning Students with Disabilities:

    Keep disability-related discussions and information confidential. Remember that a student's
    disability information is medical information and protected under those guidelines. Use office hours to
    discuss accommodations. Also, bear in mind that the student has the right to disclose as much or as
    little about their disability as they prefer; under no circumstances should you ask a student what their
    disability is. The Request for Accommodation Form provides you with verification that the student has
    a qualifying disability and information about accommodations for which the student is eligible. Some
    students will be willing to voluntarily disclose information about their disability and some will prefer to
    keep that information private.

    Provide accommodations in collaboration with the student and DSS. DSS is the designated
    campus office to provide appropriate accommodations and auxiliary aids for students with disabilities.
    However, in order for most accommodations to occur, faculty, students, and DSS staff must
    collaborate, communicate, and follow through on commitments in a timely fashion. Generally, DSS
    and faculty have seven days to implement accommodations from the time of request.

    Include a statement regarding accommodations in your syllabi. This statement should appear in
    12 font or larger on every syllabus for every class. Include reading it aloud in your introductory
    session.
            "If you are in need of support because of a documented disability (whether it be learning,
            mobility, psychiatric, health-related, or sensory) you may be eligible for academic or other
            accommodations through Disability Services for Students. Contact Theresa Lowrie, Director,
            DSS, at 541-552-6213 to schedule an appointment at the ACCESS Center, Stevenson
            Union, lower level. (See Disability Services webpage at www.sou.edu/access/dss for more
            information.)"
    Work with DSS to provide students alternate format materials, i.e. textbooks, handouts, etc., in
    a timely manner. Students need to get materials at the same time as their peers. Therefore, it is
    critical that you inform the bookstore about the textbooks you plan to order by requested deadlines.
    Inform DSS about all other print, audio, or video materials as soon as you are requested to do so
    either by a student or DSS. Provision of alternate format materials can take up to six weeks for
    textbooks or videos, or a week for shorter materials.


    Do not feel obligated to provide accommodations if a student with a known disability has not
    requested them. In other words, you are not expected to guess or predetermine what a student may
    need. Students have the right to choose not to use accommodations. On the other hand, if a student
    asks retroactively to fix a problem because he/she has failed to use accommodations, you are not
    under any obligation to do so.


    Do not provide accommodations to a student who does not provide you with an
    Accommodation Request Form. Not all students with disabilities are registered with DSS. This
    office is the only office designated to review documentation of a disability and determine eligibility for
    specific accommodations for students. If a request for an accommodation is questionable or seems
    unreasonable, provide the accommodation and consult with the Director of Disability Services.


                                                       7
Outside of specific accommodations, treat students with disabilities as you would any other
student. Uphold the essential components and academic standards of your course. Expect quality
work. If you have flexible arrangements for deadlines, test make-ups, etc., for other students, allow
these for students with disabilities. However, you do not need to allow them solely because a student
has a disability, unless specifically designated on the Accommodation Request Form.




                                                8
Institutional Review Board
The IRB conducts reviews of research studies and projects involving human subjects to ensure
compliance with Institutional policy and federal guidelines. All research activities involving the use of
human beings as research subjects (participants) must be reviewed and approved by the IRB.
Investigators may not solicit subject participation or begin data collection until they have received
approval from the IRB or written concurrence that research has been determined to be exempt.

IRB approval is required if . . .

        The results will be presented in a public forum such as a poster or capstone presentation
        There is a possibility that the date sill be published or maintained for later use.
        The data or results will be used in a graduate project
        The data is obtained as part of a “field” project

For more information about the IRB, contact the Office of Grants Administration, at 552-8662 or visit their
website at http://www.sou.edu/Research/irb/index.html




                                                      9
Ways to Get Started Teaching a CBL Class
 *not all items may apply
  EXPLORE NEW CONCEPTS AND TECHNIQUES

        Schedule a CBL orientation to meet with experienced faculty members who have agreed to
         mentor new faculty in specific topics.

        Schedule a one-on-one discussion with the CBL Director to overview CBL in your discipline
         and learn about options, models, and resources specific to your course.

        Review sample syllabi for ideas: http://www.compact.org/syllabi/ or
         http://www.gseis.ucla.edu/CBLc/modelp.html give helpful models.

        Attend CBL roundtables to learn more or share tips on special topics (reflection, assessment,
         using technology, integrating CBL into assignments, etc.).

  ESTABLISH COMMUNITY PARTNERSHIPS
      Articulate, in writing, the objectives of the service component.
      Identify community-based activities or issues that relate to your learning objectives
       [OPTIONAL: not if students will propose sites]:
                  Review pre-screened agencies and projects on CBL website.
                    Ask the CBL staff to draft a list of possibilities or identify community needs via
                     your own professional contacts.
      Contact potential community partner(s) [OPTIONAL: not if students will propose sites]
                Plan a site visit. The CBL office can help arrange site visits.
                    Discuss mutual goals, expectations, parameters for CBL projects (hours, product,
                     timeline, and assessment), training requirements, onsite orientations, schedule
                     flexibility, and method/frequency of exchanging feedback.

      Consider inviting agency or community representatives to visit the class. Host a panel
       presentation if you have multiple community partners.

  DEVELOP THE SYLLABUS

        Explain the CBL activity and learning objective(s) of the course in the syllabus. Convey the
         incentive(s) for successful completion of the experience.
        Link the community-based experience to course content:
              Use writing assignments, discussion topics, readings, presentations, and other
                 activities listed in the syllabus as connections to the experience.
        Describe how students will be assessed on the experience:
             Provide consequences for students who do not follow-through with their agency
                commitments.
        Review online agreements, log sheets, and evaluation forms; download from CBL website or
         develop your own. Clearly explain the due dates. (Note: agencies listed on the CBL website
         are familiar with CBL forms.)

        Establish benchmarks or a timeline for contacting the agency, meeting with supervisor,
         signing contracts, beginning and completing the service. Include the dates in your “class
         calendar”.

        Clarify the procedures for reporting problems (should they contact the agency or you?); give
         a cut-off date for changing agencies (week 2 or 3 is manageable; after that the agencies
         cannot be expected to reschedule).



                                                 10
ORIENTATION/TRAINING
     Talk about the CBL experience on the first day of class:
             Touch on the each of the topics listed under “Developing the Syllabus” (above).
             Introduce your TA, if you have one, and clarify their role.
     Invite agency or community representatives to visit the class (CBL Director can assist).

     Facilitate students connecting with agencies. Have students complete an agreement with
      their agency supervisor (CBL can assist with project development, agreements, etc.).

GUIDANCE/MONITORING

   Provide a timeline:

         Students need benchmarks for contacting the agency, meeting with supervisors, signing
          agreements, beginning and completing the service.

   Have a back-up plan for students.

         Consider providing an alternative for those students who are legitimately unable to
          participate

         Consider what to do for those who miss/ignore agency orientations and start dates.

   Contact the community partner(s) at least once mid-semester to exchange feedback and, if
    possible, visit the service site(s) to gain first-hand exposure to the experience.

   Evaluate student activities using frequent “five-minute papers” or other methods (e.g. class
    presentations or Blackboard Discussion Boards) of formally assessing student progress.
    Recommended timeframe: weekly, but may vary.
  SUGGESTED QUESTIONS:
         Have you attended an on-site orientation?
         What did you find that you did not expect to at the agency?
         How many hours have you served (or how much progress have you made on your
          project)? If you have not started, what is your anticipated start date?
         Are you encountering any challenges?

REFLECTION
     Implement reflective assignments and activities throughout the semester:
         Visit the CBL website, click “Reflection” for sample questions, activities, and journal
          formats.
     Discuss the service in class even if you are using an optional CBL model.
         Students who choose not to participate in the experience will still gain insights and
          knowledge from the comments of students who do participate.
      

ASSESSMENT/EVALUATION

     Use reflective assignments to assess student learning and to evaluate performance (class
      discussion, journals, analysis papers, or oral presentations).

     Have students submit an evaluation to be completed by the service supervisor (forms
      available from the CBL Office).

     Have students evaluate their partner’s/classmate’s group efforts/presentations.

     Develop assessment Rubrics for your class. (CTLA can help.)


                                               11
COMMUNITY-BASED LEARNING ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES

 THE COMMUNITY PARTNER will:
 o   Designate a CBL supervisor who will serve as the liaison with SOU-CBL, the faculty, and the student
 o   Follow the recommended SOU-CBL agency checklist, including:
         o Provide CBL project descriptions to the CBL staff before first day of class
         o Schedule orientation dates and times before first day of class, send to CBL office
         o Orient the student to the agency partner’s rules, policies, procedures, methods, and operations,
              community issue, and population served (during the second-third weeks of quarter).
         o Sign student agreement and log sheet (log sheet includes opportunity for you to evaluate the student)
              These forms will be provided by students
         o Check-in formally with the students regularly (recommended: beginning, middle and end of quarter AT
              THE MINIMUM).
 o   Notify the faculty partner immediately, preferably by phone, of any cause of dissatisfaction or of misconduct on
     the part of the student
 o   Maintain good communication with students, CBL staff, and faculty (return calls/e-mails within 2 days)
 o   Offer suggestions and ideas for improvement in CBL procedures and opportunities


 COMMUNITY-BASED LEARNING STAFF will:
 o   Recruit, support, and facilitate faculty, students, and agency Community-based Learning partnerships
 o   Find, screen, and orient agencies whose needs match class learning objectives
 o   Provide orientations, trainings, and roundtables about Community-based Learning
 o   Facilitate student placement through classroom visits and agency referral lists, upon request
 o   Provide contracts and forms that clarify responsibilities and increase accountability
 o   Support and troubleshoot with students, agencies, and faculty
 o   Evaluate the Community-based Learning experience for students, agencies, and faculty
 o   Maintain regular contact with agency partners, faculty, and students (at beginning, middle, and end of
     semester). E-mail upcoming opportunities and information
 o   Seek and respond to feedback from agency partners, students, and faculty


 FACULTY PARTNER will:
 o   Set learning objectives for the CBL experience that relate to course objectives
 o   Identify community issues or services that relate to the class
 o   Contact screened agencies to clarify course goals and service expectations
 o   Adapt syllabus, class assignments, lecture examples, and class discussion to include links between course
     theory and service experience. Structure and schedule reflection assignments or activities
 o   Discuss with students the Community-based Learning expectations and requirements, agency orientation
     dates, deadlines for starting service, and evaluation guidelines
 o   Use written agreements, time logs, evaluation instruments (recommended by the CBL staff)
 o   Maintain regular contact with agency partners (recommended: beginning, middle, and end of semester)
 o   Maintain good communication with students, CBL staff, and community partners (return calls/e-mails within 2
     days)
 o   Evaluate student learning of CBL experience (CBL and CTLA staff can assist)


 STUDENT will:
 o   Maintain personal health insurance or student health insurance along with liability insurance if a personal
     vehicle is used
 o   Complete required amount of service hours and/or service project
 o   Attend agency orientation at scheduled time
 o   Sign agreement with agency partner
 o   Start service as specified in the course syllabus
 o   Track hours using hour log sheet, or another method specified in the course syllabus
 o   Maintain regular communication with agency partner regarding service hours and activities (recommended
     beginning, middle and end of quarter AT THE MINIMUM).
                                                       12
o   Respect rules, regulations, and confidentiality standards of agency
o   Participate in reflection activities and assignments
o   Evaluate CBL experience and the agency partner




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