2010 Student Research Conference:
23rd Annual Student Research Conference

Comparing Service Learning to Traditional Experiential Learning: Is Service to the Community Really Necessary?
Amelia A. Bobzien* and Katherine A. Judd
Dr. Teresa Heckert, Faculty Mentor

Conway, Amel, and Gerwien (2009), focusing on pretest-posttest studies, found service learning impacted important outcomes. Less common are studies including comparison groups. Our study compared the impact of service learning with an experiential learning assignment. Two sections of the same class wrote reflections applying course material; one class wrote about a service learning site and the other wrote about other organizations. At both the beginning and end of the semester, students completed an assessment of civic engagement attitudes. There were no statistically significant differences at the beginning of the semester. Students in both sections agreed significantly more at the end of the semester with statements related to helping behavior. In addition, students in the service-learning section increased their agreement with perceived helping efficacy. Furthermore, there were five statistically significant differences at the end of the semester, with all differences supporting an enhanced benefit of service-learning.

Keywords: service learning, experiential learning, undergraduate students, civic engagement, outcomes

Topic(s):Service Learning
Psychology
Education

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 9-4
Location: MG 1000
Time: 8:45

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