Course Development Resources

Community-based learning succeeds when students: a) enrich the class community, b) further their own learning through the integration of experience, reflection, and abstract concepts, and c) give valuable information or service to the community partner.

Integrating Community-Based Learning: Getting Started

  1. Determine your teaching goals. Consider connecting with the CCE to consider potential community partners and discuss support the CCE can provide for your students during the semester.
  2. Consider what kinds of experiences connect with your learning goals and explore community partnerships.
  3. Build a syllabus that synthesizes your teaching goals and the community component.
  4. Establish community partnerships and communicate with partners about your shared goals.
  5. Orient the students during the first week of classes.
  6. Provide guidance, monitoring, and reflection support for students during the semester.
  7. Assess and evaluate the course.

Things to Ask Yourself: Framing the Community Component

  • What would you like for students to get out of the experience that would help them learn the course content better?
  • What assumptions do students bring to the course that you would like to see them confront to that they can engage more deeply?
  • What community agencies can you imagine partnerning with to meet the learning objective?
  • What kinds of skills do the students need to perform the activity you are proposing?
  • How many hours of service are appropriate for the service-learning model of CBL? Typically, it is recommended that students contribute between 10-20 hours of service during a semester, approximately two hours a week for a maximum of ten weeks. However, the amount of service depends on community needs and the learning objectives of the course.
  • What role will the community partner take in providing orientation, supervision, and monitoring of the service experience?
  • How will students document their learning from the experience? What reflection activities will be structured and integrated into the course?
  • How will you evaluate outcomes for students and the community?