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Teaching Service Learning in the Geosciences
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Cutting Edge > Service Learning > Workshop 2010 > Discussions > Workshop Summary Overarching Reflections

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Workshop Summary Overarching Reflections  

What are your Big Picture thoughts about lessons learned through the course of the workshop? In other words, when someone asks you what you learned here, what are some of the key points you'd make?

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I have felt very fortunate to have participated in this workshop this past week. I have had Service learning part of my class for about 5 years but I have kept making the same mistakes each semester. I wanted to include it but I was not sure how to fix the problems. During this workshop I have been given many ideas about about how to do things differently and I am looking forward to trying many of them out. This is my first Virtual Workshop and I have struggled with the technology but I see that now I have a place to go to review when I am implementing the changes that have been suggested to my course. I appreciate the e-mail list and the summaries of the reports. I will not be at the final meeting but I hope to be using the resources for a long time to come. Everyone has been very helpful and I enjoyed meeting you all. Thanks again.- Mary

1648:5348

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I have always done moderately well by reacting to a current problem and designing a Service Learning project into a class as a sort of free form lab project. I am however seeing the benefits of longer term careful planning, something I never really learned in grad school. The 8 block template seems like a good "checklist" going into a project.

I also appreciate assessment tools for the "softer" side of the projects and for assessing the overall project. These can form artifacts that can go in a dossier to document the work done.

Lois

1648:5357

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There were a lot of great project ideas and the feedback was very beneficial.

1648:5392

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I enjoyed the crash course in service learning.

1648:5398

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Even though I set myself up for frustration...trying to teach, coach Science Olympiad (we had our state competition this weekend), cover study hall etc. while being on-line I still took a lot away from the workshop. I now have a clearer definition of just what service learning is and how it can be structured. I was trying to use my Sustainable SW Japanese Garden as an anchor to the Earth Systems course and I do think there is some merit in that concept, however it became clear that it was not a service learning project per se. I learned a great deal from the other participants by listening to how they structured their projects and ended up with a learning experience that could change the lives of students and others as well. I found the resources helpful and spent a lot of time going through all the different ideas for rubrics, assessments, connections etc. I also drifted through all of the previous projects...thinking..."now that is a good idea." I see that SERC has completed a lot of the ground work for me and I now have the website in my favorites. All in all, the workshop was very successful, informative and I will use many of the strategies and pointers we were given through out the sessions.
Thanks,

1648:5409

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I have a much clearer idea of how to design and assess service learning components in a course. This is my first time trying it and I did manage to think of many of the points in the 8 block model, but not all. Now I have a roadmap and I also know the weaknesses of my current ongoing project and can try and address at least some of those weaknesses before the semester goes on too much further.

I have already shared the resources Dave mentioned about VISTA with colleagues here trying to set up an environmental "scholar in residence" type program to promote more community connections with an environmental theme.
And there happened to be a guest speaker here last Friday in Spanish that was talking about service learning and after talking with her, she is going to blog about our class project - so the PR is already getting started!

1648:5427

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I hoped to learn what other geoscience teachers are doing in their classes as example and inspiration for me. The workshop fulfilled my hopes and more.

I did not anticipate the GREAT stuff I would learn about cognition, assessment, etc. I have been teaching for 25 years and I realize after this conference how much more I can do to become a better teacher. All this I learned through the project design page. I did a lot of "Oh gee....I haven't thought about that" And I was happy to see the links to learning more (from the workshop participants and from the SERC website)

I learned that virtual workshops are awesome, but that I should make arrangements for all my classes during the workshop because it was TOO much to try to do it all.

1648:5430

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SERC has introduced me to a community of service learning educators that have provided me with wonderful examples and encouragement to continue to promote this approach to learning.

I have learned that although service learning has been around for decades in the USA, many institutions across the nation are recognizing the value of service learning by adding additional course offerings in SL, faculty and even constructing entire schools of service learning.

1648:5450

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Hi Folks, I won't be able to join you for the final discussion (I have to do my "day job" periodically, and my metamorphic petrology class is calling me--please teach me about metamorphic facies!!!)

I want to take this opportunity to thank all of you for your many contributions: all the really insightful presentations, the thoughtful discussions (live and threaded), the good practical advice, cool new teaching activities, and the thoughtful reviews! You all are responsible for making this workshop a great success.

I also want to thank all of you for partaking of this new virtual workshop format. We learned a lot about how to conduct one of these events, and we will really value your feedback about what worked, and what we might change.

Special thanks to our co-conveners, Ed Laine and Suzanne O'Connell--they inspired us to offer this workshop and worked over many months to develop the program and website materials. And extra special thanks to Karin and Monica for their behind the scenes technical support on the website and in mastering the communication software. This event could not have been possible without all of you.
Best wishes to all, and thanks again for your many contributions

1648:5451

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I have learned that we share much more in similarities in approaches than there are differences. Thus - help is not very far away! Some things, including assessment tools, might work very well for term projects or complex lab assignments that aren't tied to service learning.

I get cramps when I jam a receiver to my ear for an hour and more, and my phone has no headphone jack!

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