How to Incorporate Service Learning in your Course and Curriculum

Monday 1:30pm-4:00pm Ogg: Classroom 1227
Afternoon Mini Workshop


Sarah Fortner, Carleton College

Service learning provides students with opportunities to directly meet the needs of their community. For students, this reinforces the relevance of the geosciences and their personal role in community problem solving. Participants will identify and share service learning project ideas that support course and program learning goals. Robust approaches might align with key habits and skills of professionals involved in community-based decision making. They might also support meaningful interactions between diverse students and audiences served. This workshop is open to faculty new to service learning and to service learning practitioners seeking to maximize student learning gains or increase community impact. Service learning approaches are under-studied in the geoscience community, but potentially transform student and community outcomes.


  1. Identify shared interests in service learning
  2. Summarize emerging evidence that service learning supports positive outcomes
  3. Plan an activity that meets course or program objectives through addressing community needs
  4. Discuss implementation strategies & resources


Service Learning Workshop Slides (PowerPoint 2007 (.pptx) 16.4MB Jul18 16)

Service Learning Action Plan Worksheet (Microsoft Word 2007 (.docx) 26kB Jul18 16)

Participant generated course or program outcomes aligned with partner needs & potential activities

Participant requested action plan to add examples of strategic thinking

1:30 Welcome

1:40-2:00 Share personal interest in service learning and synthesize shared interests

2:00-2:30 Summarize positive outcomes (student learning, student success, community building and societal betterment) associated with service learning in the geosciences

Short presentation including evidence from the NAS Workshop on Service Learning in Undergraduate Geosciences and additions from attendees.

2:30-3:00 Expanding student opportunities through collaboration

In small groups, you will identify a community needs that can be met through service learning. You will individually describe an activity that aligns with desired course or program outcomes. If you are already incorporating service learning into your courses, you will identify ways to improve the collaboration (e.g. expand audience, leverage resources, create extension opportunities, support professional interests)

3:00-3:10 Break

3:10-3:40 Small group sharing and refinement of activity, implementation questions

3:40-4:20 Large group summary of activity ideas (generate a table of: desired course or program outcomes, community needs served, activity description, and potential partners or expansion ideas) Share on Google Drive.

4:20 Workshop evaluation


SERC Service Learning Module; including a link to materials from recent NAS Workshop on Undergraduate Geosciences (commissioned papers, workforce links, expanding STEM participation)

College Learning & Career Success; results from the Hart Research Associates survey of 400 employers on outcomes they value in their employees conducted by the AAC&U.

Towson University Service Learning Assessments: including the Community Service Attitudes Scale; course assessment tools are provided on the SERC site, this is a potential program level tool. 'The Unheard Voices', a book recommended during the workshop that addresses the need to truly understand partners needs


Submit an abstract to the AGU Service Learning Session; Deadline: August 3rd, 2016

Submit your Service Learning Activity or Course & help grow this collection