Using Reflection Throughout the Service-Learning Experience

Initial Publication Date: November 30, 2010
Attaining service-learning goals is dependent on effective reflection. Eyler (2001) suggests that our growing understanding of how student learn supports reflective practices before, during and after community service. Her 'Reflection Map' is a tool for organizing our thinking about the types of reflection activities that are consistent with how students learn. Using this tool helps instructors to choose different types of reflection activities that best integrate experience with academic course content.
  • Before Service
    • reflect alone via letter to self or creation of goals statement
    • reflect with classmates via an exploration of hopes and fears, discussion of expert views
    • reflect with community partners via creation of needs statement or service contract
  • During Service
    • reflect alone via reflective journals
    • reflect with classmates via list serve discussion or critical incident journal
    • reflect with community partners via 'lessons learned' during site debriefing
  • After Service
    • reflect alone via course papers, projects or creative activity
    • reflect with classmatesvia team presentation or project
    • reflect with community partner via presentations to community members