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Design your course

Whether you are a new faculty member at WVU or a tenured member, we can help you to incorporate pedagogically appropriate learning goals and measurable outcomes through academically sound service-learning. Our community partner program ensures that your students will be guided and supervised by professionals in the field who have been trained to work with our students. While many civic engagement opportunities can be utilized, we’ll work with you to determine which of these may be the most appropriate for what you are trying to achieve with your students. 

Every community engaged course will have its own style dependent upon discipline, class size, instructor experience, and other factors, however there are common models that can be used intentionally to reach specific outcomes. Below are four common models used at WVU.

Models

Learn more about how to choose a course model

  • Civic engagement – Students participate in a set amount of community service to learn more about community needs, the value of community involvement and to look for course content applied in the real world. Student can use iServe to find service projects that interest them and track hours. Example: Comm 112: Small Group Communication

  • Individual or Group Service-Learning Projects – Students work with community partners (often predetermined) to define and carry out specific discipline related projects. This model often resembles a client relationship, with the students working for the community organization, sometimes directly and sometimes indirectly. The CSL can assist in identifying community partners with service projects designed to connect specifically to course learning outcomes.  Example: ULIB 302/COMM 393D: Research for Nonprofits

  • Instructor Led Service-Learning with Targeted Partner(s) – Entire class works together with a specific community partner(s), utilizing course content to meet the need identified by the community. Community partners is often more involved throughout planning, implementation and evaluation which is a service-learning best practice. Example: LARC 261: Planting Design

    • Action Project – Students choose an issue or area of interest, assess the needs or gaps in service and implement a plan of action to address the problem. Example: LDR 401: Leadership in Action
    MANG 480

    Intensity

    All models can be scaled up or down in intensity depending on the level of the course and the weight of the service in the overall coursework.

    • An intro course may use group service-learning projects to help students learn more about teamwork and lightly bridge course work into real world application through 6 hours of service while a capstone course may use the same model but student complete 30 hours of service, have more input in the project design and rely heavily on the content they have learned in the classroom to provide expertise to the community.
    • An intro course may take on an instructor led service-learning project to encourage critical thinking and help student feel connected while a higher level course may take on a community partner as a client, working collaboratively to provide content, resources or expertise.

    For more information contact our academic community engagement coordinator at 304-293-8761 or serveandlearn@mail.wvu.edu.

    Connect with the Center for Service and Learning