Assessing Service-Learning


Because, service-learning is not credit for service (or time) and because service-learning is an integrated text of an academic course that provides credit for learning, and because service-learning is based on reciprocal University-Community partnerships:

  • We measure academic learning AND
  • civic learning AND
  • We also need to ensure community interest is addressed

There are many tools you can borrow or adapt to assess your service-learning class:

  • Assessing the Impact of Service Learning: A Workbook of Strategies and Methods. 2nd Ed. Portland, OR: Center for Academic Excellence, Portland State University, 1997.
A handbook of strategies of assessment using case studies that responds to the complexity of service learning and focuses on all four constituencies of service learning--students, faculty, community, and institution.
  • The Evaluation Handbook: Practical Tools for Evaluating Service Learning Programs. Mark Batenburg and Denise Clark Pope Ph.D. Oakland, CA: Service Learning 2000 Center, 1997.
An instructive manual and workbook for those interested in evaluating a community service program.
  • The Measure of Service Learning. Robert G. Bringle, Mindy A. Philips, and Michael Hudson. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association, 2004.
A valuable resource for program evaluators and researchers who want to inform the practice of service learning. Provides an extensive compilation of scales for use in studying students in service learning classes.
  • Profiles of Successful Service Learning Initiatives. Center for Experiential Education and Service-Learning, University of Minnesota.
Provides support for teachers writing evaluations of their service learning programs through documentation of other teacher narratives of service-learning programs to increase awareness and use of exemplary service-learning initiatives by identifying programs and practices that work.
  • Assessing Service-Learning and Civic Engagement. Dr. Sherril Gelmon PH.D., Barbara A. Holland Ph.D, Amy Driscoll Ed.D, Amy Springs M.P.A., and Seanna Kerrigan M.Ed. Providence, RI: Campus Compact, 2001.
Offers a broad overview of many issues related to assessment in higher education, with specific application for understanding the impact of service-learning and civic engagement initiatives.
  • Service Learning and Assessment: A Field Guide for Teachers. National Service-Learning and Assessment Study Group, 1999.
A compilation of case studies that provides suggestions and clues about how to develop service learning strategies and assessment tools.
  • Faculty Development Workshop. Community-Service Learning office, California State University Northridge, Northridge, CA: 1999.
A complete workshop of the components of Community Service Learning and how to plan a service- learning class with community partners.
  • Evaluating Service-Learning Activities and Programs. David A. Payne, Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Education, 2000.
A guide to evaluating service-learning outcomes and their relevance to the curriculum using an extended case study for schools that have a service-learning component as part of their curriculum.