Effective CSL courses rely upon reflection, also known as processing, that employs critical analysis. Through critical reflection, students learn to process their experiences and find connections to course content, thereby making their experiences more memorable and valuable. Moreover, reflective critical analysis using different methodologies, tools, and guided by the course instructor can help students develop their civic identities and connections to diverse communities. 

Good critical analysis:

  • is intentionally designed by the faculty member
  • is adaptable to a variety of student learning styles
  • occurs throughout the course - not just at the end 
  • helps students connect service experience with course learning objectives
  • is crucial for developing civic responsibility 

Critical analysis can take a number of forms. Some of the most common are:

  • guided journaling
  • related research and writing projects
  • role playing, plays, presentations
  • art, creative writing, and multimedia projects
  • group discussions¹

¹Eyler, J., " Giles, D. E. (1999). Where's the learning in service-learning? San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Available for viewing, please contact the ICCE resource library.