Saturday, December 22, 2007

Instructor Reflection in Service Learning

I began teaching Spanish service learning in the fall semester of 2004. I had some clear guidelines about what community-based learning needed to include:

1. community service tied to academic content
2. a mutually beneficial community partnership
3. structured reflection for students

But I also knew that I was going to have to include a space and time for my own reflection. Since I was asking the students to do diarios digitales (oral reflections on their community service learning, to replace traditional "oral presentations"), I decided to do the same myself.


A lot has changed in three years (my hair, my Lasik surgery, my weight, ha), but a lot hasn't. In the video I talk about two things that I still work on:

1. Creating assessment tools that really get at what students learn in community service learning.
2. Creating systems so that students take responsibility for their own scheduling and learning.

Some things I dropped after the first year, like the "vocabulary logs" that students were supposed to keep and share. But mostly I have just continued to reflect on what student needs appear during the course of the semester so that I can write curricular materials to fill those needs.

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