About Academic Service Learning
Welcome to Service Learning at Texas Tech University and the Teaching, Learning, and Professional Development Center (TLPDC). The TLPDC provides support to faculty, staff, and community members interested in engaging in academic service learning. To find workshops and seminars related to service learning, please visit ttu.elementlms.com/. We hope the following information, links, and resources are helpful. If you have questions regarding service learning, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Why should I get involved with service learning?
Service learning provides faculty opportunities to create dynamic learning environments for their undergraduate and graduate students. In addition to helping connect students and faculty to the community, service learning provides all involved with an enriched learning environment as students are able to realize the application of course content through their service experience. One Texas Tech faculty involved with service learning notes that "Service learning creates a space for the course material to shift from printed words on a page to a lived experience that alters the lives of my students and their communities.
What are the different ways I can engage my students in service learning?
There are three primary types of academic service learning. You may resonate more with one type than another, but all are valid ways to engage your students in an experiential learning process.
- Direct: Direct service learning is characterized by person-to-person type interactions in which the student interacts directly with the community partner and those whom they serve. An example of a direct service learning project is a biology course in which students engage in teaching or demonstrating science experiments with young students at local elementary school or after school program.
- Indirect: While indirect service learning can involve on-site service, the bigger-picture service learning project is frequently more product based. For instance in a marketing class, students may serve at a soup kitchen or homeless shelter to familiarize themselves with people who are homeless, but their actual class project is to develop a new marketing brochure for a community partner who works with this population.
- Advocacy: Advocacy service learning often centers on a larger societal issue for which students work to bring awareness to or educate the public about the issue. An example of an advocacy initiative is a communication course in which students developed social media campaigns to highlight issues related to water conservation.
How can I get involved with service learning?
TTU has many ways for you to be involved with service learning. The TLPDC can help you integrate service learning into your teaching and research, as well as provide you with opportunities and introductions to connect with potential community partners.