Learning Objectives

OCELTS has laid out the following four primary learning objectives for all students in all service learning courses:

  1. Students will be able to explain the connection between course content and their service experiences.
  2. Students will be able to paraphrase the definition of social justice. 
  3. Students will be able to give examples of the root causes of social issues. 
  4. Students will be able to differentiate service from social change as they relate to their service learning experience. 

In addition, each professor should formulate at least one course-specific service learning objective and include it on the course syllabus.

learning objective is an intended outcome: a specific area of knowledge students should master, a specific skill-set students should hone, or a thematic or topical area students with which students should become familiar. 

Service learning objectives connect intended outcomes to service activities as a means of achieving them.  Service learning objectives include the service activity as the "how." 

Learning objectives can be formulated as statements: "Students will [X]."  Service learning objectives can be formulated as: "Students will [X] by doing [Y]."

Intended outcome (knowledge, skill, proficiency, awareness) Intended outcome + service activity as means
What will students learn? What will students learn and how is the service activity a way to learn this?
"Students will [X]." "Students will [X] by doing [Y]."

Examples of service learning objectives

OBJECTIVE (intended outcome):  Students will examine the strengths and weaknesses of educational policy arguments BY (means) tutoring in local public schools.

OBJECTIVE (intended outcome):  Students will observe, understand and be able to reproduce various accents prevalent throughout the New Orleans community BY (means) conversing and forming relationships with New Orleanians in authentic community-based contexts.

OBJECTIVE (intended outcome):  Students will gain an introductory knowledge of the various forms of forensic evidence BY (means) examining post-conviction criminal files for compelling forensic lacunae.

OBJECTIVE (intended outcome):  Students will learn to communicate scientific topics to a general audience BY (means) developing and presenting an exciting, hands-on science demonstrations to fifth-graders.

OBJECTIVE (intended outcome):  Students will be able to provide examples of the principles of behavioral psychology BY (means) interacting with individuals in authentic community-based contexts throughout New Orleans.

OBJECTIVE (intended outcome):  Students will understand risk factors for HIV infection in a community BY (means) serving at HIV prevention and education programs and residences for those living with HIV and AIDS.

OBJECTIVE (intended outcome): Students will learn how to create an advertising campaign BY (means) learning about the mission of and the needs of a non-profit client. 

For examples, visit individual course pages, which contain a service learning objective formulated by the professor.

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