The Office of Service Learning has laid out the following learning goals for service learning courses and activities at Loyola:
- Students will make connections between course content and service experiences.
- Students will strengthen their understanding of social justice.
- Students will explore the root causes of social problems.
- Students will understand the distinction between service and social change.
- Students will critically examine personal values and beliefs.
- Students will learn to appreciate diversity.
In addition, each service learning course can and should have course-specific service learning goals which tie the content of a particular class to the activities students will be doing. One of Loyola's service learning course criteria is: "Service learning activities must support or enhance student learning goals in the course. The role of service learning in achieving specific learning goals must be stated in the course syllabus."
A learning goal is an intended outcome. It generally refers to a specific body of knowledge students should master, a specific skill-set students should hone, or a thematic or topical area students should learn about. Service learning goals should connect these intended outcomes to the service activity. The learning goal can be seen as the end, and the service activity can be seen as the means to achieving that end. Learning goals answer the question "What?" Service learning goals include the service activity as the "how." Learning goals are formulated as statements: "Students will [X]." Service learning goals can be formulated as: "Students will [X] by doing [Y]."
|LEARNING GOAL||SERVICE LEARNING GOAL|
|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 goals
GOAL (intended outcome): Students will examine the strengths and weaknesses of educational policy arguments BY (means) tutoring in local public schools.
GOAL (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.
GOAL (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.
GOAL (intended outcome): Students will learn communicate scientific topics to a general audience BY (means) developing and presenting an exciting, hands-on science demonstrations to fifth-graders.
GOAL (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.
GOAL (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.