Month: March 2017

Planning a Service Learning Course, Mar. 2017

Service Learning develops students as active learners who become stakeholders in their own education. The integration of course content, community work, and reflection fosters an active learning environment that strengthens students’ social, moral, professional, and civic development.  It connects disciplines to help solve multidimensional issues that our society faces in mutual collaboration with our communities. It enables faculty to be creative and innovative with their research questions pertaining to community needs and allows students to be part of that reciprocal process.

Unfortunately, instructors often make the mistake of simply “adding” a service learning component to an existing course without ever fully thinking the project through.  It’s no wonder, then that half way though the semester they find themselves compromising their coverage of content, requiring more work than usual of students, mired in conflict resolution and logistical details, and utterly exhausted.

It makes far more sense to choose a focused, systematic approach to service learning that avoids these common pitfalls—one that recognizes the significance of the following:

  • choosing a reciprocal service project that is mutually beneficial
  • teaming up with responsive and reliant community partners
  • considering the situational factors associated with service learning
  • aligning student learning outcomes, assessments, content, and activities (including service) into a fluid and well-designed course
  • articulating the purpose and value of service learning in the syllabus and occasionally in class throughout the course
  • assigning continuous opportunities for reflection

If you are considering designing a course that includes service learning or adding a service learning component to an existing course, please attend the CETL teaching talk “Planning a Service Learning Course” on Monday, March 27th, from 10:00 to 11:15 a.m. in ROWE 319; register here.  Visit the service learning website for information on developing a service learning course or project and obtaining SL designation for your course.


Teaching Tools at your Fingertips, Mar. 2017

Are you interested in learning more about leading class discussions, flipping the classroom, conducting large classes, assessing student learning, or other useful teaching tips?  Mentor Commons is free to use and available any time online.

This series offers video-based programs designed to answer a specific question related to teaching and learning, delivering actionable insights in highly focused 20-minute presentations designed to fit busy schedules.

Subscribe to Magna’s 20-Minute Mentor Commons Today

As a member of the UConn campus community, you have free access to all of the 20-Minute Mentor videos, which cover a broad range of faculty development topics, at all times. Sign up today and help energize your higher education career:

STEP 1: Activate your 20-Minute Mentor Commons subscription

  1. Go to
  2. Enter information in each of the required fields.  In the Authorization Code box, enter our group Authorization Code UCONN752and click Submit

Please note: entering the Authorization Code is done only once.

STEP 2: Access the 20-Minute Mentor Commons library

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  3. On the left side of the screen, under My Account, My Online Access, select Subscriptions. The online content you have access to will be listed to the right. Click the appropriate link to view the content.

Please do not share the Authorization Code with anyone outside our campus community.

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