CEL facilitates multi-institutional research on engaged learning topics. Participants from institutions around the world collaborate over three years, producing scholarship that shapes research and practice globally.
CEL is home to two book series. In addition, CEL research seminars and other initiatives have produced 100+ publications (to date).
CEL’s concise guides offer research-informed practices for engaged learning.
CEL’s concise guides offer practical strategies for studying engaged learning.
CEL brings together international leaders in higher education to develop, synthesize, and share rigorous research on central questions about student learning.
The CEL Scholar role and CEL Student Scholars program enable Elon faculty and students to deepen their understanding of and professional development in scholarly activity on engaged learning.
Ash, Sarah L., and Patti H. Clayton. 2004. "The Articulated Learning: An approach to Guided Reflection and Assessment." Innovative Higher Education 29 (2): 137-154.
Reflection is an integral aspect of service-learning, but it does not simply happen by telling students to reflect. This paper describes the risks involved in poor quality reflection and explains the results of rigorous reflection. A rigorous reflection framework is introduced that involves objectively describing an experience, analyzing the experience, and then articulating learning outcomes according to guiding questions.
Bharath, Del. 2020. "Using eService-learning to practice technical writing skills for emerging nonprofit professionals." Journal of Nonprofit Education and Leadership 10 (1): 62-81. https://doi.org/10.18666/JNEL-2020-V10-I1-9420.
Bharath uses an e-service learning project as an educational tool that helps students develop technical writing skills and meet their partner organization’s needs in an online nonprofit course. Furthermore, this paper provides a discussion on the benefits and challenges facing e-service learning projects.
Bourelle, Tiffany. 2014. "Adapting service-learning into the online technical communication classroom: A framework and model." Technical Communication Quarterly 23 (4): 247-264. https://doi.org/10.1080/10572252.2014.941782.
Bourelle implements an e-service learning project in a distance communication course. The researcher specifically examined students’ sense of civic responsibility, application of skills, peer learning, and their use of technology.
Branker, Kadra, Jacqueline Corbett, Jane Webster, and Joshua M. Pearce. 2010. "Hybrid Virtual- and Field Work-Based Service Learning with Green Information Technology and Systems Projects." Informational Journal for Service Learning in Engineering 5 (2): 44-59. https://doi.org/10.24908/ijsle.v5i2.3166.
In this study, the authors take a hybrid-approach to create a service-learning project with Engineering students. Using a two-prong approach, the authors had students completed the first half of the project virtually and second half in the field. Additionally, the authors reflected on the use of virtual versus traditional methods of service-learning.
Celio, Christine I., Joseph Durlak, and Allison Dymnicki. 2011. "A Meta-Analysis of the Impact of Service-Learning on Students." Journal of Experiential Education 34 (2): 164-181.
For those seeking empirical data regarding the value of service-learning, this meta-analysis provides considerable evidence. Representing data from 11,837 students, this meta-analysis of 62 studies identified five areas of gain for students who took service-learning courses as compared to control groups who did not. The students in service-learning courses demonstrated significant gains in their self-esteem and self-efficacy, educational engagement, altruism, cultural proficiency, and academic achievement. Studies of service-learning courses that implemented best practices (e.g., supporting students in connecting curriculum with the service, incorporating the voice of students in the service-learning project, welcoming community involvement in the project, and requiring reflection) had higher effect sizes.
Cress, Christine M., Peter J. Collier, Vicki L. Reitenauer, and Associates, eds. 2013. Learning through Service: A Student Guidebook for Service-Learning and Civic Engagement across Academic Disciplines and Cultural Communities, 2nd ed. Sterling, VA: Stylus Publishing, LLC.
Although written for students to promote an understanding of their community service through reflection and their personal development as citizens who share expertise with compassion, this text is also useful for faculty. Among the many topics addressed, it provides descriptions of service-learning and civic engagement, explains how to establish and deepen community partnerships, and challenges students to navigate difference in ways that unpack privilege and analyze power dynamics that often surface in service-learning and civic engagement. Written in an accessible style, it is good first text for learning about service-learning and civic engagement.
Dailey-Hebert, Ashley, Emily Donnelli-Sallee, and Laurie N. DiPadvoa-Stocks, eds. 2008. Service-eLearning: Educating for Citizenship. Information Age Publishing, Inc..
Grounded in the theory-to-practice of service-learning, this edited book proposes a new model that blends existing service-learning methods with eLearning pedagogy. The book also recognizes how emerging technology can shape how students participate in eService-learning projects.
Dailey-Herber, Amber, and Emily Donnelli. 2010. "Service-eLearning: Educating Today’s Learners for an Unscripted Future." International Journal of Organizational Analysis 18 (2): 216-227. https://doi.org/10.1108/19348831011046272.
This paper examines how educators can use eLearning pedagogies in service-learning courses through theoretical frameworks and practical considerations. Though authors intended to use their findings to help create innovative pedagogical approaches to respond to emerging technology and educational preferences of Millennials, the results can be adapted to fit Gen-Z students as well.
Delano-Oriaran, Omobolade, Marguerite W Penick-Parks, and Suzanne Fondrie, eds. 2015. The SAGE Sourcebook of Service-Learning and Civic Engagement. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, Inc.
This tome contains 58 chapters on a variety of aspects related to service-learning and civic engagement. The intended audience is faculty in higher education and faculty in P-12 schools, as well as directors of service-learning or civic engagement centers in universities or school districts. The SAGE Sourcebook of Service-Learning and Civic Engagement outlines several theoretical models on the themes of service-learning and civic engagement, provides guides that faculty can employ when developing service-learning projects, shares ideas for program development, and offers numerous resources that faculty can use. Parts I – IV of the sourcebook are directed toward general information about service-learning and civic engagement, including aspects of implementation; parts V – VIII describe programs and issues related to the use of service-learning or civic engagement within disciplines or divisions; part IX addresses international service-learning; and part X discusses sustainability.
Felten, Peter, and Patti H. Clayton. 2011. "Service-Learning." New Directions for Teaching and Learning 128: 75-84. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.1002/tl.470.
Felten and Clayton define service-learning, describe its essential aspects, and review the empirical evidence supporting this pedagogy. Both affective and cognitive aspects of growth are examined in their review. The authors conclude that effectively designed service-learning has considerable potential to promote transformation for all involved, including those who mentor students during the service-learning experience.
García-Gutierrez, Juan, Marta Ruiz-Corbella, and Araceli del Pozo Armentia. 2017. " Developing Civic Engagement in Distance Higher Education: A Case Study of Virtual Service-Learning (vSL) Programme in Spain." Open Praxis 9 (2): 235-244. http://dx.doi.org/10.5944/openpraxis.9.2.578.
Using the university’s competence framework and the service-learning methodology, the authors propose a virtual service-learning project between students from the Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia (Spain) and the University of Porto-Novo (Benin).
Guthrie, Kathy L., and Holly McCracken. 2010. "Making a Difference Online: Facilitating Service-Learning through Distance Education." Internet and Higher Education 13: 153-157. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.iheduc.2010.02.006.
Through this case study, Guthrie and McCraken examine how service-learning pedagogies can be used in an online format. The authors explore how to create a virtual learning environment as well as the associated benefits and challenges.
Harris, Usha S. 2017. "Virtual Partnerships: Engaging Students in E-service Learning Using Computer-mediated Communication." Asia Pacific Media Educator 27 (1): 103-117. https://doi.org/10.1177%2F1326365X17701792.
The author examined how Australian students engaged in mediated intercultural dialogue through an e-service learning project with a non-government organization in India. Additionally, the author analyzed the online tools students utilize and their online communication processes and habits during this project.
Hatcher, Julie A., and Morgan L. Struder. 2015. "Service-learning and philanthropy: Implications for course design." Theory Into Practice 54 (1): 11-19.
Historically, universities have lauded their role in developing citizens who contribute to the public good. Every community needs citizens who are knowledgeable about local issues of inequity and who are willing to work with others to advocate for and help bring about positive social change related to those issues. This article examines the influence of service-learning experiences in fostering philanthropy and civic activity that continues after graduation. Five suggestions are made for tailoring service-learning such that students can eventually become civic-minded graduates.
Jacoby, Barbara. 2015. Service-learning essentials: Questions, answers and lessons learned. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
Arranged as a series of questions and answers about service-learning, this text shares research and the author’s personal wisdom gathered over decades of experience in service-learning. Faculty members who are new to service-learning will learn the basics of this pedagogy. Those with experience will discover ways to refine and improve their implementation of service-learning. All aspects of service-learning are clearly explained in this accessible text, including advise for overcoming obstacles.
Jones, Susan R. 2002. "The Underside of Service-Learning." About Campus 7 (4): 10-15.
Although an older publication, this article is not outdated. Jones describes how some students resist examining assumptions and refuse to see how their beliefs perpetuate negative stereotypes. These students challenge both the faculty member teaching the service-learning course and classmates. Jones discusses the need for faculty to anticipate how to respond to students’ racist or homophobic comments in a way that acknowledges where the students are developmentally, while also honoring the complexity involved. Additionally, the author recommends that faculty examine their own background and level of development relative to issues of privilege and power that can arise in service-learning pedagogy.
McDonald, James, and Lynn Dominguez. 2015. "Developing University and Community Partnerships: A Critical Piece of Successful Service Learning." Journal of College Science Teaching 44 (3): 52-56.
Developing a positive partnership with a community organization is a critical aspect service-learning. McDonald and Dominguez discuss best practice for service-learning and explain a framework for developing a successful partnership in the community. Faculty need to
Two service-learning projects, one for an environmental course and another for an elementary methods science course, are described along with the positive outcomes for students and community partners.
McWhorter, Rochell R., Julia A. Delello, and Paul B. Roberts. 2016. "Giving Back: Exploring Service-Learning in an Online Learning Environment." Journal of Interactive Online Learning 14 (2): 80-99.
McWhorter, Delello, and Roberts examined how service-learning opportunities could be embedded in an online graduate business course. The study sought to understand the academics benefits of having a service-learning an online course and how did students apply their coursework to their service-learning experience.
Purcell, Jennifer W. 2017. "Community‐Engaged Pedagogy in the Virtual Classroom: Integrating eService‐Learning Into Online Leadership Education." Journal of Leadership Studies 11 (1): 65-70. https://doi.org/10.1002/jls.21515.
Using theoretical and practical consideration, Purcell examines how community-engaged pedagogies, such as service-learning, can be used by leadership educators in creating an online community-engaged course.
Sandy, Marie G., and Zeno E. Franco. 2014. "Grounding Service-Learning in the Digital Age: Exploring a Virtual Sense of Geographic Place Through Online Collaborative Mapping and Mixed Media." Journal of Higher Education Outreach and Engagement 18 (4): 201-227. https://openjournals.libs.uga.edu/jheoe/article/view/1158.
In this case study, the authors explore using collaborative mapping to help students create a virtual sense of place in their service e-learning experience.
Soria, Krista M., and Brad Weiner. 2013. "A “Virtual Fieldtrip”: Service Learning in Distance Education Technical Writing Courses." Journal of Technical Writing and Communication 43 (2): 181-200. https://doi.org/10.2190%2FTW.43.2.e.
The authors performed a mixed-methods experimental study to see how incorporating a virtual service-learning experience can affect student learning outcomes in a distance technical writing course. The purpose of the study was to determine how service-learning could enhance student learning outcomes in a distance course and to understand how virtual learning can be deepened through community engagement.
Steinberg, Kathryn S., Julie A. Hatcher, and Robert G. Bringle. 2011. "Civic-minded graduate: A north star." Michigan Journal of Community Service Learning 18 (1): 19-33.
Based on a review of literature for civic learning outcomes, the authors of this article propose a model for a civic-minded graduate, which involves the intersection of identify, educational experiences, and civic experiences within a cultural and social context. The authors then outline ten domains of civic learning outcomes organized according to knowledge, skills, dispositions, and behavioral intentions. All ten of the domains are manifest in literature on service-learning and civic engagement. The authors describe the instruments used to measure the civic-minded graduate construct and three studies conducted for the purpose of establishing validity of this construct. The article concludes with implications for practice in programs designed to promote civic development, using the construct of a civic-minded graduate as a metaphorical north star.
Waldner, Leora, Sue McGorry, and Murray Widener. 2010. "Extreme E-Service Learning (XE-SL): E-Service Learning in the 100% Online Course." MERLOT Journal of Online Learning and Teaching 64 (4): 839-851. https://jolt.merlot.org/vol6no4/waldner_1210.pdf.
In this study, the authors explore the concept of extreme e-service learning, where instruction and service projects are entirely online. Additionally, the authors examine the benefits, challenges, and best practices of implementing an extreme e-service learning experience.
Waldner, Leora S., Murray C. McGorry, and Sue Y. Widener. 2012. "E-Service Learning: The Evolution of Service-Learning to Engage a Growing Online Student Population." Journal of Higher Education Outreach and Engagement 16 (2): 123-150. https://openjournals.libs.uga.edu/jheoe/article/view/936.
In this literature review, the authors examined the evolution and expansion of e-service learning. From this review, they have identified four types of e-service learning—Hybrid: Instruction Online with Service on Site, Hybrid: Instruction on Site with Service Online, Hybrid: Instruction and/or Service Partially on Site and Partially Online, and Extreme: Instruction and Service 100% Online—and best practices in conducting these endeavors.
Warner, Beth, and Judy Esposito. 2009. "What’s Not in the Syllabus: Faculty Transformation, Role Modeling and Role Conflict in Immersion Service-Learning Courses." International Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education 20 (3): 510-517.
This article describes immersive learning in the context of international service learning (or domestic service learning that happens away from the local community surrounding an institution) where students and faculty live and work together in a deeply immersive environment. The article is careful to articulate the difference in international or away service learning, where the immersion is constant, with localized experiences where the service learning experience is socketed into a student’s day. The article also discusses the value and need of the instructor working in close proximity to students as a facilitative guide to the learning experience.
Yusof, Azizah, Noor Azean Atan, Jamalludin Harun, and Mehran Doulatabadi. 2019. "Developing Students Graduate Attributes in Service Learning Project through Online Platform." Proceedings of the International Conference on Industrial Engineering and Operations Management: 3524-3537. http://ieomsociety.org/ieom2019/papers/815.pdf.
Though this study provides a mixture of face-to-face and online instruction to create a hybrid service-learning experience for Engineering undergraduate students in Malaysia, the authors explore how virtual tools such as online discussions and online meetings can have a positive impact on the student’s learning and engagement.